Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Morning:

Well as you all suspected we are running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We are up to four different markets right now. I am making cheese three days a week, between 35-50 gallons a batch. We are just about ready to put our second batch of aged cheese in the cave over in Adna. The sunshine is going to shine today and that gives me energy to do this running around stuff. So lets recap the week:

April 6th - We took a trip to Olympia to tour the capital building and walk along the waterfall. It was great. The picture is my grandson and granddaughter and thier mom from Montana the other daughter and husband are from Texas and then of course my two daughters and I - David was taking the photo. My daughter wanted to try a new cheese, dill and lemon rind. I made her a small round to take with her. Of course we all tasted it and it was good.

Tue. April 7th - We got our chores done and did some of our homeschooling. We have our house back after having it full for 5 days. Food, visiting and catching up was good. We got busy cleaning up the farm and lost track of time. I made dinner and was getting ready to sit down and eat when the phone rang and it was our Master from Hope Grange.... reminding us we had a meeting and the speaker would be there at 7pm. We ate in 10 min. and got to the grange a little into the speakers talk - but we made it. We got home around 8:30 pm. The guy that spoke at the grange was from Raintree Nursery... and he had some great tips for pruning and some information on some new plants that are coming out for the NW. I think I still had some labeling to do for the markets - since we sold out almost all our stock last weekend. I made a batch of Chevre.

April 8th - We had three does kid, one had triplets 2boys and 1 girl. The other two had twins one buck and doe and the other two does. Its funny because most of the people that want kids from us want does and my goats are having a hard time delivering for me. Anyway all these kids are sold except one buck. The other 8 does left are bagging up so hopefully its will be soon. The Olympia Farmers Market is coming this morning to inspect us -make sure we are doing what we say we are doing. And they said we are alright to sell at thier market as a guest this year. So we will sell at thier market on Thur. starting April 16th. We started chores a little late due to our running around, David went to town to get dog food, grain. and also Hay this morning,and cleaning up after a full house of people. Danyel had biology this morning too. Cloe our Anatolian got bred today so we'll have puppies soon. Bernie is the dad. We are also trying to turn Cloe loose with the goats in the barn. She does fine in the barn but when we take her out to the pasture she is afraid to come back into the barn so that is a tug a war. We have tried everything to get her to come back in. Maybe its just time. David was trying to dig a hole in the top field and he broke his tractor its 5:30pm so off to the tractor store to get parts. Looks like we are not going to make it to church this evening. By 7:30 he had the tractor running again and came in to eat dinner. I am still labeling cheese for Pikes Place on Thur. We sure used alot of cheese last weekend. I think I went to bed about 10pm - after along day.

April 9th - we have a 4-H club meeting to finish up some of the loose ends for our 4-H sleepover. The club must finsish thier Risk Map so I can take it down to get it laminated. The sleep over is the 25th. - Jami and the grandkids are leaving about 7am for Montana to pick up her husband and come right back as her dad has cancer and isn't expected to live much longer. David left for Pikes Place at 6am and I am woring on packaging cheese today for this weekend. Our fresh feta is ready to be cut and packaged so I'll work on that. The rest of the feta will go into the olive oil for marinating. I need to call Thurstan county about the health certificate they were suppose to be sending me and I haven't recieved. We need that permit thing to sell on Thur at Olympia. I have to get some brakes pads for David cause his friend is going to change his pads on the car while he is at market on Sat. in Longview. I also have to call the Seattle Art Musem and get information on how to do thier visa purchase. The new visa machine is working great. Danyel had biology today and we got some math done. Our house is quiet. I am getting my last min. stuff together for my Sat. market.

April 10th - David took his order for the Seattle Art Museum, and left at about 6am for Seattle. He called me and said he was in Seattle by 7:40 this morning -the traffic was really light. I am making Black Jewels and NW Comfort today. So I'll be home all day working on the finishing touches of labeling and weighing and making some aged cheese. I have a guy coming out to pick up his kid. Danyel has biology today. We got some lititure in today as well as some math. David got home about 7:30 and the girls and I had just got in from doing chores. It was a busy evening - we had to pack up both vehicals for Sat. market - tents, tables, ice chests (packed), garbage cans, hand washing station, money box, and anything else. We got done about 11pm. And I went to bed. I have to be up at 4am .

April 11 Sat.- I was up on time went out and finished the cheese process, cleaned the milk parlor for the girls. Got the girls up at 5am to do chores they need to leave at 7am for Civil Air Patorl. I am leaving at 7am I am going to Tacoma and David leaves at 7:30am for Longview. All's quiet on the home front as everyone is leaving. I didn't sell as much as last weekend but the weather was really messy. David did about the same as last weekend. We all got home close to 4 and 4:30pm. Some people were here to pick up thier baby goat at 4:30. As soon as we get home I head up to the milk parlor to clean it and set it up for the girls to start milking. We are having something easy for dinner like Pizza. By 8pm we are all in the house, David is home with the pizza and we can put our feet up.

