Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well yesterdays work pays off. This is a picture of my Pepper Rosa. Its a really pretty cheese to eat and serve. Its not Hot just warm and has a texture like a mozzarella. Its one of our popular fresh pressed cheeses. My peach yogurt turned out great too. Wow! even tired I can win. Amazing. Yesterday I painted some more on the fence and am almost done with one side. I have to start painting the work barn shed next. David pressure washed it so its ready to do. We have a market this afternoon so I'll try and get the girls home school work done so that one of them will leave at 12:30 for the last Tue market today. We have only bred a few does in the last couple days, but I am sure it will start again real soon. I look forward to the kidding season only to say the babies are really cute. Because its the beginning of a lot of work here on the dairy. Just keeping the kids separated and then the extra time it takes to bottle feed them individually is a chore in its self.
The weather was great yesterday, sunny but not to hot. Today should be nice too. Its crazy how the weather effects what you do and the energy you have to do it with. On the dairy if its wet out we pretty much stay inside - the processing plant is usually where you'll find me. David chooses the Barn and his shop and the girls pick their fort in the hay loft in the barn. No one one wants to be in the house cause then you have to clean and pick up stuff. Though we all eventually end up in the house and clean and pick it up - its just our last choice.
Painting is on the schedual for me today. Have a Great Day! Eat some GOAT Cheese today!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wait Summer is here one more time!

Well today looks like a great day for painting. We will work on our homeschool this morning and then by this evening before milking we can paint the fences and finish up painting the milking parlor house. This photo is from last week during the sunshine. My daughter's and I worked to finish painting this building before the wet cold weather got here. We were almost finished, and now we get our second chance to completely finish the building today.
There never seems to be aday when something on the farm doesn't call for a helping hand. David will take advantage of the warm weather by pressure washing some more of the farm. His work barn area needs painted too. So we have our work cut out for this evening.
On the note of making cheese from last night... I actually got everything done and the cheese looks great. The yogurt for this week is fresh peach and honey.... yum! We are also having to get ready for the Pomroy Living Farm Pumpkin Festival in Battleground, Wa. Its a two day event. We drive there 1 1/2 hours, each day and come home in order to milk and take care of our goats and restock cheese for the next day. This is happening on Oct. 4 & 5th.
Well back to teaching my children how to be a responsible and productive adult in this world that is so unstable and questionable to say the least. Have a Great Day and enjoy Summer this week!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Its busy around the farm

So we had to take a trip to Hood River, Wa. today, that is only a 3 hour trip one way, to see our grandfather who is going to go home very soon. We drove through Longview and picked up my husbands mom and took her with us. The rest of the family is following in an hour or so. We will all be able to say good by to an awesome guy. Grandpa is like a month away from being 94 years old. So do you realize how many Presidents of the United States he has seen - WOW! Anyway we went and came home, it was 5:30pm when we got home and 6pm when we started milking tonight. And somewhere in irrational thinking I thought I should make some Grande' Rosa and Grande' Pepper cheese tonight - and some yogurt. Well I am finding out I am way to tired.... but I am already half way through the process at midnight. Crazy crazy... Anyway that is this evenings events. I did the milking this morning by my self as my two daughters were at a Civil Air Patrol event for the weekend. I felt pretty good doing it all by myself. 53 goats and loading them up (it is easy just look under the goat if she is full load her up) and then cleaning the parlor. My hands went numb a few times but I just shook it out and kept going. I even got done the time the girls get done. Pretty good for an old lady of 53. Anyway alls quiet on the Western front tonight.... except I should be sleeping instead of making cheese. Good night! Not yet not yet. Only another hour and I can hit the sack --- then back up at 5:30am.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting Ready For Winter on the Dairy

Well we are into the breeding season again. This will be our 5th time. Each time we have used a similar system, except last year. Our usual way of working the breeding season is to have each one of our bucks in his own pen. As each doe comes into heat we place her with the chosen buck, record and date when her next heat cycle should come. We breed our youngest does and smallest to our boar bucks, not the big ones though as they could easily crush those young girls. We have found that the first kidding for a yearling from a Boar is the easiest, as those babies are small. We breed our best does to our reg. Sannen buck as I want to keep the does that are of good breeding to use next year as replacer does. We also have a black young buck we are using for smaller does and yearling's. (My dream is to have all black and white goats... don't know why except it would look really cool in pictures). We leave the does in over night and then either put them back if they are still flagging (wagging their tails) after we are done milking the milkers or they are turned loose with the herd. This routine is played over and over for the next three months. This last year we put a buck, one at a time in the herd and left for one month. Then we went through the three bucks we used last year. What ended up happening was babies being born when we weren't expecting it and we never knew who was going to kid. It was very nerve racking. When we choose the buck, I also know the date the babies are due and which goat to be watching. I also can plan my weeks out during kidding season. So this year we are going back to the old way.
The leaves are turning colors here and the smell is fresh, the air is crisp. Fall is such a pretty season. It means we need to make sure we have the covers for the faucets and that all the loose buckets and stuff are picked up. The lawn mowed for its last time and the tools put away for 3 months. We make sure the barn is totally cleaned and there are fresh shaving on the floor.
The goats eat a lot of minerals and go through a lot of baking soda, so we are always keeping an eye on those containers in the barn. The water buckets get a good scrubbing and checked for holes or cracks and replaced as needed. The big water troughs get a emptied and scrubbed out too.
I decided to paint the milking parlor white with navy trim and a mauve door. It looks so clean and fresh. David is putting up the finishing boards around the roof and it looks so nice. My dad came from Arizona and put hand railing up to the door of the milking parlor. David is pressure washing the fences so we can get a coat of white on them too. Thing always get spruced up to get ready for the new year.
Well that is for this report.