A rediscovery of pastoralism, the classical and most beneficial goat husbandry method, and how it serves as the backbone of an ecologically sensitive and cost effective method of herd and land management.
If you’re reading this post you’ve made your way to this blog possibly having come across my posts on various social media groups and boards devoted to holistic, natural approaches to homesteading and herd management.
I began documenting my successes and failures in natural goat husbandry as a way to help other goat herders who may be struggling with similar issues I encountered. How I got here was both an intentional yet accidental discovery.
In late summer 2018, I dipped my foot so to say, into the ocean of blogging. When I shared my insights on how salt in my goat’s diet eliminated flies in our barns. You can find that post here. The accompaniment video can be viewed here. To my amazement, that post (originally posted on my photography website), garnered over 3400 views in less than a month, and numerous emails requesting more info on the topic of symbiotic husbandry and pastoralism. This was the catalyst that prompted me to consider journaling more on this method and to make my notes public. Here is a screenshot of the view log on my blog’s dashboard in early spring of 2019.
The title, GOAT YOUR LAND is not an arbitrary, catchy term. It represents the entire scope of how I raise my herd, based on my years immersed in the process as a full time goat herder. I have no lists showing where I’ve been published. There is no alphabet soup after my name that can denote the worthiness of my perspective. What I share was born out of full time investment and engagement of intimately working with the herd that provides for us daily. Never anticipating that I would encounter the pastoral roots of western culture.
Here is something about me, so you know a little of the heart and the person behind the “keyboard” so to speak.
With a history of growing up and living most of our adult lives in some of the largest metropolitan regions in the U.S., my husband and I finally put traction to our dream when we arrived onour 25 acre homestead in 2013. Our Nubian goats entered our world a year later. We were always a natural family. Choosing options like homeschooling our two sons, and immune-building inoculation instead of vaccinating. Having taken these positions many many years ago when those ideas were taboo and unheard of. We built our own house, and systematically embraced good natural food and down to earth home remedies. I was convinced that with my past experience, that leaving the city, and upstarting a homestead, then a thing like raising a small herd of Nubians would be a breeze. That idea would soon be tested. Transitioning to land was both exciting and overwhelming. Fueling the vision, with books like Brad Kessler’s, Goat Song. I will be bare my heart here, that I sobbed all the way home after the closing on the farm. Wondering what had we gotten ourselves into.
It soon became apparent we had barely scratched the surface on self-reliance and had much to learn. Most places we looked for answers on raising goats were providing conventional confinement advice and treatments. Others simply parroted techniques actually mentioned verbatim in other blogs. Some of the well-intended counsel, would later prove to be counterproductive. While working out the kinks, in my heart I sensed I was missing key elements in the type of husbandry my Nubians needed, craved and were created for.
From this persistent research is how I began my journey of practical applications and experimentation, manifesting in successes and some failures. This I began blogging about on another blog, Shadows and Light. Six-plus years later, we have grown to love pastoral goat husbandry, and our herd has thrived because of it, in a manner that is manifestly evident. This was the genesis of Goat Your Land!