Taking care of ourselves

My view from the milk stool this morning is about taking care of ourselves. Times are crazy right now. Even though Wally and I are not directly affected by COVID, at least not adversely, it’s still there and we are aware of it and of course it’s scary because things can change in a heart beat. We’re both getting up there in age and things just aren’t as easy as they once were. It’s stupid hot now too. So we do what we can in small doses.

Cheesemaking is an activity that has created a great sense of wellbeing for me. I’ve been making cheese for about as long as I’ve had dairy animals (since 2008), but just soft cheeses. This year, I’ve graduated to feta and bloomy rind cheeses (which are looking magnificent BTW).

Because we raise our goat kids on their mothers and I don’t show, I don’t have a huge market for them. That’s okay – especially this year! We’ve got an appointment to have three young buck kids processed in September. We’re really excited about getting this meat. Way back when we were going to farmer’s markets, we sold goat meat – when we had it. It sold like hot cakes. It’s really good and most importantly, raised on pasture and fed no corn or soy. It’s clean, healthy meat.

I’m not planning on selling *ANYTHING* like hot cakes because for some reason, that doesn’t happen. I must just be bad at marketing. It’s no matter – this year Wally McSwain and I have really stepped up our game on raising stuff for us. We moved on the sheep herd – they were nothing but one big PITA and were hard on the pasture. We bought four weaned dairy calves to eat the grass. I can let the goats down in the pasture and not worry about the parasites the sheep seemed to attract like magnets. We’ll process one of the calves in the fall.

If you’ve never had it, goat meat is a wonderful protein. Dairy kids don’t get as big as meat breeds so we won’t get a lot of meat. I’ll be honest with you, we could make more money by just selling the kids at the sale, but I hate doing that.

Next year, I may keep one or two doelings back, but that remains to be seen. I might be able to sell some, but again, that remains to be seen. I’m not selling ANY as bottle babies this year because I want the babies available to nurse the mothers so I won’t have to milk twice a day. When it’s 90 degrees out, milking is a bitch. If you don’t have people to buy the milk or cheese, it’s wasteful. I’d rather the babies drink it.

So, whatever doesn’t get sold or kept as future dairy animals will go in the freezer. We will share, but as is the case with the milk and cheese, we’ll eat the bulk of it. It’s a shame really given how these goats are cared for and how good their milk is, but it is what it is.