April 12th - We got up did chores and went to church. It is a quiet Easter. I put a ham in before we left for church. No one is coming for the holiday. The older children are in Portland at thier dads bedside. And that is alright with me - cause that is where they should be. Jami and the grandkids are coming here tonight and then will leave tomorrow for Montana to pick up her husband and then head back here to Oregon. They got here about 9pm and the kids went to bed and we all followed shortly behind.

April 13th - We got up at 6am and got busy doing chores. Jami and her children got up at 6:30 and got ready to leave by 7am. They have to go over the mountains and there is word that snow is coming and she wants to beat it. She did too. David went and got hay at 9am and when he got back and the hay unloaded we left for Olympia to get that health certificate for Thurstan county. The girls are staying home today. No biology for Danyel as the school is taking the WASL. I have a lady wanting to come and get a buck kid today when we get back from Olympia. We got the certificate - it was easier than Longviews. And then had a few pit stops before we got home. Turned in my cookbooks to be put together, picked up labels. Then stopped at the health food store and picked up some sesame oil. Then onto walmart to get a few things. We got home about 1:30pm. We unpacked and got back in the car to head to Portland. We are going up to see my X. Heather my #2 daughter is up there as well as her aunts and uncles. It will be good to see the family - Akin's. We got up to the VA hospital about 4pm. Visited with eveyone and prayed with the family. On our way home the girls called to say they were doing the haying. So that gave David and I an opportunity to go out for dinner and take our time coming home. We ate at the Oak Tree in Woodland. It was great to spend some down time with my husband. We got home around 9pm. Watched some Tv and wind down.

Tue. April 14 - The weather is good enough to start one of the burn piles on the top field. The girls opted to work on the burn pile than do school work. Had to take Bernie to the vets. He has been limping. When we got to the vets he stopped limping but the vet checked him over and didn't find anything wrong. So I don't know. I made Chevre this morning and will make feta this afternoon. We got chores done and the girls spent thier extra time helping with the burn pile.

Got news this evening that my kids dad was talking and eating and laughing - things may have turned around. Pretty Cool. We ate some pasta from the market on Sat. Broccoli,Chicken Fetachinie (spelling wrong). It was great. David will monitor the fire alnight. Cloe was loose all day and she went out of the barn and CAME BACK IN on her own. WOW! I really want to leave her in the pasture with all the goats loose so she can have her puppies in there too. She has always been with the bucks so she wouldn't get bred. But since she is she can hang out with Bernie in the big pasture.

April 15th _ We have a 4-H meeting this morning and Danyel has biology. David is going to starat another fire since its going to be nice out. I am working on my cheese in the processing plant. I have three different cheeses going at the same time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Farmers Markets Starting

