We’re winding up 1 full year of goat ownership. It’s been tons of fun, and I feel like we’ve gotten to know these girls well over that time. We feed them, water them, clean up after them, we helped them birth their babies and we visit them twice every day to milk. This Thanksgiving I counted our goats, the experiences we’ve had and the dairy that they provide for us high on the list of blessings that I am thankful for.
We’ve had our successes and failures with them, and though the day-to-day is frustrating at times, the successes have been greater than those failures. Rachel just shared about our most recent win that we have to at least partially attribute to Flora and Pepper. I also take pride in our accomplishment of increasing their butterfat by altering their feed. Though we’ve never had their milk tested to prove it, I know it’s the case because the lady from church that makes cheese with our milk commented on how much creamier the milk had become – and she didn’t even know I’d changed their feed! Definitely an accomplishment.
Then there’s the fact that in changing their feed, we eliminated Flora’s problem. No goaty milk here, all sweet and creamy!
There’s really only one area of our home dairy that we’ve really been struggling in: cheese. And that’s unfortunate, because I like cheese. As in, I really like good, artisan cheeses. Even cheeses that I used to dislike I’ve come to enjoy. I used to find provolone distasteful, and then one year Rachel’s Italian grandfather pulled out a block of aged, sharp provolone on Christmas. That was when I realized it’s not that I disliked provolone cheese, it’s just that I’d never had good provolone cheese. It makes all the difference in the world.
So, I’ve embarked on a journey of trying to make our own homemade cheeses, since spending $147-a-pound on cheese (just a hyperbole here, although I’m sure there are probably $147-a-pound cheeses out there) is out of our budget. If we can make our OWN artisan cheeses, that’s definitely cost-effective. Yet, we’ve continued to wind up with spoiled cheeses.
In spite of that, I remain resolute. Cheese is too good to just give up on. Sooner or later, we WILL get it right.
In the meantime, at least the ducks and chickens are enjoying our mishaps.