Dairy Madness


This morning I got an email in my inbox, "Tips to tackle Summer boredom..." I had to chuckle.

Bored is the last thing I would say we are around here.

Ever since bringing home The Dairy we have been teetering on the edge of sanity. Our farm is a complete and total mess. Stainless steel sinks, prep tables and various pieces of goat milking equipment are strewn about haphazardly, leaning against maple trees and rounds of hay. The barn is full of REALLY expensive equipment that, when not hooked up to power or water sources, are nothing more than GIGANTIC eyesores.

Starting a goat dairy is one of, if not the most, stressful thing I have ever done (this includes deploying to Iraq, graduating from the Air Force Academy, life with Gizmo...) At any moment I feel as if I could either burst into tears or break into uncontrollable laughter. I hinge on feeling total, complete terror and sheer, unadulterated excitement.

And I'm tired.


Thankfully...THANKFULLY!! Gizmo sleeps through the night. However, as a working parent I'm incredibly protective of the time I have with her. Because of this I've adjusted my schedule so that I milk all the girls BEFORE she wakes up. This means I roll my tired butt out of bed every morning at 4:45 am to go hand milk twelve goats (no machine milking until the parlor is built). It's not that I mind this time, in fact, it's one of my favorite parts of my day. Listening to them chew their oats, the pigs sleeping and snoring in a big pile (they can't be bothered to wake up so early), the milk streaming into my pail...it's a peaceful, beautiful time. But dang! It is early!! Once I come back inside Gizmo is usually stirring so I get a big chunk of time with her before she goes down for her first nap and before I go to work.

In the evenings I milk with her (she LOVES her goats) but hold off on all other farm chores until after she goes to bed. I firmly believe in her shadowing Nick and I as we work but I also feel like I need to drink every single second I have with her in, and at the end of a day the only proper way to do that is to get down on the ground and play with her.

I end every night hooked up to my own pump (I'm still fortunate enough to be able to feed Gizmo breast milk as an exclusive pumper) curled in bed, muttering dairy nonsense to Nick, who put us with my schemes and plans as I calculate supplies, grain ratios, recipes, finances (oy. finances) until we both can literally no longer hold our eyes open.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again. We were on the two year dairy plan. This was a very logical and reasonable timeline...and now, well, let's just say it's expedited. This Summer had a whole list of projects, necessary projects, that somehow must get squeezed in. The Dairy takes precedence, but it doesn't replace.

Because...and I can't believe I get to say this, the farm is thriving. We are completely sold out of pork for the year. This is amazing. This year we will have fed over 25 familes. I still can't believe how lucky we are that we live in a community that just gets it. Life is too short to eat bad food.

If you have been a pork customer in 2014 please mark your calendars for July 26th. We're glamming up our Annual Pig Roast for Pork Customers with a full sit down meal in the pasture, real tables, real chairs, real plates...the works! Details to follow, be sure to watch your e-mail.

And, lest you think we're short of cuteness around here I leave you with this: The first kids of the season (we bred late last year to account for also bringing a human baby into this world). Two sweet little doelings, twins, 3/4 Nubian, 1/4 Oberhalsi. They'll be Dairy Girls eventually, but for now they're just plain adorable.

Gizmo and Her Dairy Goats

And ps: I'm aware of Foxglove and it's poisonous attributes. This was a supervised photo. Everyone is alive and well and nothing was ingested.