Adeline

I can’t believe I’m having to write another one of these posts, but I had to put Adeline down yesterday morning.

I went out to milk her and found her with one of her back legs hanging on by some skin and muscle.  I’ll leave the rest of the details out but it wasn’t something that she could recover from.

I’m living out my actual nightmares and don’t really have much else to say except that I feel pretty defeated right now.

 

I do really want to thank everyone who has reached out with their kind words and support.  It means a lot.

You are sorely missed, Adeline and Rocco.

Rocco

Rocco, King Supreme Billy Goat, died on Monday.  After a brutally quick parasite infestation.  He was lethargic and not eating on a Sunday, at the vet on Monday and died just a few hours after that.  I was with him the whole time, he died with his head in my lap, and I buried him under his favorite tree.  The worst part is that I had this unrealistic vision of my current little goat family just being with me until the end of time.  Silly me.
This does leave me in search of a new buck.  (Intact boy goat) (Not castrated) Ugh.  Rocco wasn’t easy to find, another guy won’t be any easier.  I wonder if I’ll even like another one as much.  I have to.  A buck is a pretty important piece of the “Baby Goats in the Spring” puzzle.
Rocco, you are sorely missed.

One Year Ago…

One year ago, I put in my last few weeks at The Last Full Time Job.  It was time to finally be a farmer.  Those few weeks and our honeymoon went by and that brings us to:

August 20, 2017.

After buying a new car battery, Scott and I went to go pick up my two newest goats that were currently in milk and I took over another local farmer’s dairy share.  Three days later, I started a new job and working “part time”.  The next day, I turned 27.  It was an overwhelming week.

Soon thereafter, I started making goats milk soaps and had some success selling them around the holidays.  I kept making soap, I kept making some money.  I had a herd of 13 goats at one point and the rabbits had lots of babies (before their untimely demises…).  We added a cat to the mix and we didn’t bother with a garden.  We maintained a social calendar that didn’t cause me insurmountable stress for the first time and have managed to have quite a few “lazy Sundays”.  I’ve started selling soap online, I’ve learned how to make caramel sauce and caramel candy, goats milk ice cream, and am about to embark on a 1700’s version of cheesemaking.  I also think I took my first walk through the farm by myself…I didn’t think the donkey I was meeting at the end of my walk would appreciate Roosevelt’s….enthusiasm for new friends.  We’ve learned how to butcher rabbits and tan their hides.  I’ve done a terrible job at making dinner for the last 4 months but we’ve managed to pay off all student loans.  We haven’t done any traveling other than for friend’s weddings and have floated down the river countless times.  The farm has also been in the positives – financially – since January.  So thank you to anyone who bought soap, cheese, eggs, rabbits, or a goat from me!  Your dollars literally help me achieve my dreams of the last 22 years.

 

The ‘end of this year’ has found me in a bit of a rut but it’s time to snap out of it and get started on another successful year.  To celebrate, I’ll have a couple of soaps on sale and maybe even a giveaway!  I might even start a fall garden.

Thank you to those who are reading and be sure to follow me here for farm goings on, on Instagram @maidamilking for soap sale updates, and check out the Etsy store here.

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Farm Update

First, I’ll answer a couple of questions I keep getting asked.

  1. Where are the bees?
    -They died last fall.  I was pretty overwhelmed with my to do lists last year AND beekeeping is a bit of an investment so I did not pursue them again this year.  I will certainly keep bees again in the future.
  2. Why don’t I ask my landlords if I can just buy my current house?
    First of all – this is such a weird question.  I can almost guarantee you’ve never asked anyone else this question who was renting a house.
    – It’s not for sale
    – It’s smack dab in the middle of THEIR 500 acres
    – Not enough land
  3. Why don’t I try and sell my cheese to restaurants?
    -It doesn’t work like that, you can’t just sell things.  It has to be FDA approved and I don’t even hit one requirement on the list.  Not that what I’m doing is unclean or anything, there are just VERY strict rules that I can’t afford to follow right now.
  4. Why don’t I try and get FDA approved?
    -That’s a lot of time and money I’m not willing to put in to a rental farm.
  5. Why don’t I ask my landlords if I can just buy my current house?
    -STOP ASKING THAT.  ITS WEIRD.

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Second, I want to ask a few questions.

  1. Does anyone make their own kombucha?  If so, does yours ever get fizzy?  If so, tell me how.
  2. Does anyone know how to destroy all the gnats within a 2 acre radius?
  3. Will everyone please FOLLOW me?  There’s a button on the home screen.

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Follow me.  Like the goats do.

Ok, now for farm updates.

The turkeys remain awesome but I have a feeling one is going to turn on me soon.  If you’d been attacked by a bird before, you’d know the feeling.

The 6 chicks from the spring should be laying eggs any day now, which is nice, because I kind of hate them.

Rabbits.  Mom, Dad, 4 ‘teenagers’.

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Goats.  Always awesome.  Always.  Except Rocco.  He’s a pain in my ass.  His only mission is to destroy everything.

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His beard is magnificent.  His behavior is…less than that.

