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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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
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.

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