However. It is now spring, and all of my friends' goats are having babies. I am getting baby goat fever. I think I'm annoying my goat-owning friends by pushily volunteering my help when a doe goes into labor. “Call me anytime!” I tell them. “I'll keep my phone by the bed side in case there's a goat birthing emergency.” Or I drop by their barns and inspect the does' tails to see if the babies have dropped and labor has started. I just want to be there, immersed in the messy miracle of birth, amniotic fluid, and cute goat babies. Two of my friends just called me a couple of hours ago AS THEIR GOAT GAVE BIRTH, and I got to "witness" the whole thing over the phone. I love my friends!
So I decided to get goats again. This time, I will not push for maximum milk production so I don't have to make hard cheese from ten gallons of milk every four or five days. This time I will attempt to milk once a day (and leave the babies on the mamas), and then just make easy stuff like yogurt, kefir, chevre and the occasional Gouda, Tomme, Cheddar or Manchego. I think it's doable. What do you think?
I've been working frantically to get the goat barn ready. Steve built it over a decade ago out of recycled and salvaged materials and poured concrete on half of the floor for easy cleaning. Last week, I cleaned up the messes that have accumulated in it over time. I washed the milking stand, and mucked out the bedding I didn't remove after I sold my goats because I was too depressed about them being gone. I also shoveled a bunch of compost made with their manure to spread on the garden.
|It might not look pretty to you, but it is so much better than before. The milk stand will be on the left.|
|Steve helped with the scraping. Notice the bare upper bodies? In March? Crazy, right?|
|I'm pretending to milk a goat. Soon. Soon.|
|Oh yeah! The garden is gonna like this!|
Now let me show you the piglets. We got four this year, and they like to curl up in their food dish to take a nap. Ahhh, pigs! We have a great system with our moveable pig pen and electric fence. They get moved to fresh pasture regularly, doing a good job of eating grass and rooting in it. Since we only have five acres, all this happens on our neighbor's pasture.
With all this cleaning, mucking, shoveling and digging, we managed to get some bike rides in as well. You gotta take advantage of this weather. So one day, I got on the bike with my ten year old son for a little ride, and we accidentally biked 22 miles, to be met by the rest of the family at the bakery in town. And the day after, we tried out the tag-along ride-behind bike that was given to us. Eva rode 8 miles on it on her maiden voyage! As a reward, we biked to the river. What a life! What are you feeling blessed by this week?