Trumann killed his first mouse…I guess.  I found him playing with a dead mouse in the guest room the other night.  So…sorry guests…I have no idea how long that dried up mouse was in there.

Roosevelt.  The best dog in all the lands.

Kefir.  That’s the fermenting milk on the counter I have to feed every day.  It’s a complicated, confusing relationship that I will tell you about later once I know what to say.

Lastly, here, is a picture of my one and only harvest from the garden.  It is now a jungle of weeds that I only sometimes regret.  There’s always next year.

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Have a good weekend.

Kitchen Adventures of a MilkMaid

I know you’ve all been kept up in the wee hours of the night wondering what I do with the 7+ gallons of milk I get weekly. As the old adage goes “Mo milk, mo problems.” I’m here to help you understand a little more about what it’s like being a milk maid through my adventures in the kitchen using said milk.

So I tried a few new things- so as not to waste the liquid gold I work so hard to obtain every morning.

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Sunday Morning:
I made Junket Pudding. What’s Junket Pudding? According to my all natural cheesemaking book:

“Junket-essentially partially digested milk- was commonly fed to children and invalids.”

Anything that can be described as partially digested invalid food sounds like something I want to eat. Plus the recipe sounded easy.

*please note- the milk wasn’t partially digested, I add an enzyme that makes it the equivalent of partially digested.

Anyways. It’s like a very simple milk pudding with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar. Easy peasy.

Also disgusting.

As you might have guessed.

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Sunday Evening:

I made goats milk icecream to make up for the disgusting junket disaster. Except the ice cream machine has two settings: not frozen enough to work and too frozen to work. So then I just had chocolate goats milk full of sugar and eggs.  Tastes great.  Not really in any kind of conducive consistency to enjoy.  Thought popping it in the freezer would help – sort of like a rock hard fudgesicle.

Monday Afternoon:

Tired of failing miserably, I made goats milk caramel candies.  They are like little bites of heaven.  Heaven that’s filled with baby goats and rainbows.

But it cooked the thermometer and after being in the fridge for a couple of hours are now too hard to even get out of the pan.  I guess I can just lick the top until it all eventually dissolves.

Follow along as I spend the rest of the week trying to make: goats milk butter, chevre cheesecake, yogurt, and other types of cheese (other than chevre).

You know what I AM good at making?  Soap.  Get you some.

Turkeys

I had this grand plan to make a bunch of amazing food this week and post all about it but it’s Thursday and I don’t remember if we’ve eaten or not.  Probably not.

Instead, let’s talk about turkeys.  Because I LOVE raising turkeys.  One day, I will raise all of you a turkey, but really…

I highly recommend EVERYONE raise turkeys.  Even if you live in an apartment.  They will poop everywhere and destroy everything but it will be so worth it.  New baby in the house?  It’s fine, turkeys make really soothing sounds that will lull them to sleep.  Like dinosaurs?  Turkeys are dinosaurs.  Skeptical but wouldn’t mind giving it a trial run? You’ll eat them in November and you’ll have the rest of the winter to fumigate and clean your place.

Start with little baby turkeys.  Buy them during your lunch break and let them play on your desk.

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Then, bring them home and let them live normal baby turkey lives in a brooder where they are warm and cozy and cute and fluffy.IMG_4731

Pete, DelMar, and Everett

Then, let them outside because they are growing like maniacs.

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Let them imprint on you and the dog so that the 5 of you do everything together.  Trust me, if you’ve EVER felt lonely in your life, it’s because you weren’t raising turkeys.

Give them lots of hugs.  They hate it and it’s good for them to experience SOME discomfort so they know how good they have it compared to their commercially raised brethren.

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Let them wander around all day so they can eat blackberries and play velociraptors in the tall grass.

Get so annoyed with how much they poop on the porch around September/October.

Eat them.

If I’ve convinced you to raise a turkey or 8, let me know – I’ll write a post on HOW to raise them, because there’s more to it than hugs and kisses.  Not much more, but a little bit.

Now get out there and be productive.  Yeah, it’s hot, but that’s what showers are for. 

 

In a Funk

I’ve been in a funk.  For about a month now?

I don’t want to go outside – the gnats are so bad, it’s miserable.
I don’t want to cook – it’s just more dishes.
I don’t want to eat – it’s just more cooking.
I don’t want to do ANYTHING.
But doing nothing makes me lose my mind.

So I’ve settled for mostly doing nothing.

And I’m losing my mind.

A lot of this stems from my Office Job.

I don’t.do.anything. at work.  There’s simply nothing to do.  And when you’ve spent hours and hours and hours and hours doing nothing, it sort of kills your spirit.  Actually.  It totally kills your spirit.  I need a refresher.  Something to snap me out of it.

A new season?
A nice, productive weekend?
A vacation?
A new house?

All things that aren’t achievable right now.

Proof that I’m really ‘out of it’?  I just had to pause this blog post to go outside and feed half of the animals that I forgot to feed while I was out there feeding the animals.

Now I’m just flustered.

What were we talking about?

Who knows.