Friday, April 8, 2011

Late snow, birthday preparations and goat shares

There are a couple inches of loose white powder blanketing everything; railing, porch, rocking horse and trike. The birch are once more outlined and frosted in winter. As long as our winters are, a fresh snowfall is always pretty, however, we are having a birthday party for Noah tomorrow. We were hoping to use the back porch for games. There were just a few clumps of dirty ice that needed chipped away, that we were eying and hoping they'd take care of themselves by melting in time. It is suppose to be in the forties today and tomorrow, so maybe the porch will at least clear itself into puddles and wet boards.

These gray days get to me more than the cold and dark. I'm trying to look ahead, plan, dream and take what action I may. There is so much to be excited about this time of year. Five flats of seedlings are started. Duck eggs are set. Today I'm adding chicken eggs to the incubator in hopes that all the eggs will hatch within a day or so of each other. Last night I separated the goat kids from their moms for the first time, so I can get more than a few cups of milk. The kids are three weeks plus. Their dams were starting to get restless being penned up every night.

Xanadu is due on Sunday. I suppose she is either waiting to have her babies till Dustin goes to work tonight and I'm home alone with the kids, or until the birthday party tomorrow. I'm excited for more kids. Xanadu is a reddish brown doe. Her paperwork says she is Chamoisee, sounds elegant. She is bred to Zanzibar, our pinto buck. So, this is our last chance to see something different this season.

I've been doing some raw milk, goat share research. This is something we've discussed since we first started milking. The herd has been growing and eating, more and more. I've decided that it is time for the goats to start earning their keep, or at least paying their feed bill. I think I'm finally up for it. My kids are sturdier, older, and in some ways easier to drag along for chores. We've got committed farm help for the summer as well. To be honest I'm not looking forward to dealing with customers, paperwork, money, and milk drop offs etc. This is the sort of commitment that there is no coming back from. Once we start, there will forever be a group of crazy (no offense) milk customers hungry for milk. I get monthly emails and phone calls from folks looking to buy milk, even with stating that I don't sell milk. So, if you are one of those hungry milk customers who has emailed or called over the last few years, get back in touch with me. I'll be posting more details and prices soon. I'm starting out small and will probably be taking more customers as the summer progresses. There is limited room, is the way to reach me.

I'm baking a cake today. Noah requested a strawberry short cake. I'm making almond butter cake layers, a strawberry sauce and tomorrow, whipped cream. Other than that, I'm doing some spring cleaning, making some lemonade and a bean and maybe a pasta salad to go with some local beef/moose burgers for the party, and watching a soon to be in labor huge goat. The snow is starting to plop off the trees. I imagine it will be like living somewhere else today, somewhere that gets snow once or twice a year, but turns to slush and puddles by afternoon.


Miranda said...

Your dinner sounds delicious! I'm so excited for spring too, but I'm just going to do hay bale gardening this year with transplants vs. seeds just so I can get going. :)

I emailed you about getting a share if they're available. How exciting (and nerve-wracking) for you! I sure wish I had my own vehicle, I'd love to help you with milk drops.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE follow up on your research for the goat milk shares! I would love to do that (we live in Washington) but I am not sure where to start. I know a few folks that are running goat dairy's but they seem to sputter for a couple years and die... I think they try to get to big to quick, or make it their only income...

Emily said...

Goat share post coming, I've got one started. Just want working out the details. In Alaska it is legal to sell Goat and Cow shares which entitles shareholders to raw milk from their co-owned animals. This does not apply to cheese or other dairy products. As far as how milk gets to the shareholder, it can be delivered, picked up or dispensed through a business etc. Otherwise it is illegal for milk to leave the property unless it is going to it's owner. Each state has it's own rules. In Washington it is actually legal to just sell raw milk, but you probably need some certification. Conway Farm in SW Washington is selling raw milk and pasteurized fresh chevre. You should look them up. They just came up for our Sustainable Ag conference and were some of the main speakers for the goat conference.