Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This Girl Has Grace

This pretty little doe has it all, personality, looks, and milking potential.  She'll also have a new home in a few short weeks and will be especially missed.  Thank you, Patrick, for giving her an exceptional home!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Cordial delivered triplets!

Blue-eyed sisters

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Home Bound

During the rush of the short summer months, I envisioned myself enjoying this sleepy reflective period by knitting beside the woodstove, while watching my youngest daughter engaged in imaginary play.  Any sedentary and reclusive routine is welcome, this time of year.  My growing belly is ripe with our third child, a spring surprise pregnancy, slowing daily activity and jeopardizing barn chores.  Carrying warm water up the hill twice a day, climbing fences and wrestling hungry pregnant goats is exhausting.  They seem as perturbed by their predicament as I am mine.  We commiserate by exchanging hormonally charged insults.  I'll go first, thankfully, about four weeks before kidding season begins.  While looking ahead to a full farm and market season with a baby in tow, for now I am content to patiently wait for my labor to begin.   

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

24 Karat Goat

I grew up in the 1980's.  It was a fashionably tenuous decade, filled with puff bangs, scrunchies, banana barrettes, and Ogilvie home perms.  And those were just a few interesting things one could choose to do with their hair.  Clothing was equally outrageous, with accessories like bangle bracelets and hoop earrings proving that bigger was much better.

In junior high, I remember being teased by my literature teacher for the puffy hairspray stiff hair and my personal attempt at setting new fashion standards by wearing mismatched earrings.  Oh, how I loved earrings.  They were big, flashy, statement making peace symbols, flamingos and autumn leaves.  They were also cheap and imported, full of nickle and other heavy metals that bind to your own proteins making the metal-protein complex very immunogenic or likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions.

I haven't been able to wear earrings, for the itching, burning, swelling they cause, as long as I can recall.  During my pregnancies, I slipped in a pair of gold hoops comfortably since my body's immune system was naturally suppressed, ever so slightly.  And then just recently, I realized that I could wear pure 24 karat gold hoops again.  These were a gift from my late father, who brought them home from Korea decades ago.  Because they were such excellent quality, they caused none of the problems that I was so accustomed to.  I never took them out and adjusted to sleeping in them since the gold was so soft, I feared bending the posts too frequently.

And then one day, my favorite goat, Titanium, reached up for a kiss, which I indulged because she is such a wonderful friend.  She nibbled a 24 karat gold hoop right out of my ear and either swallowed it or (more likely) spit it into the straw bedding.  I searched the floor on my hands and knees for many days/weeks afterwards and watched her droppings like a hawk for at least as long.

Fortunately, my sweet goat is alright.  She hasn't suffered any gastrointestinal distress.  I am holding out hope that someday I will find my lost earring, while digging in our well-fed garden.        

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Holy Goat's Milk Butter, Batman!!

My Nigerian Dwarf goats make the creamiest milk on the planet.  From one quart of milk, depending on their stage of lactation, I get 1/4 - 1/2 cup of cream or more.  Late into their lactation it is MUCH more, but I can find many things to do with what they give me now.  Lately, whenever I make a hard cheese, which uses 3-4 gallons of milk, I skim off some of the cream that has settled into the top of the jars.  I've been saving the cream for making caramels, but it's more than I need for the little candy business.  

So, I decided to finally make butter with a pint of cream!!!  Honestly, I don't know why I haven't done this before, since I've been milking Nigerians for the past 6 years.  Butter-making always seemed beyond reach for some reason, too much work or not enough equipment.  After watching a YouTube video about it [blush], I was confident enough to try.  In summary, I was blown away by how easy it was to make butter and how amazing the final product tasted.  

Before drinking your lovely goat's milk, be brave (like Batman) and scoop the cream off of the top.  Milk that has rested in the refrigerator for at least 6 days (up to 10 days) has the most cream.  Transfer 1 pt of cream into a clean quart jar with a tight lid.  Then, shake, shake, shake!!  In about 10 minutes you'll get to whipped cream, which is SO yummy.  Keep going, and viola you have a clump of early butter and some liquid whey.  Don't be confused, this is NOT buttermilk.  True buttermilk is a product of fermentation.


Once you have a nice clump of butterfat, pour off the liquid and rinse the butter in cold water several times.

Transfer the butter into a small covered dish, pressing out as much liquid as possible.  Then salt to taste and store in the refrigerator.

This will keep a surprisingly long time, but I expect you'll eat it before then.  Serve it on fresh bread, fry veggies in it, make cookies or candy.  It is delicious in every way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kid Pics

Stormcrow giving me the stare.

Fluffy ball of cream.  This is "brown ear"...the only recognizable difference from his 3 siblings.

Three amigos blancos.  Where's big sista white?

Vulcan on babe patrol, already?

It was cold this morning, so my colorful crew was happy to congregate.