We lost. We lost because it was obvious that the contest organizers and judges were intent on rewarding young hip computer-savvy women for their businesses.
We put in a lot of hours. Participating in this contest enabled us to refine our message, and improve our social media skills.
We really appreciate all who supported us from throughout North America. I know there are many who put in extra hours and risked aggravating their friends and relatives, bugging them to vote daily for two weeks.
Well, besides catching up on all the farm work, we’re now attending the Year Round Farmers Market on a regular basis. Soon, we’ll have salad greens, as well as rhubarb and eggs.
Later this year, we’ll be running a Kickstarter project for funding the cajeta project. We plan to purchase the container for the commercial kitchen this winter, getting it built out and ready for spring, when we begin milking several goats.
It’s time now to get back to work on some new blog posts, catching up with all that has happened in late April and early May.
Oh such fun! We’re milking three goats for Jill at Cricket Song Farm. She and hubby are taking a quick 3 day holiday to see their oldest son in Phoenix before hubby returns to work up north. So, we’re doing part of the chores, and her farm caretakers are taking care of watering, and feeding.
Funny thing about goats, they know when someone else is milking, and they have full bags of tricks for the unsuspecting milker.
We don’t spend a lot of time with Jill’s goats, except to help her during kidding if she needs us. And, they don’t make it a habit of taking off during the summer. This trip is pretty special for them.
So, last night, we went to milk about 6pm figuring that would be about 12 hours after the morning milking. These goats are supposed to know their milking order, like our gals do. We have no idea whether they are in the right order or not. Jill’s hubby told us he’d put “neckties” on the one’s to be milked. There should be three, and instead there were four… and that fourth one looked pretty young.
The first order of business was to find something to milk into. Since the milk is destined for the chickens, most any vessel will do. We find a bucket that looks like it’s had goat milk in it. It’s kind of tall, as in I can’t get the bucket to stand up under the goat, and get my hands around the teats to milk. This is gonna be a big challenge.
Ok, get the first goat. Hmm, I remember this goat when she was just a kid. She was one we were supposed to bottle feed. She was smaller and shy, so we’d have to go into the pen and get her. Yeah right. She ran from us more than to us. I think she got milk about half the time that year.
Each goat gets a 46oz can of grain during the milking. They know it, too. They come barreling out through the gate and run immediately to the milking stanchion. Trust me, make sure the grain is in the feeder bucket before letting the goat out the gate.
Now I figured these girls would pretty easy milkers, as they are all experienced, unlike our girls. In fact one of the girls we’re milking for Jill, is the mother to one of our girls. I should have remembered that all goats play tricks on substitute milkers. They’re kind of like kids with substitute teachers. They test you!
As I settled into the milking process, which is completely different from the way I milk our girls, things are going pretty well, except that great big bucket is creating a problem. I can’t stand it up and still reach the teats. So, I’m reduced to milking with one hand, while holding the bucket with the other hand. That’s a sure sign that I’m a rookie… and the goat takes advantage of me quickly.
She gulps down her oats and corn and says “I’m done! You’re done, too.”.
Only one small problem, I’ve only milked one teat, and it’s still not milked off. All of a sudden it’s flying hoofs, front and back as she tap dances all over the milking stand, even trying to turn around. That’s something pretty impossible as her collar is fastened to the fence on a really short leash. Here she is, dancing all over the stand, and I’m holding this great big bucket with less than a quart of milk in it. Not a good start!
I had sent Cindy off to find a shorter bucket, and when she came back, she found me with milk all over the place. Immediately, she grabbed the doe by her head and held on tight against the fence. That gave me time to reach the other side (the teat away from me) and milk like crazy. I got another quart or so before she began seriously fidgeting. We decided to turn her back to the pen and get the next gal.
Out comes the second old gal. I remember her. She’s a pretty easy milker, once she knows you know what you’re doing. For whatever reason, she decided I didn’t know what I was doing. Again I had feet everywhere.
The third doe, is the mother to one of our does. She’s a real ding-a-ling. Babies aren’t exactly her strong suit, but she has a huge udder and produces a dandy amount of milk. I get sat down, and she starts dancing. Again, Cindy puts her in a good hold and I begin to milk. As I reach for the opposite teat, it feels really weird. It’s got lumps on the side, like maybe a tumor. Surely Jill knows about this.
