Shady Apple Goats Newsletter


News from the North Forty Farm, September 2011

Fall is almost here. The rains have come and come and come... and gone. The din of night cicadas quiets now as the nights grow colder. The gorgeous dinner plate dahlias are in bloom and the garden is full of amaranth and verbena and broom corn to be dried. The last of the tomatoes are harvested. The apple trees are loaded with apples that are fed to the goats with each milking.

All the kids have gone now to their new homes. It is such a nice feeling to know the babies all have good and loving homes but I miss them — especially early in the morning when they were the first up and eager for attention. WE milk the goats now every morning and every night. It is a chore to be sure... but it does create a bond sitting there with them day in and day out. I love the quiet of milking time, the warmth of the goats, the trust they give so willingly. Milking will continue until early winter and then we will breed the goats and dry them off until next season. We think about investing in a milking machine so next summer we might be able to go on a vacation...

The CSA is going strong. We had cheese making and canning classes and as Fall comes we will be harvesting honey and learning about beekeeping. There will also be a late fall class on soap making using goat’s milk. I spent the summer experimenting with cheese and now have a cheese refrigerator full to the brim with all sorts of aging concoctions — pecorino romano, cabra al vino, cheddars, aged mold ripened goat cheeses, manchego rubbed w/ ground espresso and lavender flowers... oh it has been so much work but a great adventure! I am already planning the CSA for next season and thinking about cheese to age over winter for next summer.

There is more to do than time to do it. Always. I am back to work full time and try to juggle all the balls in the air and still maintain a sense of humor and a relationship. There is garlic to plant and potatoes to harvest. We need to figure out how to make a real broom with our broom corn. There is a lot of milk every day and that means there is cheese to be made...

I dream of deep winter with snow on the ground and nothing to do but knit by the fire ... and dream of gardens and kids and all the possibilities of the summer to come.

Happy Fall.