These are some of our notes in preparing to construct the most ideal goat sanctuary using permaculture design. The goal of this sanctuary is to provide the goats the happiest healthiest life possible, while at the same time reducing the amount of management through proper planning and strategy. This is not a comprehensive guide, if you have any personal experience, advice, or corrections you’d like to point out we would love to hear what you have to share! Permaculture is all about using as much information as you can to make decisions that benefit you for a long time to come so we have more research to do!
An area with diverse conditions is ideal, with a more densely forested section, and a more open sunny field. This will give the goats a wider range of plants to forage, as well as provide shade for varying temperatures for the goats comfort. There should be enough room for them to comfortably roam with the protected space.
Happy goats are less likely to attempt an escape. As long as there is ample and diverse foods that they like they are less likely seek food outside the fence. Rotating more frequently or planting more forage plants can save on time chasing down escaped goats.
Ideal Plants for Fodder
(These plants were selected for Zone 7, in NW Arkansas)
Storage for Overwintering
- Red-clover – leaves, and flowers
- Amaranth – leaves, stalks, and seeds
- Yellow Dock – leaves, stalks, and seeds (in moderation)
- Buckwheat – leaves and seeds
- Lambsquarters – leaves, stalks
- Thistles – leaves, stalks, flowers
- Alfalfa – Leaves, seeds
- Maximillian Sunflowers – leaves, root tubers, and flowers
- Sunchokes – leaves, root tubers, and flowers
- Rosa rugosa – leaves, flowers, and rose hips
- Lilac – leaves and flowers
- Blackberries – brambling, leaves, vines, flowers, and fruits (plant around established fruit trees to protect them from hard grazing)
- Siberian Pea-shrub – leaves, flowers, seeds
- Black Locust – leaves, bark, and flowers, coppices well
- Honey Locust – leaves, bark, and flowers, coppices well
- Willow – 13% leaf protein, coppices well, easily grown from cuttings
- Apple – leaves, twigs, fruit, flowers; a good use for crab-apple varieties
- Poplar – fast growing, 17% leaf protein, coppices well
- Tagasaste – Leaves, Flowers, seeds high protein
- Loquat – leaves, twigs, fruit
- Seaberry – leaves, fruits, twigs
- Additional seeds and tree saplings
- Permanent Secure fencing for main grazing area
- Portable Electric Fencing for short grazing rotations
- Shelter for goats to be protected from the elements and sleep
- Water trough that can be filled from the secondary spring or pond.
Written by Tas Zinck
Journal entry Sunday, July 23. I’m hoping to start writing a daily journal of things that happen at Jesus Vegans Community to give those who are potential community members a taste of what is happening here. This will also serve as a reminder for me about all the miracles that happen, and the way the Lord is moving here.
Yesterday Robert (my former husband, and one of the co-founders of Jesus Vegans Community) listened to worship music in the morning. I also journaled, we prayed, and read from inspiring books including the bible. The atmosphere was so joyful. I also texted a friend who I had met online, sending a recording of part of the beautiful Hillsong United songs, and giving her messages of encouragement. We texted back and forth. I felt connected to Jessica, as if we were together in community.
Robert felt inspired to make a nice vegan lunch. He loves to meditate while he prepares food. He made a falafel burrito! It was delicious. Sharing meals is such an important part of community living.
Rain was in the forecast, and we really needed the rain after a week of dryness. I gathered up a bunch of buckets to take to the food forest which is away from the water supply. A good rain can fill up buckets enough to be able to water for the next time. I was singing and praying for rain. Robert was looking at the computer forecast and said that it looked like the rain was going to miss us. He prayed as he looked at the visual on the computer, and I prayed as I worked in the hugelkultur gardens and the food forest.
I’m not sure if it rained because of our prayers. But we did hear from people who live about twenty minutes away from our place that it didn’t rain there. I would have trusted the goodness of God if it hadn’t rained.
But when the rain started coming, I was so grateful and I sang praises to the Lord! I put on my bathing suit and kept working in the garden, planting some marigolds in a cool place that I had been wanting to beautify for a while. I loved the warm rain and walking in my bare feet on the grass. Getting my hands in the dirt was nourishing as well. Robert tried to get Alexa (Amazon Prime’s version of Siri) to play a worship song about letting it rain, but the only one he could find was Eric Clapton’s “Let it rain.” Oh well!
Cliff Mikkelson, my other former husband, and also a founding member of Jesus Vegans Community, (I know–two former husbands is kind of unusual–but we all get along really well!) stopped by. We were happy to see him and say goodbye because he was leaving the next day for a month long trip to California.
Time flew by and so I had to hurry to make a salad to take to the gathering at Faithful Servants ministries where we fellowship with other followers of Jesus. We just started attending this wonderful event, where our daughter and her husband attend as well. We feel right at home because everyone is very unique and accepting of our uniqueness. The hours flew by, and before we knew it, it was 11:30 PM. How could 5 hours go by so fast? The combination of fellowship, sharing worship, discussing topics like how can we walk in the Spirit was so fulfilling. I even was able to clear up some conflicts with two people in a loving way!
When we arrived home at midnight, we were so energized. But each of us, in our separate bedrooms, was able to sleep like babies and wake up refreshed. Something about this gathering is so healing. People accept my veganism, and there are vegan options at the potluck. I accept their carnivorism. We are building trust.
Thank you, Father, for all of our blessings. What. wonderful day at Jesus Vegans Event Center and future community.