Jessica Hill

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since Jul 18, 2014
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chicken forest garden hugelkultur
I'm a transplanted Yooper in the great state of New York! Living in Schoharie County with my husband, our daughter and his mother. We've currently got 1 dog, 1 cat and tons of dreams!
Schoharie County, NY
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Recent posts by Jessica Hill

Matthew Nistico wrote:

Jess, I can definitely hook you up. Send me a PM and we can arrange the details.

done and done! Thanks Matthew!
2 years ago
Any of you espousing your love of Rosa Rugosa...wanna share some with me? I had seeds this year that I tried to Winter Sow. But, our winter this year was not the perfect one for rugosa seeds - not enough chill days, I believe.

Cuttings, seeds, plants...I'd love someone to share with me <3

As for a role in Permaculture - everyone else has already mentioned really swell ideas. I'm just going to pipe up and say - don't forget about using them as a Nanny Plant! I've got some "came with the house" roses too and I used them to help protect some other tender seedlings from the bigger and badder critters that wanted to eat them, or have them blow over. They helped me propagate some native clematis seeds last year - the vines rambled up the big thorny bushes and kept the squirrels from eating them.

All the best with your new place!
2 years ago

Andrew Schreiber wrote:after a few years, the dead hedge is still working well. We are still adding branches to it to some degree, but not very much. It is still keeping the goats in their pen, which is surprising given how much they try and escape.


Could you please post pictures of what your dead hedge looks like now? Just to be able to compare it to your previous posted pictures? I'm curious as to how much it has "settled" in place, since yours is so much larger (comparatively) than mine WILL be.

Thanks again!
3 years ago
I'm in desperate need for someone to help me sort out my brain. You see, I've been a "traditional" gardener since I could put shovel to dirt. Now, well I'm riding along on this World Domination road trip.

I've watched, and rewatched and REWATCHED this video, brain cannot get out of it's stinkin' thinkin' about linear gardening. Everything gets all gummed up and it's just driving me crazy.

This is my thought process

Biodiversity = no monoculture beds. So we mix it up - herbs, veggies, flowers, etc.
Plant needs = full sun, shady, wet, moist, etc. So tall plants in the middle, ok. But...what is "the middle" and is it more tall, taller, tallest? a ring of tall plants with a olla? But then that brings in keyholes...and Paul's sun scoops. I live on a slope - is it better for sun scoops or rain scoops? Sun scoops would face down hill while the rain scoops would face up hill to catch the run off.

Which then I get carried away and need to come back to the original idea of CIRCLES and how to plant them efficiently.

Any practical advice from someone who was doing the straight and narrow and now does squiggly and curvy? Plant spacings, ideas, websites, photos,

I can crochet in the round.
I can knit in the round.
I can weave and spin and run around in circles.
Dear Gods I will garden in the round as well!
3 years ago
I recieved the email all went hunky dory on my end. Except that I got two? Apparently I've been getting two of every mailing...but I never noticed. *shrug*

Twice as much World Domination!

(Firefox v 43.0.1 and Gmail)
Definitely in! (If they're still available!)

Looks good and this mid 50's weather means I can test it out for a bit still!
3 years ago
Thank you everyone for the replies! My apologies for not replying sooner, work is evil...necessary, but still evil!

Chadwick - you are exactly the kind of person I was hoping to meet! Your trio is adorable and thank you for great advice! It hadn't even crossed my mind to think about 4-H but I know my daughter would love it, and there are quite a few 4-Hers and FFA associations around my area. Also the tip about three goats being a herd! As soon as I read that the lightbulb went on and I had that moment of realization. You're zone in PA is about the same as mine here in NY so it's nice to know that it can be done! What are you using for your fences? From your pictures it looks like you're using natural posts with 4 foot welded wire? How well does that keep predators out and keep your goats in for you? Do you have temporary fencing (like electro-net?) for pasture rotation or did you just divide it and put up permanent fencing?

Hans - I started Googling "key hole manger" and that looks really fantastic! We are also now trying to integrate a poo gutter into the underground barn design. Which means I need to really decide how I want the interior to be arranged.

Katy - I wish it was just as simple as getting a milk pail, and if I lived anywhere else it probably would be. Here in NY raw milk production/sale/consumption (especially in my county) is regarded very poorly by those in power positions. There are specific regulations and requirements for me to even drink milk from my own goats. It's also disheartening because it doesn't matter that I do not want to sell the milk, I just want it for me and my family. The people "in charge" say I must be selling it and must be held to those rules and labels. Which involves either being a part of a larger co-op of dairy goats where I'd need to bring my milk to one of their facilities to be processed/tested or buying my own equipment. There is no option to do it on the stove top. I could just sneak and do it anyway, but my house is 20 feet from the road and in full view of anyone going by and my three neighbors. And sneaking goes against my nature...I shouldn't have to sneak to provide for my family.

I know I keep mentioning Angoras, but if anyone has any other fiber breed they want to gush about - please jump in! I'm happy to hear it!
I guess I'm looking for goat resources for someone on 2 acres (or less) to make it work. Basically a "I did it this way. You can too!" kind of thing. Something to help me figure out what the most efficient ways of doing things THIS small. I watch Geoff Lawton's videos and he's working on hundreds of acres...I'm working in hundreds of feet, and I have a hard time converting it down to my scale.

Right now, there is nothing here but fill dirt/gravel with our house and a garden shack that I'm hoping to fix into a chicken coop. February marks the first calendar year in the new home. We promised ourselves to not make any BIG changes (I'm really itching to knock a certain wall down lol) until we had lived in it "As Is" for one full year. We have a definite direction we want to go, and what the goal sorta looks like. Everything gets murky in between Idea A and Final Project Z. We have the drive, but feel like we're going in circles all the time.

Chickens were the first step, and Goats were the second.
We need help clearing the land - heavy machinery is out of the question, our property has no real safe access for even a small tractor. My husband works from home, I work at a grocery store, so man power is limited for it too. So we decided walking weed wackers would help.
We need help healing the soil - GOAT POOP and Chicken tractors and compost.
I am a knitter - the thought of creating an item from yarn that I had raised, processed, spun, and dyed myself is truely appealing.

Money is not limitless, which is why we ruled out Dairy Goats (too high of an initial investment of equipment/space) and Meat Goats (No processor nearby to make it worthwhile and NYS laws are against us doing it ourselves). Fiber Goats seemed like a "set it and forget it" kind of idea - get a pair of whethers, run our fencing, and go. Alpacas and llamas also crossed our minds but are out of our budget just yet. Heritage breeds appeal to me, but are uncommon in my area which makes breeding them interesting. I really do not want to keep a buck and some does just yet, as well. Down the road, I would love that, and maybe I can find someone to split the cost of a beautiful buck to be able to do just that.

(Colin - what I meant by petting zoo-esque was exactly what you described - I don't want to be a prisoner to a dozen goats...some of the pictures I saw of (what the authors were calling) "small scale farming" reminded me of puppy mills! It was just bad. Too many animals on not enough space...poor things.)
Hello everyone,

I'm hoping the lovely folks here at Permies can point me in the right direction!

My husband and I are discussing getting a pair of goats come spring. Our property is small (2 acres), sloped to a small creek (which is actually our southern property line) and mostly covered in golden rod and other tall grasses/brush, sumac and some black locust. I'm not looking to make money, milk, butcher or breed just yet. I'm just interested in some plant control, playful critters to watch, their fertilizer and (of course) fiber! I'm interested in Angoras (or crosses) for a self-reliant homestead. I'm literally thinking 2-3 goats.

After searching "backyard", "homestead", "self-reliant", "small scale", etc., I've really come up on nothing for a VERY small operation that isn't petting zoo-esque. Should I be searching something else, maybe? Everything I've been finding is for way more goats than I feel our land can support. Does anyone out there have experience with staying on the very small side?

My grand scheme involves an Oehler Underground Greenhouse that is set up more like Sepp's Greenhouse/Coop illustration. Mainly for getting through our lovely Upstate NY Winters...bleck. I've pseudo-plotted rotational paddocks that I'm calling "lanes" that goats can help clear to make way for fruit tree guilds. The local college (SUNY Cobleskill) is an Ag College and has many resources in regards to every aspect of livestock and agriculture (but generally on a HUGE scale). They put me in touch with a local fiber group who are more than willing to help me learn to process my own yarn. Hopefully I'll be able to help shear a small flock of sheep this spring to get my feet wet in that aspect as well. As a newly minted knitter I'm extremely excited to learn this portion whether I get my own fiber or not!

There's also food, bedding, vet bills, etc. I know that, that is also in the pipeline. But am I missing something that I haven't thought of to look for?

Thank you all!
This is marvelous. Simple, well designed, the attention to the details - wonderful. I heartily applaud your work!

The questions that I have are these
- How long have you been using the Chicksaw?
- Any predation problems?
- Any advice for adapting it to a zone 5b Central NY winter? My first instict is to just store it away until the green grows again.

Again - Bravo! (and THANK YOU!)
3 years ago