Monday, April 22, 2013

Yard Time for Goat Kids

Our second show went well. We are so encouraged by these first shows- even though it means that we are working around the clock most days. Today was no exception. This morning's show began at 7am, so we needed to be up and milking goat's early. As in 5 am early. It was just after dawn when we began our chores, but we got everything done on time. And, as an added bonus, we glimpsed a young, moose cow on the way to our event, no more than 10 feet from the edge of the road. It stood there for a little bit while we searched for my camera. As soon as we found it, Miss Moose turned and walked back into the brush. Still, it was a neat sighting and a pleasant way to begin our day.

After the show, we returned home to complete our chores. Sean spent time fixing Jasmine's fencing. The ground is so wet that the posts are easily pushed over by Jasmine's insistence at eating what little shoots of green are growing on the back side of her pasture. It will be time to open the pasture for her soon, but we are holding off until there is some growth for her to eat. Until then, she is making due with a very muddy field to roam and fresh hay supplied daily. Sean did not really need me for this, so I spent my time making a fresh batch of chevre from 2 gallons of goat's milk. It will be ready to strain in the morning and by the time I get home from work tomorrow night, it will be ready to season. Yummy!

The recipe I am using is so simple. I warm 2 gallons of milk to approximately 90 degrees on the stove top in a large pot. While the milk is warming, I mix 2 drops of liquid vegetable rennet in 5 tablespoons of water and set it aside. Once the heating milk is the proper temperature, I open and sprinkle 2 packets of Chevre culture over the surface. I let it dissolve for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes, I stir 4 tablespoons of the rennet/water into the warm milk/culture mixture for 2 additional minutes. Then, I cover the pot and place it into the cold oven to sit overnight. If I inoculate the milk at 3pm, it is ready to strain first thing in the morning in cheese cloth. I hang the cheese to drip until the cheese is the consistency I want. Then, it is time to salt, pepper, season to taste with fresh herbs and EAT! Oooooh yeah. I truly love how this cheese tastes.

Just as the cheese was finishing, a stray dog wandered down our road. Concerned about the unknown canine, Sean called me outside to watch the goat does and their kids while he finished repairing the fencing. Sean thought the does and kids would enjoy some time stretching their legs and playing in the front yard. Really, they enjoyed munching on what little fresh green grass was growing. Either way, I was very happy to oblige. Watching the goats play was a nice break from the work I still had yet to finish.

Fence repaired for the minute, it was time to check on all the pens and critters. Ellie is making fine progress back to health. She has a good appetite and loads of energy. Asher is still returning to the main doe stall whenever the mood strikes him to do so. This will have to be fixed sooner than later. I added it to my mental list. Abigail and Asher look great and have grown into sizeable yearlings. It is hard to believe that only a year ago they were the little kids on the homestead. Caitlin is sitting on her nest and makes a big fuss whenever I have to enter the yard to check grain and water dishes. Her calls bring Justin over to investigate. Today, he investigated the taste of my boot, hissing all the while for me to get away from his woman and potential offspring. I can see that something is going to need to be done here, too.

After collecting the afternoon's eggs for sorting and storing, we began some "inside" chores. First, we spent some time transplanting the rest of some fifty 5 inch tall tomato plants and a dozen 4 inch broccoli plants into new containers. I came across an interesting idea of re-using clear plastic soda bottles as mini greenhouses a while ago. (I looked for the original post that inspired me to make ours to link, but couldn't find it or anything close to what I wanted.) To the sound of Star Trek Voyager, Sean cut the bottles for me and I planted and marked them. An hour and a half later, we were finished and both our little portable greenhouse shelving unit and living room window shelf were filled with mini greenhouses. I liked this project so much that I am going to try to write a post on it later this week detailing how we did it and the results.

Finally, at 7:30pm, it was time for some dinner! It is too easy to forget to eat when you are so busy. And, honestly, there was so much more that needed attention. We wanted to pick up the fencing for Fenn-dog, but that did not get done. Also on the list of things still "to do" is more mucking of stalls. Both Jasmine and Jedi's stalls need it. Perhaps tomorrow.

That is what is going on in our world. What have you been up to this weekend?

Thanks for visiting today.
Sean and Sonja ♥

Also shared at: The Backyard Farming Connection

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