I am having a moment of acute awareness of change. It is a drop dead gorgeous sunny day outside and all the leaves are flying of the trees. The last of them making their way to the ground. We won’t be able to hold off raking for much longer. We’ve finally started up the old fire place, though quite reluctantly. The second one still remains cold and hopefully will until December.
The pigs left yesterday to go to their next stop, post life, and I have been cooking apple pies with the lard from last year’s batch. The old chickens too will go onto a new family tomorrow and our young pullets will soon take their place as soon as they start laying eggs.
Meanwhile, the goats are settling into new routines. Moms and babies have been living together since June but they are now separated. We have two groups. One group is being bred right now by Evan our he-man and the other group is going to be milked through the winter without being bred. Normally, goats are bred in the fall and have kids in the spring. Once they have kids they milk until December and then dry off for two months at the end of their pregnancy. For most goat farms that means two months without any milk. That is particularly difficult for a cheese-making operation because then we have no product for two whole months.
So we are trying a new approach where we keep milking half of the herd through the winter. Many farmers have actually found that this is easier on the animal than having them get pregnant every year, which takes a lot of energy. We hope that this will help the health the herd. And of course we will continue to bring you cheese and caramel throughout the winter months.
We are also finishing up a construction project on the barn. We have increased the size of the holding pen and created a nice awning in front of the cheese room. Our goal is to add a big picture window so that visitors can watch the cheese and caramel making process. So, that is all for now… time to go out and milk some goats!