Back to milking one-handed. I guess I got about 1/2 gallon out of her near teat. No matter how many times I tried, I just couldn’t get any milk out of the far teat.
Remember I said we were supposed to milk the goats with neckties? Now we’re down to the fourth goat, and she doesn’t look like she exactly knows what’s going on. With all the other goats back in their pen, I begin calling. I think her name is “Precious”. She thinks her name is “Wild One”.
Cindy decides to go get her. After all, as a yearling, she couldn’t weigh more than about 80 pounds. Well, she may be small, but she’s quick. Just as Cindy gets her hand on her necktie, she bolts. The last I saw of Cindy, she was heading toward the ground holler “NO! NO! NO!”. After digging a 20ft long furrow with her knees, back and elbow, she let go.
We made a feeble attempt to double team her, but I wasn’t willing to risk broken fingers on her.
A quick call to Jill and we found out that the young one really doesn’t have to be milked. She still has one kid with her, who should be able to keep her less than full. She kind of snickered when I told her we got less than a gallon from the three goats, and that Annie had a weird bump on a teat. She said that was where the kids had sunk their teeth into her.
The morning milking went much better. I took my own milk bucket over, and was much more successful. Yeah, the goats still danced around when they thought I should be done, but I had more control of the bucket and kept most of the feet out of the bucket. We were able to get two gallons of milk for the chickens. And that was after feeding the dog and cat.
Off we go for the second evening milking. It was fairly uneventful, as Cindy and I are getting a system, and a plan. The young goat we milk first, may or may not want her grain. If she wants to eat grain, she stands quite still aside from a few stomps with the hind feet if a fly bothers her. When she doesn’t want to eat, Cindy stands at her head and gives her lots of love, while I milk as fast as I can go.
The second old gal is no longer interested in grain. So, Cindy holds her and loves her. Cindy and I trade off on her. That gives my knees a break.
Annie, the last gal, is one of our favorites. We have one of her daughters, too. She’s a true ding-a-ling goatie. You never know how she’s going to act or react. All of a sudden she’s gone “shy” and doesn’t want to come to the milking stand. But she can’t resist a handful of grain. Yep, we’re smarter than a goat.
Ahhh, Sunday morning, the last morning milking. We manage to get through with little drama, as the goats are understanding we are the milkers. We get about 1 3/4 gallon for Jill’s chickens. That’s what makes her eggs so exceptional. She feeds them goat milk every day.
Finally, the last evening milking. I hate to say it, but after three days and five milking’s, my legs do seem stronger. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll be volunteering to do squats on a regular basis. Jill and hubby will back late in the evening and they’ll take over the morning milking.
Oh if goats could talk!
Incoming search terms:
- goat doesnt want to get on the stand all of the sudden
For a recent neighborhood party, I prepared a classic Panzanella. That’s a simple to make Italian salad which has a homemade balsamic vinaigrette; fresh tomatoes, diced (seeds and juice included); cubed mozzarella cheese; fresh chopped basil; a touch of diced red onion (optional); and at the last moment… really stale french bread cut into bite-sized cubes.
What no one knew was that I made the mozz. While Mom was making the macaroni salad and a couple batches of cookies, I made a batch of “Short-cut Mozzarella” with a gallon of our fresh goat milk.
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Garlic (freshly chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper (freshly ground)
- Olive Oil (enough to bring dressing together)
- 2 medium Fresh Tomatoes (cut into bite-sized cubes with seeds and juice)
- 2 cups Fresh Mozzarella (cut into bite-sized cubes)
- 1/2 cup Fresh Basil (leaves only, finely chopped)
- 2 cups French Bread, stale (cut into bite-sized cubes)
|Place all dressing ingredients into salad bowl. Whisk to bring together and then begin drizzling olive oil to make the finished dressing, Allow to rest while you prep the tomatoes, basil, and cheese.|
|Add the chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to the dressing, tossing to coat everything well. Chill until ready to serve.|
|Just before serving, gently toss bread cubes into the salad. Garnish with sprigs of basil.|