Although we don’t like to work in the wet, we are very glad the rains finally came. We’ve been in fire danger for several days now, with winds off and on, so we were getting concerned some fool would light up a brush pile or burning barrel and set acres of woods on fire. But yesterday the rain began, and it’s been raining or misting ever since. As it’s getting into spring and our little seedlings are growing like mad, Will is still working on the new greenhouse.

Will keeps on working on the new greenhouse, despite the rain.

Our friends, Mike and Dara came over on Tuesday to help out. Dara helped me pack seeds and Mike helped Will get the windows ready to install in the greenhouse. For years now, we’ve been collecting old patio door windows with this project in the back of our minds. And finally, they’re moving out of the aisle of the goat barn to outdoors to have the old frames taken off.

Slowly the greenhouse is getting ready for the windows; each opening is measured carefully to fit a certain window.
Our little seedlings love the new patio door Will and David installed last week.

As our goat herd dwindled to two big bucks and a doe, I’ve been looking for some new blood. But as goats declined in popularity, few Nubians (our favorite goats) of quality could be found, even hundreds of miles away. A month ago, I was in Homestead Mills buying feed and I saw an ad for Nubian doelings. Of course, I called. They weren’t born yet but I made a reservation for two. A few weeks later, the lady called and asked if I still wanted them; she had two born. Of course, I said “yes.” And when Mike and Dara were here, she and I went over to look at them, and their mothers and pay for them. Those babies were so very nice! The mothers had excellent udders and the owner was a long-time goat person. How nice! But I still wanted an unrelated quality buckling. We decided to leave the doelings on the moms for a few days longer and to be disbudded and vaccinated. Then a few days ago, I browsed the Duluth Craigslist (looking for a small horse for our granddaughter, Ava) I saw ads for several Nubian kids — several bucklings. Yesterday I went over and picked out a real pretty black and white spotted guy, whose mom had a great udder. So on Saturday, I’m going to pick him up as he hasn’t been disbudded and is a little older and needs to be. But I worried he’d be lonesome in a pen, alone, and get too stressed. So I’m also picking up one of the doelings I bought to keep him company until the other doeling comes.

This is Domino who will be re-named Domingo as our mule is named Domino and it would get confusing!

Today I’m cleaning out and fixing up the old goat pen, which hasn’t been used in several years and has only been used for miscellaneous storage. As we’re going to be moving the winter goats down into the new barn, the goat shed has kind of gotten in disrepair. After all, 16 years ago, it was built from dump material, and meant to be only “temporary.” Sound familiar? It looks like hell but still keeps the rain and wind off. We’ve got to fix it up some but it’s really not much more than ugly. The goats won’t care. — Jackie


  1. We had snow here last night, about 2 inches. We’re expecting 4 inches tonight. We’re in central Wyoming. Hope we have a warmer summer. The last few years it’s been cool (@ least for summer) here. Never put the evaporative cooler these last 2 summers. We’ve had one litter of piglets born and at least 25 calves this year so far. Jackie I really enjoy you columns and blog.

    • Thanks Linda. We got your snow, although only a couple of inches. But it melted off and switched out with rain, rain and more rain.

  2. What roofing did you decide to use for the greenhouse? We had the south half of our garden shed done in corrugated clear roofing material, and the north the regular shingled way. It did well with the snow load, and I’ve been surprised at how warm the shed was on sunny days, with that and the south- and east-facing windows.
    The goats are sure lucky to be coming to live there! Am always amazed at how much you two get done, in addition to all the livestock care, and day-to-day requirements of life. Whew!

    • The roof is going to be polycarbonate sheets (4′ x 8′). It’s made like a wafer with air spaces between layers of plastic so it does have a little insulation.
      Sometimes, I admit, it does get a bit hectic. But, hey, that’s life!

  3. The goat looks like a domino. He could be DJ for domino jr., or D2 for Domino the 2nd. I’m having trouble sleeping, so I’m thinking of name for that goat. If you need help with anything else, let me know.

  4. I had a spotted black and white buck named Domino. Your little guy is cute. As to ugly…… You are right…. Goats don’t care……. As long as they can stay dry (the prissy sweet babies that they are. :) ) I am envious of your greenhouse. I so wish my guy could be home more to do jobs like that here on our small TX homestead.

    • I hear you. Even with Will home all the time, the south side of the house is STILL not finished!! There’s always something more important to do first. Life!

  5. We have tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, herbs and early cole crops planted but I hope we get spring pretty soon so we have a warm place to transplant. We are supposed to have -27 tonite with enough wind for -40 wind chills! We are supposed to have+40 Monday.

    • Whew! -27 sure sucks! I remember a foot of snow up in Montana, on the 27th of June and my husband went snowmobiling! We live through it though.

  6. I love seeing your seedling pictures, I’m gauging the way mine look to yours. So far so good.
    I’ve been trying to talk my Husband into getting some goats, we have an awful buckthorn problem. We’ve been cutting and rooting them out but it never seems to make a dent. Oh well, keep on plugging.

    • That’s about all you can do. In New Mexico it was bindweed, here, it’s thistles. There’s always something that fights you for your garden.

  7. Delighted with your Rain news. Here in Kansas
    we have been in dry conditions. Always hope
    Someone doesn’t make Stupid choices and
    Light up the area. Wind in Central/ Western Kansas can be intense. We finally got Rain
    Last week. So can relate to that worry.
    Have the calving season coming to an end
    And that’s Always good. Cute baby Hereford
    All over the pastures. Fun to watch and
    See them enjoy Spring.

    • You can have our rain. Weekly at least 2″. Some with hard rains. One with small tornado that messed around with people’s roofs. 81 one day and the low in the mid 40’s a day or so later.

      Water doesn’t finish draining off before we get more. I am on a hill and still have places that have standing water most of the time in the spring.

      kathy in MS

    • The weather all over the country if bonkers, it seems. If only we could share; a little nice rain, a little nice sun. And NO TORNADOES!!!

  8. I was looking at your seedlings on the shelves by the new patio door..are there artificial lights in use? I’m debating getting lights for my seedlings in a south window so was wondering what you used.

    • No lights but I do have to turn my flats around at least twice a day to keep them from leaning toward the windows, which they do. Once turned the plants straighten up….then start to lean the other way, toward the light.


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