2015 Spring and Summer Class Schedule

To Schedule a Class, Call 719-651-9819

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…

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!!

April, 2015  (YOU’LL GET TO SEE THE BABY GOATS!!)

Saturday, April 4  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, April 11  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, April 12  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, April 18  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, April 19  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, April 25  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, April 26  (4 Spots Left)

May, 2015 

Sunday, May 3  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, May 9 (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, May 10 (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, May 17  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, Mary 24 (4 Spots Left)

June, 2015

Saturday, June 6  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, June 7  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 13  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, June 14  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 20  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, June 21  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, June 27  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, June 28  (4 Spots Left)

July, 2015

Sunday, July 5  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, July 11  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, July 12  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, July 25  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, July 26  (4 Spots Left)

August, 2015

Sunday, August 2  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, August 8  (4 Spots Left)

Sunday, August 9  (4 Spots Left)

Saturday, August 15  (4 Spots Left)

Fall Schedule Will Be Posted Late Spring

(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 Advanced Cheese Making Class

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

Have you already taken The Goat Cheese Making Class and want to progress your cheese making skills?  Or do you already make cheese at home and want to learn more about advanced cheeses?

Come join us to milk the goats, learn to make traditional chevre, goat milk feta and Cuban hard cheese…and of course, indulge in a gourmet farm fresh brunch!  We will discuss aging, cheese caves, bacterial cultures and review rennet.  This class is only available to students who have already taken The Goat Cheese Making Class or who have made rennet based cheeses at home.  Cost:  $95.

“Just Cheese” Making Class

(Making soft goat cheese, mozarella, ricotta.  No milking or brunch.) 2-5 pm  Read More…

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.  Cost:  $60.

Bread Making Classes

(Make bread and cinnamon rolls.)  2-5 pm  Read More…

You will learn to make homemade freshly ground honey whole wheat bread (the bread we eat at brunch in The Goat Cheese Making Class!!)and cinnamon rolls!  You’ll take home the 2 loaves of bread you bake and 1 pan of ready to bake cinnamon rolls!  Bring 2 bread pans, one square or round cake pan and 1 rolling pin.  Cost:  $80.

Call to schedule a class.  719-651-9819.  We will schedule a class for 2 or more people.

 

On The Road!!

(Classes taught elsewhere…contact class host for more info and to sign up!…call 719-651-9819 to set up a class at your location!)

April, 2015

Saturday, April 18, Raising Backyard Chickens, Venetucci Farm,  10-11:30 (click here to register)

May, 2015

Saturday, May 23, Making Goat Cheese, Venetucci Farm, 10-11:30 (click here to register)

August, 2015

Saturday, August 1, Making Goat Cheese, Colorado Grown Festival, Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, time and registration to be determined.

Goat’s Milk Soap/Lotion Making Classes  

(Make scented or unscented goat milk soap and goat milk lotion.)  9-12 or 2-5 pm   Read More…

You will learn to make goat’s milk soap and goat’s milk lotion from freshly milked goats milk!  You will take home enough soap for 20 bars and one 8 oz bottle of lotion.  Some supplies are required (see below).  Ages 16 and up.  Cost:  $80.  9-12 or 2-5 pm.

Please call to request a class date!

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), Handheld Electric Blender (Ace), Rubber dishwashing gloves (Playtex or generic), Eye Protection (sunglasses work fine), 2 Rubber Spatulas (Arc).  NOTE:  You may not want to use these supplies for cooking again!  Don’t bring your best cookware!

The Goat Cheese Lady will provide all other supplies.

Raising Backyard Chickens, 10:00-noon

Please call to schedule a class!  We’ll teach a class for a minimum of 2 people.

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 8.

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

To Schedule A Class, Call 719-651-9819

Posted in Cheese Making, chickens, classes, Farm Life, goats, Kidding, Milking, Soap and Lotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Wheelbarrows Give Birth

The Animal Whisperer witnessed (and titled) this event:

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In the womb.

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Wow!  From this angle, she hardly looks pregnant!

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I do believe her water broke and she’s definitely dropped a little.  Better head to the hospital.

