Babies and Milk and Cheese Everywhere!

Spring on the farm is the beginning of life after the rest and revitalization that is winter.  In March, we bought a dozen new baby chicks to become our new egg laying flock and 12 goat kids were born…8 bucklings, 4 doelings, all healthy and ready to nurse and scamper and pirouette.

The excitement and anticipation of their birth brought with it something else: lots of work.

IMG_0253

Five new mama goats now means five goats to milk, twice a day.  Just like human females, when a female goat has babies, the milk starts flowing.

IMG_0013

At our farm, the babies nurse full time for a week or so, then we start bottle feeding so they get used to being handled and so we can share the milk with them.  Once they’re about two months old and are eating alfalfa and grass and drinking plenty of water, they don’t need milk anymore, so we get it all.

 

101

Here’s where it gets slightly crazy: five goats milked twice a day produce about 4-5 gallons per day.  That equals a quickly overflowing refrigerator, and a high production of cheese in our kitchen!  When the fridge gets full, I pull out the half gallon jars of fresh, raw goat’s milk and decide what to make, usually 3-6 gallons of milk per batch.

At this time of year, we have brining jars full of traditional feta and blue feta, wrapped and aging Pepper Jack and oak pressed hard cheeses, fresh chevre and queso fresco, oiled rind herbed cheeses, southern Colorado style goat cheese, goat ricotta, and bloomy rind camembert (my favorite!) all in their own stages of aging or being eaten.  The aging part is definitely difficult however, only because it means waiting.  After a cheeseless and milkless winter, any cheese we make begs to be eaten and shared.  But, alas, if we eat it all now, there will be no aged cheese for the next fall and winter months when the milk flow slows down due to colder weather, shorter days and pregnant goats.  In the land of aged cheeses, patience is a virtue.

IMG_0137

And in the spring time, when fresh cheeses abound because of the bounty of milk, we thrill in delicious eating!

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  This original post ran in its edited version here in the IndyBlog on April 25, 2015.

Advertisements

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
This entry was posted in Cheese Making, Farm Life, goats, Kidding, Milking and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Babies and Milk and Cheese Everywhere!

  1. Audrey says:

    MMMM….all the cheese sounds wonderful! It does look like lots of work but I know it’s so worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s