Farm Update

Hello there.

This little update might be just as much for me as it is for any of you.  I have literally no idea what’s going on anymore.  It’s almost June.  When did that happen?  Wasn’t yesterday like…March?

These last few weeks have been rough.  Apparently, after 26 years of not getting it, when I get poison ivy – I get it BAD.  Full body, no sleep, no relief.  The weather has been crap.  It rains for a week, then gets really humid and the actual ground starts getting moldy.  The gnats are unbearable.  One rabbit died of heat stroke, another died by escaping in the middle of the night and being eaten.  Neighbors/landlords are opening and leaving goat gates open regularly.  I can’t keep up with housework, farmwork, soapwork, and workwork.  Honestly?  The air outside actually just smells like despair….no seriously, there’s a bad smell out there.

Ok then…

But really, the baby animals are all growing and I find the goats spending more and more time just hanging out in the shade. I’ve got more milk than I know what to do with and learning how to make a new type of cheese.  The farm is making money every month and sometimes I’m able to put a little in to the “House Savings Fund”.  Now that I’m feeling better, I’m looking forward to some float trips down the river, campouts, and reading on the porch in the evenings.

The Etsy store is due to open NEXT WEEK and I’m nervous but excited to see what it becomes.  

So thank you to everyone who sends encouraging words or likes a picture or a post – sometimes it’s the little boost I need to keep doing what I’m doing or I’d be tempted to sit under the porch in the filth with Trumann the Cat Panther and feel sorry for myself.

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Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. – Theodore Roosevelt

Beauty Routine

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m basically perfect in the looks department.

….

I’m sure you’re wishing you knew some of my beauty tips and tricks and I’m here to help a sista out.

We’ll start from the bottom up.

  1. Keep your toenails painted at all times. Because you’re feet are always dirty.  The brighter the color, the less people are likely to notice the fact that your pinkie toe on your left foot is literally being held on by a Band-Aid and that both of your feet are basically just dirty calluses.
  2. Never wear cute shoes.  No one spends much time looking at your feet if you’re wearing the same pair of sandals you’ve worn every day for the last 3 summers.
  3. Legs.  You can shave them or you can spend your time making cheese instead.  The adventure is yours.
  4. To prevent unsightly mosquito bites, spider bites, scratches, poison ivy, and other woodland battle wounds: follow everything I do through the safety of the internet and not actually do it.  There is no preventing it.  You can just make better life choices than I have.
  5. Midsection.  Work out.  Or don’t.  Cover it.  Or don’t.  I recommend you ask my friend, Kath, for advice on crop tops.  Only she knows the secret.
  6. Arms: See Legs.
  7. Hands.  See Legs and Arms.
  8. Face. Wash it when it’s gross.  Don’t use your dog and cat as a pillows/face masks to avoid nighttime tick transfers.
  9. Hair. Just give up.  In Virginia it’s too humid.  Just give up.  Pick out another toe nail polish and stick with that.
  10. Just brush your teeth twice a day, shower as needed, cover the sometimes lingering smell of goat with a nice perfume, slap on an earring or two and wear bright colors. Then everyone is drawn to your colors like a moth in a lantern instead of looking at your unsightly extremities.

HairMy hair ALWAYS looks nice.  Also.  Check out that sweet goat face.

This routine takes me about 14 minutes every day.  And if I can find time for all this, you can  too.

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Bye Bye Baby Goats

The time has come for the baby goats to go to their new homes.

It seems crazy that this short little phase of the farm is already over.  Wasn’t it just yesterday I was neurotically checking out the living room window with binoculars to see if the Mamas were in labor? Bundling up in the middle of the night to check for signs of babies?  Counting down the hours at work until I could be back home to snuggle with them?  Then BAM!  Just like that, they’re ready to leave and I’m covered in poison ivy from playing with them in the woods.  The end of BGT (Baby Goat Time) leads to the hot, hazy days of summer with my main herd.  Now consisting of 6 Mama’s and Future Mama’s, Rocco the Buck, and Fergus the Wether.

I stood outside for a bit last night in a cloud of gnats trying to come up with some sentimental parting words, but alas, they are goats, and they weren’t really listening anyway.  And most of what I had to say was profanity at the Gnat Cloud.

I will probably stop now before I get too weird wondering if they would ever remember me if they saw me again or if they’ll ever think about me and wonder where I went.

As the farming years go by, however, I just realize more and more how there is a season for everything and each one comes and goes with it’s ebb and flows and sometimes I make rhymes explaining the times.

 

Raspberry Clafoutis

I love fruit.  My grandparents in Washington always have this immaculate, wildly abundant garden that I would devour every time I visited.  Red raspberries will ALWAYS remind me of Washington and will ALWAYS remind me of them.  Scott, however, can’t eat most fruit and therefore I don’t bake a lot of pies, tarts, cobblers, etc. except when he goes out of town.  Then, I make myself a nice little treat and eat the whole thing in one sitting.

This one is so easy and SO pretty, I may just start making it a little more often.

Raspberry Clafoutis

Ingredients:
-1/2 cup flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-salt
-3 eggs
-3 tbsp butter
-zest of 1 lemon
-1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
-3 cups raspberries
-powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter a 9 inch pie pan.  Whisk the flour, sugar, and pinch of salt together.  Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest until smooth.  Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth.  Pour in pie pan and top with the raspberries.
  2. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Let cool.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve!  Or just grab a utensil/your fist and eat the entire thing.

Clafoutis

 

Yum.

Clean Slate

Ah.

A clean slate.

You may be wondering why.  Let me tell you.

Just over 2 years ago, I OFFICIALLY set out to become a farmer.

[Really the 20ish years before that were in preparation but being a child/college/low paying out of college jobs held me back a little.]

The first year was just having a bunch of animals and dancing around and plotting to get more.  After about a year a half, however, it was time to start making a name for myself and “really giving the farm a go”.

Naming the farm was difficult.  You see, we just rent the farm.  So no matter what – this one isn’t forever and the name couldn’t be specific to the place.  After a few Facebook polls and Budlight fueled discussions on porches with friends, my husband – Scott, suggested Serendipity Farm.  At that point, every aspect of the farm had just worked out serendipitously.  While this farm remains to have still worked out in a serendipitous manner, the business side of things has not.  No part about is has been serendipitous, it’s been damn hard work.  Unfortunately people are sensitive and “Damn Hard Work Farm” might not have gone over well, so it was time to pick a new name.  One that could be carried from farm to farm.  This farm will always be Serendipity Farm, who knows what the next farm will be, but Maid a Milking will always be MY name.

Why Maid a Milking?

  1. My whole life revolves around the goats that produce the milk, milking said goats, and doing something with that milk.
  2. It’s like 8 Maids a Milking from the 12 Days of Christmas and I. Love. Christmas.
  3. I’d like to have some dairy cows one day too.

 

So there you have it.

 

Now start coughing and gagging at your desk and go home early to play outside.  Happy May.

Maid a Milking

Welcome to Maid a Milking…

The revamped version of the other 57 blogs I started.  This is what I’ve decided to call myself and “The Goat Business”.

Join me on my journey as a milk maid making goats milk cheeses, soaps, caramels, and other farming and homesteading adventures.