Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Milking a goat

OK I'm going to explain step by step the process of milking the goat. I don't know how to do it with captions by each individual picture. So I'm going to put it all out there then the group of pictures will come after the whole explanation.
1: take 2 bowls out to the milking station. One for collecting milk (stainless steel) and one full of water with iodine in it.
2: before going out to milk, fill up a large pot of ice packs and water
3: when you get out to the barn, your goat just jumps into the milk stand because you put the bucket of grain on the stand. This is a typical milk stand/station. You can buy them or make them, its a very basic build.
4. When she's on the stand, take the cloth from the iodine  bowl and wipe her down. This just gets all the debris/dirt from the day off of her teats.
5. Now milk one squirt from each teat into a mug. Give it a good look and smell it. You never want to not do this. Squirting the first squirt out into a separate cup is important. This let's you smell it and look at it and make sure its not sour or lumpy. This could be a sign of mastitis. Every first squirt that I've done has been fine.
6. Let the milking begin. There is a certain way to do your hands, its not like in the cartoons! But milk until her teats are all squeezed out. Notice how raisin-y they look when they're empty compared to how full they were before milking?
7. Strain he milk into mason jars and place the mason jar in the ice cold pot of water. We double strain it and putting it in ice cold water gets it down to a freezing temperature. This takes the place of pasteurizing or boiling.
LOVE our raw unpasteurized goat milk!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The beach

We have rekindled our love for the beach. Chad and Allyson rented a hotel at Carlsbad beach last year and we fell in love when we visited them there. So now we go to Carlsbad beach a couple times a month.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I guess you could say we are just plugin along with our small scale farming lifestyle. About 3 months ago we started milking our goat full time. Yeay! This has been a great accomplishment for us and one of the big reasons we moves up here. Leaving palm desert, we pictured having fresh eggs, goat milk and a big garden. The chickens and gardens just come with work and time. Buy chickens, wait for them to lay eggs. Next, read a bunch of crap on how to garden, figure out what and how you wan to plant, and see what happens. Gardening is a ton of work, but worth it. Now, getting a goat that may or may not be pregnant, or buy a "breading pair" so they can love each other and get pregnant, or buy a goat that's supposedly already pregnant and wait and see what happens... all of these above mentioned steps may just get you nowhere and in fact we have done all of the above and it got us nowhere. In fact it got us to hate goats. But that happened because who knows, the first pair of goats we ever purchased turned out to be very difficult. So the one thing that worked for us was actually buying a pregnant goat that was literally about to have a baby any day. And we, being goat retarded, apparently needed that as our only option. Look at her and know without a doubt that she is surely about to give birth. And that my friends ended up working out us. One morning I went out to the barn to feed and there was a tiny wet baby that had literally just came into the world and a first time deer in the headlights mama.
Lots of details and months went by and waalaahh we are drinking fresh goat milk and are loving it. I will have to do a milking post next.
I would've been fine with goats and chickens but Nathan wanted to raise pigs again for the delicious meat and he also convinced me that raising turkeys would be fun. Haha. Well in his defense, two years ago we bought a full grown turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving and we did love how funny and cool the turkey's personality was. Yes I know, why become emotionally attached at all when raising animals for meat? In my experience, especially with what I teach my kids, I think it is almost necessary to love these animals. We are giving these animals a far better life than they would EVER have if they were being commercially raised to be sold on our supermarket shelves. So I say, love them, name them, have fun with them, and know that God put them on this earth for us to have dominion over and also for us to respect.
Here are a few recent pics.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We had so much fun with the family in Winter park. I don't get to see my siblings often so it was awesome to be able to have them all together! It took a lot of work to get ready foe this vacation so we won't be able to so it again for another couple of years but it was soo worth it! It was a joy and blessing for all the cousins to play and us adults to rekindle our relationships.