is the beginning of life on the farm, after the long rest in the winter.
In March, we bought a dozen baby chicks to become our new egg laying flock and 12 goat kids
were born — eight bucklings and four doelings — all healthy and ready to nurse and scamper.
Herbert's teaching them how to use the new suck-it bucket! Way faster, but they have a slight learning curve. :)Posted by The Goat Cheese Lady on Friday, March 20, 2015
… And pirouette.
She just ate and is excited!! Check out the face plant at the end.Posted by The Goat Cheese Lady on Thursday, March 12, 2015
But the excitement and anticipation of their birth brought with it something else: lots of work. Five new mama goats means that we now have five goats to milk
, twice a day.
At our farm, the babies nurse full-time for a week or so before we start bottle-feeding. That way they get used to being handled and we can share the milk with them. Once they're about two months old, and eating alfalfa and grass and drinking plenty of water, they don't need milk anymore and we can keep all of it.
But that’s when it gets slightly crazy: five goats milked twice a day produce about four to five 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 chèvre
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 of the cheese-making process is definitely difficult, only because it means you have to wait. After a cheese-less and milk-less 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 world of aged cheeses, patience is a virtue.
Lindsey is a city girl turned urban farm girl. She and her family are the proud stewards of a few milking goats, a lot of working chickens, a growing farm and soon-to-be creamery in southern Colorado. Follow her on Twitter (@goatcheeselady) and FaceBook (The Goat Cheese Lady) or visit her website (thegoatcheeselady.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Lindsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.