Been awhile since my last post. I have a few updates.
I realized I haven’t commented since my initial intro to goat milk. What a fiasco that was! Since then, I would like to set the record straight for all of you hesitant to try goat’s milk: it is yummy. A quality milk goat and meticulous collection and cooling yields a creamy, mild milk with little to no “goatiness.” In fact, after drinking goat milk exclusively for the last 2 months or so, when I finally tasted cow milk again, I could detect “cowiness.” The fact is, good things come from good goat milk. Proof is in the cheesecake, ice cream, yogurt, breads, and other baking I have done with it. Unfortunately, when I offer people a taste, they adopt the same expression as if I just issued a double dare. Just the other day, my mom repeatedly told me how she had no interest in tasting goat milk, even as she ate a bowl of chocolate pudding I had made. Umm, yeah…goat pudding. Sometimes I don’t bother to tell people they are consuming goat. Other times, I am sure to mention it…so they will pass and leave more for me! So raise a glass to my goat girls, goat milk is good!
So while Erika was busy rewriting history on our nation’s birthday, Shea and I were having our own party in our own, all-American purple barn. It was time for the first of our semi-annual “barn muckings.” How hard could that be? Goats are relatively clean and low odor. You simply throw clean straw every now and again and they disperse it and stay nice and dry and tidy. Right? Well every so often, you have to muck out the layers of bedding–from which I read you get amazing compost, gold for your garden!–and put down fresh stuff and start the layering all over again. Shea and I set out to accomplish this task, one of many initiations into our new country life. We were living the dream and a little high on ourselves as we grabbed our pitchfork (yes, we actually have one!) and dug in. You may have to ask Erika, but I think the horrors of bombs bursting in air might have been mild compared to the bio-terror lurking beneath the amber waves of straw on that barn floor!!!
The stink we stirred up was enough to scorch your nose hairs and make skunks run for cover. We had tears in our eyes as we choked on the overpowering vapors. I feared our children would find our bodies hours later. It was horrific. Be glad there is no technology to attach odors to blog posts; the nasty-factor of this stench made the worm eating contest I grossed y’all out with seem a mere truffle tasting. Shea and I persevered, but with every fork full of fetid foulness, I saw the price of my “purple barn products” go up a little bit. I’m telling you, I changed diapers for 8 years straight; at one point, I had three kids in nappies at the same time, and I have NEVER encountered such a smell as the demucking of the goat shed. It was so formidable, I even began commemorating our own battle in song, “Mine nose has smelled the horror of the mucking of the shed, we have battled evil odors that would nearly blow your head, we have forked the fateful straw that held a smell to wake the dead, the stink goes on and on…..” you get the idea. Like a battle scar, the memory of that day will haunt my dreams. So I hope you enjoyed the wafting smells of brats and watermelon, of apple pie, even the smell of fireworks. As for me and my troop, on that fourth of July, we breathed deep the fresh country air…cough cough.
One last update. We have a new addition at the purple barn….a rooster named Penguin (why not? We have a rabbit named Brown Cow). A neighbor bought some chicks and was surprised when one of her ladies turned out to be a gent. So she graciously gave him to us. We had talked about getting a rooster, but were on the fence about the whole issue. Well, we are never ones to turn down opportunities (more specifically, freebies). When Penguin arrived, I was immediately struck by how handsome he was. I can see now why roosters strut, they are, in fact, hot stuff. I am sure you can all foresee the problem that soon materialized…and no I am not referring to the fact that Becca (5) would like to rename Penguin “Mr. Cock.” As he checked his new turf out, he let out a crow that was pretty mild. I thought “really? why do they have such a bad rep, that was actually quite pleasant. Quaint even.” Apparently, they do not put their heart into it until, oh, say FIVE FIFTEEN IN THE MORNING!!!!!!
I awoke with a start at the sounds of our new, all natural, organic, cordless ALARM CLOCK. And he is not even fully grown yet! At that precise moment, I came up with a name for him that made Becca’s seem pretty harmless. Penguin’s fate now hangs in the air. I will be polling the neighbors to see how disturbed they are by his cock-a-doodle-dooing and consider if I can adjust to the wake up call myself. Maybe it is time to get those noise cancelling headphones I dream about. Or maybe it is time to have a new friend for dinner.
As a quick bonus for those of you who endured that much rambling, a picture of the first egg out of one of our Araucanas. When chicks start laying, you get small or weird shaped eggs. It is an adventure every day. This tall skinny tribute to the incredible edible just made me laugh. (the brown one is a normal sized egg.) I love my chickens.