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The baby started coming in the elevator!  No time for an epidural!

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Birth.

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Awwwww, look at that little guy!  He looks just like his dad!

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

 

 

Posted in Farm Life, funny stories | Tagged , | 4 Comments

9 Reasons I Like Living In The Country

1.  People wave at you when they drive by.  You don’t even know them.

2.  They sell death wholesale to the public.

3.  The locals tell you a country block equals a quarter mile.

4.  There’s no line at the Walmart Customer Service counter.

5.  You accidentally dial the wrong number when calling the mom of your son’s new friend at school.  Instead of gruffly stating, “You’ve got the wrong number” and hanging up, the friendly stranger on the other end strikes up a conversation.  He tells you he’s not related to the kid you’re calling about but asks, “Is he ok?” and introduces himself as the dad of another fifth grader at your son’s school.

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6.  Poles wear boots.  No, they are not my boots.

7.  Down the street, there’s a buffalo and a camel and white peacocks and a zorse (zebra mixed with horse).

8.  The sunsets are beautiful.

9.  There are stars.  No, I mean STARS.  Lots of them.  All over the sky.  EVERYWHERE.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life, funny stories | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

24 Hour Flu

I’m recovering from the 24 hour stomach flu, which, while in the throes of it and on the climb back out of the depths of sickness, I’ve had some really odd thoughts.  Having all the fluids drained from your body must do that to a person.

First of all, a couple of days ago, I was taking a nap.  This was pre-illness, but post nursing our 7-year-old through his bout with the virus.  I was exhausted and fell asleep for my afternoon nap when the wind started blowing so hard that I dreamily wondered if my house, not securely attached to any real foundation, might actually blow away with me in it.  I, rather appropriately, became Dorothy and found myself wondering if I was wearing the right shoes.  Red, sparkly pumps to be exact, for my touchdown in Munchkin Land.

Second of all, once completely sick, I didn’t do much sleeping thanks to a 5 day old chicken I ungratefully named Happy Feet somewhere around 3:30 am.  A couple of days prior, we purchased our new flock of egg layers…twelve three day old chicks…an assortment of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Cucko Marans, and Jersey Giants.  Well, one of them is not a real chick.  It is something else disguised as a chick.

If you are not accustomed to the vocal sounds real chicks make, let me introduce you: peep.  The peep can be a very quiet, I’m sleepy, peep, a screaming, I’m hungry, thirsty or cold, peep, or a frantic, You’re stepping on me you other chicks and I was sleeping and now we’re all stampeding to the other end of our box and falling in the food, peep. If you get my drift, the only thing normal chicks do is a monosyllabic peep.

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Enter: Happy Feet.  When we bought the chicks at Buckley’s, Allison told us she thought some of them look like little penguins.  Turns out she might be right.  Happy Feet sings at all hours of the day and night, twitttttttttttterrrrrrrrrrrr, chirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp !!! (Note: To reproduce the sound you must roll the t’s and the r’s).   It’s a happy sound, if it were reserved only for waking hours. She even twittered out in perfect falsetto, “rain drops keep fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin'” at o-dark-thirty. Consequently, I’ve decided one of three things.

1.  Happy Feet is a chicken mixed with a spring robin.

2.  Happy Feet is a GMO chicken:  Genetically Modified Opera singer.

3.  Happy Feet is really a rooster.

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Third of all, and the final earth shattering awareness I had whilst ill, we have the perfect trashcan for losing your dinner in.  The plastic can is contoured with both a forehead and chin cutout, perfect for burying your entire head, should that necessity become apparant.  It also comes complete with, if your head is a couple of inches wider than mine, ear hangers.  To the delusionally dehydrated mind, the handles, as they are otherwise known, could be placed over the ears when the emergency can’t-make-it-to-the-toilet situation arises, which would free your hands up to white knuckle the nearest floor.

In other news, our 7-year-old is fully recovered.  I’m on the mend.  The house is still in its original location next to the barn.  Happy Feet did not become fodder for the wildlife and continues to entertain us during the day and cause us to spout expletives at night.  The trashcan has returned to its previously scheduled programming and no ears were damaged in the process.

Until next time,

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life, funny stories | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How To Break In New Cowboy Boots

When we lived in the city, I considered myself an urban farm girl.  I milked goats, made cheese, gardened, canned, pulled goat kids out of their mamas, gave shots to goats that needed them, slaughtered chickens, autopsied rabbits.  But I wasn’t what I considered a true farm girl because all of my outdoor work I did in big, black rain galoshes.  Wellies.  Mucking boots.  In my glorified vision of farm life, real farm girls wear cowboy boots and I had never broken in a pair in my life.

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Now that we live in the honest to goodness country and are building an honest to goodness farm, that seems to be a skill my boys and I need to learn.  They dream of having horses and I can’t very well send them out amongst the real cowboys in their rain boots.  As a Christmas gift, my parents presented them with their very own brand new cowboy boots.  Beautiful leather, pristine condition.  New.  And since Christmas, that is how they have remained, complete with the tag hanging off the side.  I mean, what do you do with brand new shoes?  You don’t exactly wear them out into the mud and manure in the barn, right?  But, if not, how do boots go from looking like they do on the shelf at Big R to how they look on farmer’s feet?  Do you keep the new ones new for when you go make Sunday visits and buy some old worn out ones at Goodwill for the rest of the time?  The multitude of questions began to bother me.

Enter:  April Parks, a beautiful, friendly, goat farm owner, wife and mother.  We spent an hour at her place, Parks Oasis, a couple of weeks ago, perusing her selection of goats for sale.  Also on the farm were chickens, a cow, horses and herding dogs.  I looked down at her feet and made the determination, THIS is a real farm girl.  Her children were running this way and that, playing, riding horses, training dogs…and every last one of them had on cowboy boots.

After a long discussion about copper bolusing goats and without skipping a beat, I said, “This is a change of subject, but just how do you get your cowboy boots to look like that?  Do you just buy used ones?”  I still couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that new $85 boots would be used as working boots.  It is not in my frame of reference to take, say, some brand new $85 heels and purposely metamorphosize them into dirt kicking, barn cleaning work shoes.  Really, who does that?

April’s sweet (and non-judgemental) reply was…”You just wear them!”  Not able to believe my ears, I clarified her statement by saying, “You mean you just get them dirty and worn out on purpose?”  “Yep!  That’s the great thing about boots, you just hose them off!”

Hmmm.  Seriously?

Trusting April’s advice, later that week on a hot, dusty day, I sent the boys outside where they commenced a February (??) water fight with the hose…in their shorts, T-shirts…and brand new cowboy boots.

We’re on our way to being real farmers now.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  This post ran in its edited version in the IndyBlog on February 14, 2015.

Posted in Farm Life, goats, good people to know, How To... | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Honey, Where’s The Mop?

When you’re a writer, if you’re ever at a loss for words to write, go outside and do some farm work.  That’s my opinion at least.  Without fail, I see something gross, do something hilarious, see something beautiful, or hear something chirping.  The other day, farm work fell into the “see something gross” category.

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First, as you’ll recall, The Animal Whisperer knocked down this old shed.

Then, I got writer’s block.

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So, I went outside to start cleaning up the destruction zone.

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And came upon this (and one other) mouse skin filled up with its composted remains.

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Being the city girl that I /am/was/might-always-be/ I had (in my opinion) a clearly rational thought upon coming upon the mouse nest.  “Ohhhh.  That’s where those two lived.  They’re dead. Musta eaten some mouse poison.  No more mice here.  Nope, nothing to be concerned about.”

Another portion of the nest, composed primarily of mop strings and shredded newspaper, caused me to imagine a wish-I-were-a-fly-on-the-wall discussion between the people who previously lived here about where the mop went:

He steps out to the side porch to grab the mop and sees…to his surprise…only the handle!  He says to her, incredulously,  “HONEY!  What did you do to the mop!!!”  She responds, jumping to the defensive, “What are you talking about?  I did nothing to the mop!”  After agreeing to each other’s innocence, they begin suspecting the kids, who have also commandeered the scissors. 

