So, you’ve escaped the ravening horde and made it to your secret hideaway in the back of beyond. What’s next?
Well, clearly food and water have to be a priority. You could take the tried-and-tested route of buying in a whole load of canned and dried food, which is fine. However, to survive the years of privation ahead of the world, the best solution has to be to grow your own.
Here at Omega Towers, of course we have the food stash as the winters here can be bad. However, to be fully sustainable you have to have a live food source. Enter the livestock!
Our new piglets arrived a couple of months ago as the old ones are happily nestled in a couple of freezers. The last lot were rare breeds – a Gloucester Old Spot and an English Middle White, one of the ugliest yet tastiest breeds. The two newbies are Tamworths and ginger, hence I call them Chris & Evans. They’re growing at a tremendous rate and piling on the pork on a diet of barley and kitchen waste.I can’t wait until the autumn to taste those ribs and bacon. Also, we’re running low on the lard I made from the last pair.
We now have three goats, a couple of adolescent Anglo-Nubians and a very young Guernsey – these are cute as buttons and are not for meat, but for milk to drink and for cheese & yogurt. Fresh goats cheese is marvelous for all sorts of cooking and goats milk is nutritious and easily digested. Yogurt is quick and easy to make – I’ll be doing some commentary later on in the year, once we’ve had them mated and they start producing some milk. Apparently, they produce hundreds of gallons each per year, so we should be inundated.
Goats are browsers not grazers like cows, so they will eat just about anything. Grass is the food of very nearly last resort for our capric friends. A cow or sheep will view a hawthorn hedge as a fence or barrier, but to a goat, it’s just lunch! This means that as you weed your vegetable garden, whatever you pull up can be fed to the goats, leading to the ancient yet obvious conclusion that weeds are just the right plant in the wrong place. Where they should be is inside a goat. Don’t worry about giving them the wrong things, if it’s wrong then they won’t eat it.