The two kids born this year, our first successful goat births, were originally bred for meat. However, we decided to keep Spot, the nanny kid, to replace Geraldine, our goat that died in labour in May. We have now decided to keep the billy Spotless. We have 3 freezers packed full of food, including lots of meat, so were he to be slaughtered, we'd have nowhere to store him. Secondly, we had always planned to keep a billy, though not one related to any of the others we have. Thirdly, the real reason. He is a lovely animal, very friendly and we have simply grown very attached to him. Okay, so this is sentimental, illogical decision-making by us. It would certainly have been the case that had Geraldine survived and given birth, some kids would have been sent for slaughter, even if it would have meant buying a new freezer. But we weren't in that position. We will have to change some of the arrangements on the plot where we keep the animals. We will need to build him a separate paddock where he can be kept when the other goats are in heat. We are also looking to buy a young Saanen nanny as a mate for him. His father is a Saanen and he has the appearance of a Saanen (he looks nothing like his mother). Saanens are a milking breed so if we build up a small milking herd, he will be part of it.
Until 2009 I was working in London, UK, but I gave it up to pursue a life of self-sufficiency. My aim is to grow or forage for all my food, produce my own power and live a healthier and greener lifestyle. I left London to return to my home village of Sunniside, near Newcastle, in the North East of England. I have a couple of plots of land there as well as the garden of my house. Our village is a commuter area for Newcastle but we are surrounded by countryside which we use for picking wild foods. My mission in life is to show that it is possible to live well without destroying the planet in the process. I am also keen to ensure knowledge of historic recipes and cooking is kept alive. I regularly try out recipes from old cookbooks using the food we have grown. I make videos about our progress and about how to cook home-grown foods. These can be viewed on www.youtube.com/jonathanwallace.