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Only seven years later does the truth come to light.

After moving a second rotten floorboard, I found another nest.  Interestingly, whereas the other nest would blow away in a light breeze, this one held together as if glued.  Being curious, but still naively believing the only two mice who could have lived here were dead, I pulled it apart with a stick, actually in awe of the rodents’ capabilities in nest building and gaining an improved visual for when I tell my 7-year-old his hair looks like a rat’s nest.

I’m sure you guessed it, but I didn’t.  It was only after I shrieked upon uncovering a nest of LIVE mice that I realized…DUH.  The fact that two mice are petrified does not indicate the termination of the species.

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Sheesh.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life | Tagged , | 4 Comments

What to do After You Move.

We moved into our new digs three weeks ago.  It is due to that fact that I can now speak as an expert on a few things to do after you move.  OK, maybe not exactly an expert, but I’ll share some of my experiences on what to do (or not to do) after you move in.

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1.  Change the blade on your razor.  I am not a huge fan of shaving my legs, but due to some unsightly hair experiences of late, I have vowed to become better at it.  Typically, the super galactic razor blade probably made by scientists at NASA that is advertised to give you a smoother shave thus less risk for cuts and nicks gets changed (under my ownership) approximately once every two years or so.  With my new commitment to not being able to braid my leg hair, I decided it was time to change it.  New house, new start, new razorblade.  Why not?  Unfortunately, when used to an old blade, you tend to get a little careless. The old blade is dull, and along with not really cutting off much of your leg hair, it has minimal risk of cutting off much of your skin.  Not so with a new blade, I was reminded.  I am now healing from no less than six shaving cuts.  Per Leg.

2.  Clean out the shower drains.  The previous homeowners left the house pretty darn clean, but as do many of us, they didn’t think to clean out the shower drains.  Neither did I, until our shower started draining slower, slower and slower.  If you’ve never been tasked with this cleaning job, let me paint you a picture, but first it will require some practice on your part:

Step 1:  Wash your hands.

Step 2:  Reach one hand into your mouth and at least half way down your esophagus.

Step 3:  Grasp the inside of your esophagus and pull it up and out through your mouth.

This will elicit the most hideous gag reflex, perhaps, of your life.  Now you’re ready to clean the shower drain.

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Step 1:  Glove up.

Step 2:  Grab tweezers (preferably an old pair…not the ones you use to pluck your eyebrows) or needle nose pliers (hopefully you don’t use these to pluck your nose hairs, either).

Step 3:  Poke them into the drain and pinch them onto the drape of hairs you see there.

Step 4:  Pull.  Note: These few hairs are not the main problem.  They are just the catchment system for what hangs unseen, below.

Step 5:  Repeat and keep repeating, grasping other strands of hair and pulling.  Eventually the big wad will come to the opening in the drain.  This is where it really gets gross.

Step 6:  Pull and reposition and pull and reposition until you successfully extract the slimy, possibly (but hopefully not) stinky, wad of the previous owner’s hair.  If you have forgotten the trash can, run grab it.  You’ll need to throw the hair wad in there, after you use it to throw up.

3.  Lose the dogs.  Mind you, we did not do this on purpose.  They got out of the goat pen, where they have taken up residence to protect the goats from wildlife, and disappeared.

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After searching for hours, Craigslisting, Facebooking and Tweeting “lost dogs” with their pictures and posting fliers on 25 rural electrical poles, they made it safely home, on their own.  One after 24 hours, the other after 48.  (No, they aren’t chipped.  Yes, they will get chipped.  Turkeys.)

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4.  Knock down some stuff.  Mostly, the view impeding stuff.  If it’s in the way and you don’t like it, take ‘er down baby.  As for me, I need my Pikes Peak view.

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And, although from my kitchen window, I only see the top two inches of the south side, it grounds me.  And the offending shed was blocking my view.

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Thanks for removing it,  honey.

We’re getting ready for the spring down here in Penrose…kidding season is just around the corner…hang on for cute pictures!

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Dogs, Farm Life, goats, Kidding | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments