Monday, March 30, 2009
So we had a boarder who contributed cash, and we had all our own milk for free because we sold enough to pay all the goat-related bills.
We also had the veggies growing taller and more robust in the garden, with the promise of an excellent harvest and food available without cost well into the winter, and maybe through till Spring.
The only costs were the time and energy it took to weed and keep an eye out for bugs, and to continue to remove the rocks that seemed to grow right along with the veggies. Fortunately there were not many bugs.
To round out the early mid-summer menu, while we were waiting for the bulk of the produce to be ready, we ate a lot of goat bread.
It seems that the major bakeries, such as Pepperidge Farm, had outlet stores where anyone could go and pick up day-old bread. And then when some of it hadn't sold, after about a week, goat people (and others with animals) could go and get it. What was left was the really old bread, stale, often in ripped bags, sometimes moldy - 100 pounds for $5. Five cents a pound.
That was considerably less than the cost of goat feed, and in some cases approximated their feed in quality. Of course we never fed them the moldy bread, so there was some waste. But for the most part, the ability to buy goat bread really helped the feed bills.
We'd go to the back door of the store, off the alley, and back up with the station wagon, then go in and take from the shelves in the store's back room whatever looked good to us, 100# at a time. We all helped pitch it into the car. Then we'd drive home and back up to the bulkhead and carry it down to the freezer, to be thawed several loaves at a time for each feeding.
The goats loved it. They'd grab a slice or two as we held it out to them, gobble it down, and come back for more. Their favorite was cinnamon raisin...
And if they refused a slice, we knew it wasn't wholesome, even if it looked ok to us.
Of course it didn't take us long to start eating the bread ourselves, and that meant we could save several dollars a week, with bread $1 a loaf.
So we made it through the early Summer while we watched the garden grow.