Today’s Cheese Graduates – Take 3!!

Marsha, has the dubious honor of being my Aunt.  She will be referred to as Aunt Marsha from now on. 

That’s how all of my friends, family, neighbors and anyone else I come into contact with, know her.

Aunt Marsha.

She got the pleasure of milking Lilac first.  Not actually an honor to hold that position.  Because:

Starting the milk flow on a small goat is Harder than milking a small goat.   She did successfully get some up her sleeve, some into the pan and some dribbling down her hand, and paved the way for the milker who followed her. 

Carol, with her never-ending smile and infectious laugh…takes on Lilac. 

Lilac:  The smallest goat and the hardest to milk. 

There ARE easier goats to milk.

BUT, the purpose of having students milk Lilac is to ensure that they have the hands on experience that will drill into their depths of their brains that if their hands are larger than a toddlers, they SHOULD NOT buy a pygmy size goat with the intent to comfortably or easily hand milk her.

If you intend for ONLY your toddler to milk her, she, and the cute, little breeds like her, are the perfect size goat for you.  And, good luck with that toddler and milking thing.

If you are a full grown, full-sized adult and YOU intend to milk your goat, please, in the name of all that is good, get yourself a bigger goat.

OK.  Off that soap box.

Lesa was raised on a Kansas farm where they milked a lot of cows and did things like pump water from outside into a big bucket from outside and put it next to the sink in the kitchen to use.  They did have running water, but it was too minerally to drink. 

She got the hang of it pretty quick.  But…milking cows and milking goats are a little different.  Especially when a machine milked her cows.

Lauren, a retired funeral-planner turned stay-at-home-mom turned garlic-farmer and goatherder. 

Goatherder.  Pronounced Goat Herder.  Not Goath Erder.  Although I think it’s fun to say goath erder. 

Try it.

OK.  Back on track:  Except she hasn’t ever had a goat and she hasn’t ever milked a goat.  But, when Lauren gets an idea, you don’t stop her.  I learned that in the 4 hours and 15 minutes of my life that I spent with her today. 

She and her husband and 1 1/2-year-old son were among the fast actors to get a piece of the free land near Agate, Colorado, that is quickly becoming a self sustainable coop.

And, she has been nominated to oversee the co-ops animals and be the goat milk and goat cheese source for the coop.  So, naturally, she felt the need to actually learn to milk one.

She succeeded.  There is a bright light at the end of her goath erding tunnel. 

She now realizes it is not a train.

As an aside:  Do not to fear, the Goat Cheese Lady will not let harm come to any of you.

She will brace the impatient legs of the goats after a bunch of new hands milk them.  For, if she doesn’t, a goat may step in the milk, or, the cardinal sin of goath erding, knock over the milk pail.  Or, the milk soup pot, as is the case on our farm.

Unless she falls asleep.

And, that would be unfortunate. 

Brunch was a hit, with Starbucks Vanilla Steamers for all to savor. 

Not really.  But Lauren thought they tasted like them.  Really, they were wine glasses full of warm goat’s milk with sugar stirred in. 

Excuse me.

Make that at tall steamed goat’s milk with 2 sugars, stirred, hold the whip.

Which is good for Lauren.  Because where she’s going on this planet, there are no Starbucks.  She will need her goats to provide her with her Vanilla Steamers.

But, Lauren, you’re on to something.  In the co-op’s general store, you should not only sell your milk, garlic and cheese, but now you can sell Vanilla Steamers:  aka, see above.

There is always, when making the mozzarella, the same feeling you have when you first start making your own bread. 

You did ALL this work.  Now, is the dang thing gonna rise?  You begin doubting yourself.  You begin to convince yourself that you didn’t add the right amount of yeast.  That it’s too cold to rise.  That you added too much flour.  That you forgot an ingredient.  That it might rise too much.  That it might not rise at all.

Same thing goes for making mozzarella.  You have to actually MAKE mozzarella to know what I mean, but, when you do, you’ll get it. 

You’ll know why Lesa and Lauren look sort of doubtful. 

You, too, will doubt yourself and you may even, heaven forbid, begin to doubt the Goat Cheese Lady.

But it does work.  It takes time.  But it does work.

Now.  Stop doubting the Goat Cheese Lady.  It’s not good karma.

And, not everyone can have Vanna White there in the red modeling your cheese for you.  But, I am lucky enough to have 4 exceptionally dedicated, motivated, slightly smelly of barn dust and goat pee, cheese graduates. 

We had a ball today.

I hope you can join us for a class sometime soon.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
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