Updated Spring, 2014 Class Schedule!

Gift Certificates available for all classes…if you see a class you want to take but not a date that works for you, we can schedule a special class if we have at least 2 people interested!

The Goat Cheese Making Class! (Basic) 

(Milking and Soft Goat Cheese, Mozzarella and Ricotta making…followed by a farm fresh brunch!) 8:15am to 1:00pm.      Read more…

APRIL, 2014…  You’ll see baby goats!

Sunday, April 13 (SOLD OUT)

Sunday, April 27 (SOLD OUT)

MAY, 2014

Sunday, May 4 (2 Spots Left)

Sunday, May 18 (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, May 24 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, May 31 (SOLD OUT)

JUNE, 2014

Saturday, June 7 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 14 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 21 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 28 (4 Spots Left)

JULY, 2014

Sunday, July 6 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, July 19 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, July 26 (4 Spots Left)

You will milk the goats and learn to make soft Goat Cheese, Mozzarella, and Ricotta with goat’s milk.  You also will be served a farm fresh brunch!  Cost:  $85.  Read more…

*Gift Certificates are Available for All Classes!!

(Special Classes/Dates Available On Request!    Weekdays are also available, just ask!  If You Don’t See A Date That Works For You, Just Ask!)

The Hard Cheese Making Class (Advanced)

(Milking and Learn to Make Feta, Traditional Chevre and Cuban hard cheese…followed by a farm fresh brunch!) 8:15am to 1:30pm  

If you have taken the Basic class, and don’t see a date you that works for you, please call to request a date..classes will be scheduled if we have 2 or more students.

You will milk the goats, learn to make traditional chevre, feta and Cuban hard cheese…and of course, indulge in a gourmet farm fresh brunch!  This class is only available to students who have already taken The Goat Cheese Making Class.  Cost:  $85.

Just Cheese Making Class

(Making soft goat cheese, mozarella, ricotta.  No milking or brunch.)

Please call to request a date…classes will be scheduled if we have 2 or more students.

May, 2014

Friday, May 2,  9-noon (2 Spots Left)

You will  learn to make soft Goat Cheese, Mozzarella, and Ricotta with our farm’s goat milk. You will bring home the recipes and samples of all the cheeses you make.  There is no goat milking or brunch included in this class.  9am-Noon weekdays, 2-5 pm weekends. Cost:  $60.

Bread Making Classes 2-5 pm or 9-noon

Please call to request a date….classes will be scheduled if we have 2 or more students.

You will learn to make homemade freshly ground whole wheat bread and cinnamon rolls!  Bring 2 bread pans and one cake pan.  Cost:  $60.

Goat’s Milk Soap/Lotion Making Classes  

Please call to request a date, class is 3 hours long….classes will be scheduled if we have 2 or more students.  Weekday classes are from 9-12, weekend classes are from 2-5.

March, 2013

Sunday, March 23, 2-5 (2 Spots Left)

You will learn to make goat’s milk soap and goat’s milk lotion from freshly milked goats milk!  Some supplies are required (see below).  Cost:  $80.

Students Provide The Following Supplies for Soap/Lotion Class: 

Only two students per class need to bring supplies.

Stainless steel pot, at least 10″ diameter, 10″ high (Walmart), Wooden spoon, Candy Thermometer (Walmart or Ace or Grocery Store), Stick Blender (Ace), Rubber dishwashing gloves (Playtex or generic), Eye Protection (sunglasses work fine), 2 Rubber Spatulas, 1 Glass, Ceramic or Stainless Steel Bowl (Arc).  NOTE:  You will not want to ever use these supplies for cooking again!  Don’t bring your best cookware!

The Goat Cheese Lady will provide all other supplies.

Raising Backyard Chickens, 1:30 – 3:00

Please call to request a date….classes will be scheduled if we have 2 or more students.

You will learn how to raise backyard chickens from baby chicks!  What to feed them, how to take care of them, if they need heat or not, what their coop should look like, what their pen should look like…and how big, how to handle the eggs, how to protect from predators, what to do with the poop, ideas for how to build your own chicken coop, or ideas for where to buy a pre-made chicken coop.  You can also order a custom built coop from The Animal Whisperer (he teaches the class!)  Cost: $25 per person.  Class size limited to 10.

Please call Lindsey at 719-651-9819 to sign up for classes!

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Gift The Gift Of The Goat Cheese Making Class!

Every December, Creative Gift Givers call me to purchase gift certificates to The Goat Cheese Making Class, The Just Cheese Making Class, The Bread Making Class and The Goat Milk Soap and Lotion Making Class!  Are you one of those Creative Gift Givers?  If so, give me a call and I’ll get a gift certificate in the mail to you right away…in time to give for Christmas!

You might be wondering about The Schedule of All Classes…why aren’t there any until March or April???  Well, we live with the seasons on the farm, and this is the season that the goats aren’t producing any milk!  They are pregnant, and when they get into their pregnancies, they stop producing milk to give all their energy to growing their babies!!!  Our first doe is set to kid at the end of January, so classes are set to begin in March or April. 

So, rest assured that if you purchase a gift certificate or two or four, you will have plenty of classes on which to use them.  Once the classes start up in the spring (baby season!!) they go strong most weekends and some weekdays through the end of November…then we rest again.

Thank you for considering sharing the joy of milking a goat, making cheese and indulging in a delicious farm fresh brunch!  Or, maybe you’re considering learning to make goat milk soap and lotion…or bread?  Whatever you choose, we’ll be happy to have you!

Happy Holidays!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady, 719-651-9819, direct to Lindsey aka The Goat Cheese Lady

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My Butt Bones Hurt.

I’ve been running lately.  I’m not training for any races or marathons or anything, I’m just training for more energy.

But, as a side effect, I do believe I’m losing weight.

To be clear, I did not set out to lose weight.  Weight loss was a possible side effect, but, This this is how it all went down:

I used to be tired a lot of the time.  Tired from nothing. So tired that it was challenging to even get out of bed.  Not depressed tired though.  (Citalopram helped me solve that problem.)  I would go through two or three day spurts of hardly being able to function. I remember the last one, I went on a short walk to see if a little exercise would boost my energy.  That day, I didn’t know if I would be able to make it home or if I’d have to lie down and take a nap among the cactus and yucca.  I traipsed through half the walk with my eyes closed.  My arms felt like dead weights.  My cheek muscles couldn’t lift the corners of my mouth to even make a smile.

So, I went to the doctor.  Again.  Over the past many years, I’ve been told I needed vitamin B shots, I needed to stop drinking caffeine, wear an estrogen patch, stop eating sugar, start exercising regularly, eat only protein-not carbs-for breakfast and lunch, have my thyroid tested (did that.  it’s normal.), have ultrasounds (did that.  normal too.), drink vitamin C.

This most recent visit, the final results of the final rounds of testing was that maybe it was hormonal, maybe I was lacking in testosterone.

Lacking in testosterone.

I’m listening.

My doctor, who is a great doctor, said, “We can try putting you on a very low dose of testosterone…it will be very low because we don’t want you to grow hair (mind picture: gorilla) or get a low voice (mind picture:  me returning messages with a man’s voice, “Hi, this is Lindsey, The Goat Cheese Lady…”).  I think it may help you get more energy.”

Let me think about that for a minute…..No.

Well, maybe.

But only if exercise doesn’t work.

Thus, three months ago, I commenced the every-weekday-from 8-9am-is-my-exercise-time program.

Yoga on YouTube, run, walk, bike, shovel manure, whatever would get my heart beating or my limbs stretching.

Now, proceed to last weekend.  The Animal Whisperer and I happened upon Scott Dinsmore on TedxTalks.  He was motivational and talked about expanding your impossible.  Whatever you think is impossible really isn’t.  You can do it.

I had been running two of the five weekdays…granted, I had gotten better than the 2 miles I ran back in August…I was running 4 miles one day and 6 miles the other day, and filling the other days with yoga or walking or manure shoveling.

It seemed impossible for me to run every single day, Monday through Friday.  That was my impossible.  The other impossible was running 6 miles in one hour.  The fastest I had run it was in one hour and six minutes.

Sunday night, I set in my mind that I would run every single day this week:  2 miles Monday, 4 miles Tuesday, 6 miles Wednesday, 4 miles Thursday and 2 miles Friday (today).

And I Did It.

Monday, no problem.

Tuesday, no problem.

Wednesday, I got the harebrained idea that I’d aim for the 60 minute 6 miles.  But the back of my mind was telling me, “Ya, right.  That means cutting one minute off of each mile, you idiot.”  And in the front of my mind, I was hearing Rascal Flatts singing to me (with only the benefit of my imagination, no ear buds) “Don’t give up, don’t give in, You can do what you think is impossibu-ul”.  So, guess what?  I did it.  Right when I looked at my phone after sprinting as fast as a person can who has just run 5.99 miles, I watched it flip over to:

6.0 miles.  1.00 hours.

Nice.

Thursday, sucked.  Still having to run 4 miles after running 6 miles the day before really did not take the cake.  I thought my legs might fall out of my hip joints before I even got back home.  And that would have been just a mess.  I could feel things rattling all over inside of me.  No record breaking, but, I made it.

Friday, (today) EASY PEASY!!!  Two miles.  Bam.  Done.  Did it.

My impossibles.  1.  Ran lots of miles every day this week.  2.  Ran 6 miles in 60 minutes!

And, thank you very much, I don’t plan on doing it again very soon.

It was really hard.  Really, really hard.  I’m proud of myself for sure, but not so much that I think I need to do it again this week.

And, that brings us full circle to why my butt bones hurt.

As I mentioned above, I am training for more energy.  NOT to lose weight.  Although, it is a nice side effect that the waist band of my pants is no longer cutting off the circulation to my brain.

Some may consider the other side effect a benefit as well:  I am pretty sure I am losing fat in my butt.

But, “Not I”, said the fly.  I, for one, do not consider that a benefit.  Because now it hurts to sit.  The bones in my butt ache all the time because there is not enough padding to cushion them.

Just a few days ago, I heard a funny thing.  The friend of a friend told my friend that she (the friend’s friend) was going to have fat from her butt put in her face because the injections she had been getting for $500 a whack only last 6 months and butt fat injected into your face lasts forever.  It just make me wonder if your face stinks every time you fart.

But for me, I will not have any butt fat put anywhere.  I will keep it where it belongs.  And if this doing what you think is impossible business is going to make all the fat go out of my butt so I can’t sit and my pants fall off, I may need to look into some other impossibles.

Good talking to you, and I hope you are well.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  Training for more energy is working.  Good thing.  No testosterone.

Posted in Farm Life, funny stories, good people to know | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Give The Gift of Goat Milk Soap!

We are proud to have our Hand Made Goat Milk Soaps for sale for Holiday Gifts!  As many of you know, our soaps are always for sale at our farm, but this is the first time we’ve offered them for sale online.  However, because we make them from scratch and they have to cure two weeks before they are ready to mail, it’s a good idea to place your order now!

Reserve your soap now, your order will be mailed to you in about 3 weeks, fully cured and ready to give as Holiday Gifts!  When our current inventory is sold, we will make more, but that will add two more weeks of soap curing time, so if you want to be sure you have soaps in time to gift them, don’t wait too long to order!

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Unscented Goat Milk Soap: $5.  The best soap for anyone with skin sensitivities.  Contains nothing but the basic soap ingredients.  My favorite for sensitive skin.

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Lavender Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Relax in a night time bath with our lavender scented goat milk soap.

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 Peppermint Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Feeling like you’re not awake yet when you get into the shower in the morning?  Our peppermint goat milk soap will energize your senses, it is my favorite for a morning energizer!

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 Coffee Peppermint Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Get the best of both worlds! Our goat milk soap combined with the scrubbing power of organic coffee grounds and the energizing scent of peppermint.  My favorite for the kitchen sink!

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 Coffee Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Unscented goat milk soap with organic coffee grounds for exfoliation.  It is best by the kitchen sink, the coffee grounds work wonders to get dirt, oil and gook off of your hands!  (This soap has no coffee smell.)

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 Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Soothe and gently exfoliate your skin with our unscented oatmeal infused goat milk soap.

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 Oatmeal Lavender Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Lavender brings relaxation while you soothe and gently exfoliate your skin with our oatmeal lavender infused soap.

 Tea Tree Oil Goat Milk Soap:  $5.  Enjoy the antiseptic powers of tea tree oil in this healing soap.

All of our soaps are made with these basic ingredients:  Goat Milk (from our goats), lye, pure olive oil, organic coconut oil, and shortening.   The soaps may also include (if you order anything other than the unscented):  Lavender oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, organic rolled oats and/or organic coffee grounds. 

Instructions to order: 

1.  Total up your order and add $5 for shipping...remember, all soaps are $5.  Shipping is only a flat fee of $5 for all orders up to 12 bars.  Add $10 for shipping if you order 12-50 bars.   (ex:  6 bars = $30,  plus $5 shipping = $35 total) OR (ex: 21 bars = $105, plus $10 = $115.)

2.  Click on the “Donate” link below.  Type your total in the “Donation Amount” box.  (We run our credit card payments through Paypal, and our website only lets us process payments as if they are donations, even though you are actually purchasing and will receive soaps.)

3.  Fill out your payment information and click “Review Donation and Continue.”

4.  Click on “Add Special Instructions To The Seller” and type in your order AND your mailing address!!  (ex:  3 lavender, 2 coffee peppermint, 1 unscented, John Smith, 1234 Main St., Colorado Springs, CO, 80904)

5.  Click on “Donate $ USD Now.”

6.  You’re finished!  We will ship your soap to you in around 3 weeks.

We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  If you’re happy, tell a friend.  If you’re not, tell us.  We’ll fix it.

Thank you for supporting our business!  We appreciate what you are doing for yourselves, for your families and for your communities!

Lindsey and Herbert 719-651-9819

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Colorado Springs Urban Homestead Tour

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Unfortunately, Rabbits Can’t Throw Up.

Don’t read the following information if you are queasy or aren’t in the mood to look at rabbit guts.  The pictures are graphic.But you’ll learn from them.

The Animal Whisperer awoke to find our big, gray rabbit dead on the floor of the barn.

No apparent cause of death.

He was alive and fine last night.

Dead this morning.

So, I did an autopsy.

The Animal Whisperer theorized it was a spider bite.  I wondered if it was mouse poison.

But after further discussion, we realized that he had fed the rabbit a treat of bread yesterday…so had one of our boys…so had I.  That’s a lot of bread for a rabbit.

Our new theory became death by bread.

Here come the pictures:

I'm holding the heart.  It looks in good condition, not a heart attack.I’m holding the heart. It looks in good condition, not a heart attack.  The muscles I can see are normal color, they don’t appear to have been discolored by a spider or snake bite.  The teeth don’t have evidence of the bright tourquoisy-green mouse poison.

For the record:  I have never done an official farm autopsy before.

But I did determine that a chicken I slaughtered last year never grew to full size because it had fluid in the sack around its heart.

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The liver (in my hands above) was in good condition too, the gall bladder looked normal.  The kidneys and lungs looked fine too.

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But…look at the stomach (the big whitish bag looking thing).  And the large intestine (the fat snake-like tube with two flies on it at the right).  They are HUGE.  The Animal Whisperer does all the rabbit slaughtering around here, so I’ve never seen the insides of a rabbit, but this just doesn’t look right.

Soon after the above picture, I cut into the stomach and large intestine.  Out POURED (smelly) greenish lumpy stuff, the consistency of thick split pea soup.  And, the jam packed nature of the stomach and large intestine stopped at the connection to the small intestine, which then became a long, skinny tube of mostly air.  I didn’t look carefully enough to notice if the large intestine was twisted at the connection to the small intestine, but it was obviously blocked by SO MUCH FOOD.

Apparently, this rabbit had loved the bread we gave him.  He appeared to have eaten it all.

We learned our lesson, we must be careful to not overfeed the rabbits.

They cannot throw up.  So, even if he could tell he was full, he couldn’t get rid of the food.

The official cause of death was, in my non-professional opinion, having done a rabbit autopsy exactly once:

Death by intestinal blockage caused by overeating.

Poor guy.

We are sorry Mr. Rabbit.  We hope you are hopping in a meadow somewhere in rabbit heaven.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Experiments, Farm Life, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Ditch Dirt

Literally.

No, by “ditch”, I don’t mean give up on dirt and begin planting your gardens in aluminum foil or Styrofoam or something else ridiculous.

I do mean Dirt from the Ditch.

Here’s what I’m referring to:  If you’ve ever crossed 31st Street at Fontanero or simply driven on 31st Street through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood (aaahhhhh, what a peaceful name for a neighborhood), you’ve noticed the always cement lined and often plant and dirt and lately – ash - lined culvert.

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The Ditch.

It is the drainage for the usually slowly (or even barely) running Camp Creek that comes out of Queen’s Canyon.  And for us locals, The Ditch has become a focus of concern of late.  Due to the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, significant flooding is predicted due to the lack of ability of the land above and in Queen’s Canyon to absorb rain, especially heavy rains.  As recently happened in Manitou Springs (a nearby town affected by the same fire-caused flood risk), The Ditch may flood and send mud, debris, ash and water into houses in the floodplain that surrounds it.  (According to The Westside Pioneer, The Gazette, The Colorado Springs Independent and the United Western Engineers).

But, WOW!  It has been incredible to watch what has happened in The Ditch since last year, as non-flooding rain runoffs have filled it with ash, new soil and new seeds from high in the hills above Queen’s Canyon.  That mixture of “debris and mud” (in the words of a  futurely mentioned but nameless city worker who is, most likely, a representative of, what I will call, the “non-gardening sect of our society”) has produced THE MOST BEAUTIFUL botanical grassland The Ditch has ever hosted.

I wish I had a picture.  But, close your eyes and imagine it as I explain it here:

**Side Note:  Wait.  Don’t close your eyes yet, or you won’t be able to read.

Close your eyes after you read the description of the oasis that was The Ditch:

The portion of The Ditch south of Fontanero, in my 4 years living here, has been mostly cement with a weed sneaking through a crack here and there.  This summer, however, an abundance of the most beautiful and diverse dark green, healthy grasses abounded.
Some were tall, green stalks that looked like gigantic onion greens.  Others were full, thick bunches of thin, wispy stalks topped by fragile feather-like seed pods.  There were lush ground covers, and more vibrant plant life than even the most well watered garden.

And we are in the midst of one of our worst droughts in history.

Yet, we had the 31st Street Botanical Grasslands growing in the cement lined Ditch.

In a drought.

Have I mentioned it was beautiful?

Over dinner last week, the night of the rainstorm that flooded part of Manitou, I asked The Animal Whisperer if he had noticed how amazing The Ditch was looking!  No, he hadn’t, he’d look the next day.

But, the next day by 8 am, ALL OF THE GRASS WAS GONE!  The city had mowed it all.  My heart crashed to the floor of my car as I drove by.  I knew, in my mind, that it was mowed in the best interest of the all of our neighbors in the flood plain.  And I also knew that, like a bad haircut, the grass would grow back.  We’d experience the beauty again.

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Until….the skid loader arrived.  How it got into The Ditch, I haven’t figured out, but that kind city employee’s job was to scrape out ALL of the dirt from The Ditch.

The 31st Street Botanical Grasslands were officially closed.

But, if you choose to see it, there is a silver lining to every cloud. 

P.S.   (Neighbors in the flood plain, please understand that although I will miss the grasses, I am thankful that you and your homes will be safer because they are gone.)

So, being me, I marched right up to the skid loader driver and asked if he could deliver all that dirt to my house.  He kindly told me to come back at lunch time, when the boss would be there.

40 minutes later, I met the boss, the man I referred to earlier as a representative of the non-gardening sect of our society.  I have nothing against non-gardeners, however, they do not see the potential of dirt in the same way I do.  This man saw waste.  I saw potential.  Our conversation went as follows:

Me:  Hi!  I hear you’re the boss!

Him:  Yep.

Me:  I want all that dirt!

Him:  You sure?

Me:  Yes!  It’s awesome dirt!

Him:  You SURE?  It’s just a bunch of mud.

Me:  Oh, no that’s great dirt!

Him:  You S U R E? 

Me:  Yes!  When are you starting to dump it?  (They were going to dump it 15 minutes away, I’d save the city time and gas money by having them dump at our place.)

Him:  First we have to finish the north side (of The Ditch).  But you don’t want THAT stuff, it’s just bunch of debris and leaves.  It’s not DIRT.

(I walked to the see the north side, it’s been supporting just as much life as the south side.)

Me:  Yep, I want it!  Just bring it on up!  (I live 2 minutes from The Ditch.)

Him:  YOU SURE????  It’s just a bunch of sticks and leaves, it’s not dirt!

Me:  It’s COMPOST!

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My interpretation of the conversation:  He thinks I’m a crazy woman asking for the equivalent of a ditch full of trash to be delivered at my house.  I think I am brilliant for getting DARK BLACK landscaping dirt of THE HIGHEST QUALITY for FREE by the DUMP TRUCK LOADS delivered to our FUTURE APPLE ORCHARD.

My second Ditch related conversation of the day happened a couple of hours later, a sort of three way phone call between our Neighbors #1 and #2  and me (different houses and both possible members of the non-gardening sect):

Neighbor #1:  Lindsey?  Neighbor #2 called me to see what’s going on over there? 

Me:  We’re have dirt delivered!

Neighbor #1:  Oh!   I can’t see what’s going on over there, but I keep hearing a lot of noise! 

Me:  Yes, we’re working on some landscaping.  (I am, with this comment, fully aware that most sound minded people don’t landscape with 10 dump truck loads of Ditch dirt.)

Neighbor #1:  Oh, that explains it!  Now I understand!  He thought you were having the dirt from The Ditch delivered to your house!  (Her emphasis on how confused poor Neighbor #2 must have been with his mistaken suggestion.)

Me:  We Are!!!

Neighbor #1:  WHAT??? 

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Me:  Yes, it’s awesome dirt!

We gardeners are the few who see future food in a stray sprouted seedling in the compost pile.  We see mulch in the leaves that people rake up and send to the dump every fall.  We see worm food in the kitchen scraps we bury in the garden.  We see an apple orchard in The Ditch dirt.

Or, maybe that’s just me.

I am definitely NOT a member of the non-gardening sect of society.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life, gardening, Waldo Canyon Fire | Tagged , , | 7 Comments