The Urban Homesteader’s Nightmare – Episode 019

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 19 on Libsyn.

This week the Liberty Hippie had the pleasure of speak with Lloyd Cowan of Madison, ME. Lloyd is your typical urban homesteading type who spent some years out west before coming back to Maine and using his urban lot to grow vegetables, house show chickens, layer hens, and keep a handful of goats for dairy and soap. The show opened with Lloyd giving a little run down of his history and how he came to be an urban homesteader, but it’s the happenings of his town that drew the interest of the Liberty Hippie. In June 2018, the town board held a meeting and took a vote by a show of hands on a ordinance that would effect everyone in town with a lot smaller than 1.5 acres. The ordinance was not advertised as anything to do with farming, or produce, but was tacked on under a property ordinance and looked to have more to do with loose and barking dogs, than actual livestock. In the morning, residents started to find out about the new ordinance that was passed by a mere 50 people in a town of 5,000. As the days would roll on, and appeals were filed, new information has come to light and once again, we see government force being used to entrench protectionist policies despite the desires of the local community.

As the current situation stands, the next town meeting, June 10, 2019, it looks as if the turbulence will finally be decided. Please feel free to call the town and let them know that this oridinance is not only contradictory to the Food Sovereignty declaration the town made, but is also anti-business, and is unconstitutional that a small handful of individuals can dictate how owners of land can use said land. The town manager, Tom Curtis, and the code enforcer, Susan Hathaway can be reached using the information provided.

Tom Curtis – 207-696-3971 – edd@madisonmaine.com
Susan Hathaway – 207-696-3971 – code@madisonmaine.com

Pictures of Lloyds Backyard Homestead

The Links

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Link to show notes for episode 18 with Shane and Meredith Hazel.

The Bottle Babies are Here!

A couple of weeks ago, we had the neighbors come over and show me how to stretch some woven wire fence. It wasn’t long after that we got our first goat, Cinnamon Sally. There’s no telling what she is, the vet we got her from called her a brush goat, so basically she’s a meat mutt. The first couple of days we had her, she was alone and sad. The books and such warn you that keeping a single goat is tough, and Cinnamon Sally proved them right. She was tough to get a hold of and was very untrustworthy, and on top of that, she was hardly eating despite having sweet feed and a couple acres of pasture. She was supposed to come with a buck, but unfortunately, the buck didn’t make it and so Cinnamon Sally came alone and we just had to hold on until the bottle babies were ready.

Cinnamon Sally
This past weekend we were able to make the 2.5 hour trek (one way) to pick up two more bottle babies, Paige and Rosey. They were three weeks old when we got them, and need to be fed four times a day; thankfully, we’ve been able to use this as a learning experience for the kids and feeding the goats has become their job.

Bottle Baby 1
I will admit, I had no idea what to expect when they first came, but I learned quickly: goats are loud, and they get angry! The other night I went out to do some weeding in the garden and feed the chickens, well, the goats heard me. At first they came over to the corner of their pasture and did some maa’ing at me. When I didn’t respond, they got louder, and the maa’s were almost tinged with a bit of distress, but when I continued to ignore them, their maa’s became angry and petulant.

Paige 1
They have quite the personalities, and while we don’t plan on eating these particular goats, I can already say for certain, that butchering any future kids is going to be a tough job.