This is the tour of 4-H kids checking out the dairy. They are tasting cheese and touring the processing plant. The other photo with Maggi (border collie/Blue Heeler mix) catching bubbles with Tami and CJ blowing the bubbles. The picture with all the people is my family at the Capital in Olympia.
Its been awhile. We are getting really busy now. We only have about 20 does left to kid and we'll be done with this part of the dairy for one year. But oh, something else will take its place... Like cheese making. We are getting about 130 gallons of milk a week. Which I have been making it all into cheese. And I have no extra, so its also been selling. These are good things.... just haven't been to this point before.
We had a lady come out and spend the whole day, helped me make cheese and milked goats and observed our daily routine. Her name is Sherwin Fergason, she wants to start a sheep and goat dairy and make cheese. It was a great day and I hope she learned alot. I know she did - but I really hope she got inspired to start her dairy. That same day Amanda came by to trim her goats feet that are staying here for awhile. And she visited a bit too.
It feels like our days are running together. I think I'v mailed all 9 of our Farmers Market applications in and I also think I have only one more health department to pay.
You know the whole farmers market is great except if your sampling your product and then you have to deal with the government. And each county is a whole different game. Like one of our counties only charges $25 for their fee - then we have one that charges $260. This is for the same permit and they only come and check you once in most of the counties we deal with. I personally think they should charge the same amount and have it valued for what they do for you. After all they are getting payed out of my pocket and yours. Off of my soap box
I made 8 rounds of my non-pasteurized cheeses on the 27th. They turned out great. Took them over to the cave in Adna about 5 days later and they will be ready the first of June.
David went to Seattle Pikes, Thur, Fri and Sat. and did fairly well.
On the 28th the girls and I went to an Appreciation lunch put on by the police dept. for all the help in search and rescue and other activities that the Civil Air Patrol have helped them on. It was fun and the food was great. We all won prizes and that was great. But after that I have to get back to work. I had to label a bunch of cheese as David was selling it fast. I turned my Grande Rosa and Pepper Rose that I made. I also made a batch of chevre on 29th and so when you walked into the processing plant I had three different types of cheese out - doing something in their process.
Sunday the 29th we all went to church and came right home. We were suppose to have a 4-H meeting to finish up our map for the up coming 4-H sleep over. Well no one came so my girls finished the map and I'll take it down and get it laminated for the the sleepover. Made my chevre and cleaned the bulk tank. Chores have been going pretty smooth. We put Ice our sannen buck in a pen - he was limping and I wanted to see what was the matter. It was his front foot, and I think he got an infection in it from the mud in his pen. So I'll treat it and get him walking good.
David got a $75 order of cheese and I needed to mail it to Arkansas today. Pretty cool. I also received my new mailing packages. It will bring my shipping cost down to $5 instead of 25. Pretty cool. So send in the orders I am ready to mail out cheese. These are insulated bags and I just have to put my ice pack in and send them. Instead of the Styrofoam boxes that cost so much. Anyway thats pretty cool.
The girls and I are working on homeschool. We are starting our slow down school season, but we also go through the summer. We just take days off during the summer when we have other things going on. I usually have them work about 2 hours a day on school during the summer.
March 31 David had to go get hay this morning. And I made a 50 gallon batch of feta. Which takes about 6 hours. David is off. We are also starting to clean the house as my daughter and husband will be coming in on Thur. from Austin Texas.
April 1 - We had a tour of 20+ . It was great because I had all this cheese out and they got to see it in different stages. This was a 4-H club. They helped milk and feed kids. The weather was drippy so no tractor ride. After they left I had to label more cheese to get ready for This up coming Sat. which is our first farmers markets -Tacoma, Proctor and Longview. I took Black Jewels and N.W. Comfort to Adna to age. Then went grocery shopping. I really want to have most of my stuff done before my house is full of people.
April 2- We had a doe have triplets, boar cross sannens. Cute. We got our chores done and went downstairs to do homeschool. Sent David off to do some running around. Danyel and Ali went to the Winlock Lions Club to talk about Civil Air Patrol and be treated to lunch. They did well at their presentation. They took pictures of some of the stuff they have done with Civil Air Patrol. David took Bob, from church, to Pikes with him today. The girls and I cleaned house and are waiting for Tami and Mike to get here.(won't be until this evening). They did get here about 10pm and the girls hit the sack right after that.
April 3 - I got up at 6 am and got the girls up at 7am. We got chores done and Mike, my son - in -law made breakfast. Ran to Walmart to get a few more groceries for dinner. Mike B-B-Q some goat. It was so good. They had some of their friends over for dinner too. Lots of food people and children. I labeled and Packaged cheese all day too. I think we are ready for Sat. David got home about 7:30 and got to eat some goat and visit for awhile with everyone. He had a fair day at market. I started making Grande Rosa and Pepper at about 7pm --- Big mistake. I got the pasteurizing done, midnight and thought I should just finish at 4am.
April 4 - up at 4am and working on the cheese. I cleaned the parlor and got the girls up to do milking at 5am. They have to be ready to leave at 7:30 for Civil Air Patrol and David leaves for Longview market too. I should leave at 7am to be there in Tacoma by 8:30am. But the cheese took alittle longer and I had to hurry. David put the weights on the cheese, I ran and got dressed and hair brushed and left 7:15. Had to still get gas too. I had a wonderful day at market really busy. I had probably our best Farmers Market total ever. David did so so at Longview. But everyone was glad to see us at their market. When I got home my daughter & husband and grandson from St. Helens was here along with my adopted daughter. So I had 10 people for dinner. I made Spaghetti. It was all good. Had a great visit. I was in bed at 9pm.
Sunday April 5 - Up for chores. Two does had twins. Mike cooked breakfast for us all - Chocolate Pancakes with chocolate chips in it, then coconut on the top and more choco chips and then syrup. It tasted pretty good too! Went to church. Home again and started dinner. I am making chicken and dumplings. Also my son was on the couch sleeping this morning... He came home with the kids last night when they all got together. Well chores came quickly and we got the job done. Shawn brought his girl fiend and their two kids and his cousin Bryan and his son. So we have 18 for dinner. After dinner we cut the cake and blew out the candles. Shawn and Heather Birthdays - Mike and Tami anniversary. After dinner Jami and Justin and Ashlynn got here from Montana. Now our total is 21. Six left and the rest spent the night. I stayed up till 11pm visiting.
Monday April 6 - Got up at 6:30 and got the girls up at 7am. Got chores done and one Doe had a single kid. Today I have to make chevre and four people are leaving by Noon today. The rest are going to go to Olympia to see the State Capital and check out the falls. I had to pull a baby today. It was a big buck kid. I sold two buck kids also. We took the van filled with Jami and her two kids, Mike and Tami and Danyel and Ali and David and I to Olympia. We got to go inside the Capital took lots of pictures and then went for a walk around Falls Park. It was a really great day. Very pretty. We stopped to eat a hamburger on the way home. Got home at 6:30 and started milking at 7:15. I started my chevre at 8:50pm and will get it done before bed. Bed being 12 midnight. We have no extra's spending the night. But Jami and the two grandchildren will be back on Wed.
Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine.