Our baby goats are getting fat and feisty. Although they are nearly too big to fit through the stock panel squares, they wiggle and push until they can get out and explore. They are like a street gang — always together, getting into mischief. They run and jump up on the wood hauling trailer, fly off that, run onto two logs near the chicken yard, then bounce off to find some new green grass or clover that is just starting to come up. We have sold two of our bucklings to good homes already, with one more to go. Then we will have no more goats to sell until next spring.

Today I planted 40 more asparagus roots, giving us a total of 90, planted this spring. I couldn’t get over how much improved our garden soil is from all that compost that was worked into it! It was sandy and rocky, and today it was fluffy and black. What a difference two years can make! Wow.

Readers’ Questions:

Fruit and vegetable juicing

Is it possible to can fresh juices made from a juicer/extractor such as the Breville? The extracted pulp includes the inedible parts of the whole fruit/vegetable which is discarded. I would like to preserve the nutritional benefits of the pulp. If I first peeled/prepared the fresh fruits/vegetables, extracting only the edible parts, would I be able to can the pulp with the juice. If so, How would you advise processing?

Lori Schwartz
Flora, Indiana

You could certainly do this, but I question the thickness of the end product. If you use too much pulp, you’ll end up with a product that is more like pureed baby food. You’ll have to strike a balance here, so you end up with a thickened juice. You would process the juice for the length of time given for that fruit/vegetable. Be advised that no one I know has had luck canning carrot juice. Blends, such as V-8 juice, do can up very well, however. And, of course, all fruit juices do as well. — Jackie

Hybrid plants and seeds

Are there any health disadvantages in using hybrid plants or seeds? I don’t recall reading anything about hybrids.

Tonya Bowles
Paoli, Indiana

No. My only concerns are with GMOs (genetically modified crop seeds). The advantages of planting open pollinated varieties are: often the taste is better, you can save your own seed, be sure your next year’s plants will be the same as this year’s, often open pollinated varieties are hardier than hybrids, and the crops store better, too. You are also preserving a vital genetic link to our past. Hundreds of very good heritage varieties are lost each and every week. Forever. — Jackie

Vacuum seal bags

Hi Jackie, you had recommended using 3mil or higher vacseal bags. I’m have some difficulty finding a supplier of 3 mil vacbags. Would you care to share your source?

Rockingham, North Carolina

Sorry, Lon, but I don’t remember recommending or even talking about 3 mil vacuum seal bags, so I can’t share a source. — Jackie

Worming a goat

I have a Nubian goat in milk who always has droppings that more resemble dog droppings than goat berries. None of my other goats do this. I had the vet test a fecal sample and she had stronglyes. I wormed her (a lot) with herbal wormer, since it had no withdrawal time on the milk, but it did not make a difference on the poops. Could it be that is just the norm for a goat? We’ve had her about 3 months and she has done this the whole time. She seems healthy and happy. I was wondering if I should worm her with Ivermectin or if maybe big droppings are possibly just the norm for this goat?

Erica Leake
Manor, Texas

I doubt that the big droppings are normal. She probably still has worms. The only way to know is to take a stool sample in to your vet. Some people have had luck with herbal wormers, but I just haven’t. I would take a sample to your vet and if she still has worms, use a wormer he/she recommends. You may have to repeat it in two weeks to be sure the worm population is wiped out. Sometimes just worming once is not enough, as eggs aren’t killed and hatch, re-populating your goat’s digestive tract. — Jackie


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