Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Summer came a bit late this year but, with only the occasional interruption of rainfall, it is here nonetheless!  The hills are fading to yellow, pastures are getting hayed and baled and trees and plants are finally fruitful.  Growing conditions in the valley have presented a challenge this year because of the atypical precipitation.  We are happy to have had a little success at our place!



We have now been dairying for just over three months.  Having a milking animal takes dedication.  Wendy is on a twice daily milking schedule and her diet is supplemented with special grains and hay.  I am proud to say that Brian and I can now both effectively milk a goat (which I originally had slight concern about, how can you start a dairy if you can't milk a goat??).  Brian is particularly skilled, having mastered the two-handed milking technique.  

Daffodil is now a little beast at 75 lbs.  She looks more like her mom every day.  She is drinking less milk and eating more hay and other vegetation.  She is still as cute as ever!

On some mornings and most afternoons, we bring Daffodil and Wendy into our back pasture for more nutritional variety and exercise.  They are most excited about the blackberry bushes.  It is quite possible that there will not be any blackberry jam this summer!

Bea and Gretel have now been with us for over a year.  It has been fun to watch their transformation from little furry polar bears to big, gentle beasts.  They have been wonderful dogs so far, keeping the coyotes at bay and living harmoniously with the goats.  And their escaping and running about the neighborhood is becoming far less frequent.

Bea and Gret at three months old

Much bigger now but they still like to get muddy.

The newest chaos in our lives came in the form of two kittens.  After Rambo died, we unexpectedly found in our possession two baby animals needing a home.  We initially balked at the idea of additional responsibility but their sweet affection soon won us over.  They are living inside until their medical needs are situated and then will join Betty White in rodent predation around the property.

Lion, stuck under the wine rack.


The rest of the summer promises to be busy and full of friends, family and goat milking.  Our new pasteurizer and yogurt maker allow us to further enjoy and experiment with Wendy's milk.  As they say, practice makes perfect!

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