Monday, March 18, 2013

After the storm

 Today, we were supposed to get some pretty severe storms heading our way. Out here in this cove, we don't see a whole lot of really bad weather like they might get 20 miles North of us. We're in a valley with lots of little ridges and hills. We had been getting some rain during the day, but I kept wondering where all that bad weather was.

Then, about 4:00, it started getting really dark. I could see toward the east, over Pigeon Mt. the sky was so dark. Crazy clouds. It got so windy all of a sudden and lots of rapid lightening, so close together and really fast. The wind was crazy. Trees nearly sideways. Then really hard rain, then hail. For about 10-15 minutes it went on like this. So scary. I said I bet there was a tornado somewhere close, with all that. Then, just as soon as it started, it was over. Still. No rain. No wind. Nothing.

Then this. It was bright, the sun came back out. Beautiful. It got a bit foggy to the North East. Surreal.

Then out back, looking West, was the prettiest blue sky with pink wispy clouds. Hard to believe it had just been crazy storming  a few minutes earlier.

I did hear that there were really strong tornado like winds that did some pretty bad damage to the East of us about 20 miles away. About 4000 homes and businesses lost power from wind damage. So this was a pretty fierce storm. I didn't hear of anyone injured on the news tonight. Just trees down all over.

And all is well with our little piece of the world again. Thank you, Lord, for being with us and keeping us all safe. Again.


An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Kris,
I just found your blog through Aspiring Homemaker. I see that you raise goats, and make cheese. We have raised goats for many years, but they are not milking goats. So we recently bought 9 dairy bottle babies, and we plan to milk some of them in the future, and hopefully make cheese.
So I have a question for you. Does all goat cheese taste like the smell of a buck, like the stuff I bought from the store? I have milked one of our does a little before just to see what it tasted like, and her milk tasted just like cows milk. Someone told me that if a doe is around the buck that it will make her milk have that buck taste. So I wondered if they are kept away from the buck if their cheese won't taste that way?
I will be looking forward to your answer, and future posts.


Kris said...

Hi Kimberly. Thanks for stopping by. I've had goats for around 12 years now. But dairy goats only 8 years. I have noticed that certain breeds have bad tasting milk. Like a Toggenburg cross. I never could drink her milk. Then I read that Toggs were bred to make cheese. I never tried with her milk. I guess now I should have?

I have never tasted "bucky" milk here. I don't keep my bucks with the does all year. But just last year started putting the bucks with the does in late Feb. with no problems. They had gone out of rut by then and didn't smell bad at all. Then about mid summer I separated them again for fall breeding. By Sept. the bucks start stinking again. I put the does with the bucks for breeding and keep them together a few months.

The trick is to NOT touch the buck when you are milking the doe. If you do have to touch him, wash your hands really good before touching the udder to milk. And wash her udder really good too and try not to touch her too much, as she's been with the buck. I've done really well this way. Because you can't avoid NOT having a buck around a doe during breeding time. Unless of course the doe is a first freshener and you're not milking.

I just love goat milk and know when it's just right to drink. I have never had a "bucky" tasting milk. It's not good the first few weeks after kidding. And sometimes, depending on the goat and what she's eating, it might take longer. Watch out for those wild spring onions. Goats LOVE them and it will affect the milk taste. But I've never thought goat cheese tasted bucky to me either. Have you ever had fresh raw goat cheese? I am going to be making some Chevre tomorrow. And a farmer's soft cheese too.

It also depends on the breed of goat. I have a Nubian and 2 full LaManchas and a LaMancha-Nubian_Alpine cross. She's who I am milking now and she has some really good milk and she's a first freshener. Almost a gallon a day! Rich, creamy and sweet. Can't wait to make cheese with her milk.

And there are other factors too. Like clean stainless steel buckets and cleaning the udder and squirting off the first few squirts of milk. Also, get that milk COLD as soon as possible. That makes a big difference in taste.

I hope this helps. Sorry it's so long. I love talking goats! Good luck with yours. 9 is a lot to milk. I had 7 to milk at once a few years ago. What kind do you have?

An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Kris,
Thanks for the response. I love talking goats too! Luckly we don't have wild onions growing here. My Mom bought some raw goat cheese at a local Co-Op and it tasted like the smell of a buck bla-bla-bla. I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth. I was told it might be from exposure to a buck. Then when I milked our goat, my sister was shocked because the milk tasted like cows milk, because she said that the raw goats milk she bought previously tasted "goaty". But I know that that dairy she got the milk from had a buck penned up within the milking doe area.
The goats we got are mostly LaMancha, but they are all crosses, and one is a buckling. I have pictures of all of them on my last few blog posts, and it list what breeds each one is. We are not planning to milk all of them. We will decide when they freshen, who should be milked, and who should just be left to their babies.

Kris said...

Kimberly, after going to your blog, I'm sure you know way more than I ever did. All your kids are so cute! If you saw Penelope, she's the Alpine-LaMancha-Nubian cross. I bred her to my Boer buck Arlo. She had twin doelings. Both looked Boer but one had ears and the other had elf ears. Penelope is naturally polled so Phoebe, the elf eared doe, was too. I sold both of them. They were so cute and huge kids.

Sandy, the Nubian, is bred to Arlo as well. She's due in about a month. Can't wait to see her kids. They are sold already too.

Seems like every day it's something new with goats and sheep. Any time something happens, it's never anything I have already dealt with. So I learn all the time.

I'm in a new farming group called CRAFT. It stands for collaborative reional alliance for farmer training. Maybe there's a group near you? It's great. We are the first farm on this year's tour schedule. And I am a nervous wreck! So many others have sheep and goats in this group. And I am supposed to talk on sheep and goats. I have decided to talk on what NOT to do!

Anyway, I look forward to seeing how your goats are growing.