Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My first summer with the goats and making cheese

My first season in 2007 with the goats was a learning experience that no amount of research could have prepared me for. Yes, reading the books and internet articles was a great help, but actual hands on is the best educator of all.
Lilah and Darcy

I got my first goats ...Lilah, Darcy, Emily, and 2 bottle baby does ... from Lacey at Hidden Brook Farm. Lacey was a GREAT help those first several weeks. I'm sure she thought I'd never stop asking questions! I think it's wonderful how goats seem to bond people into friendships.


Bell, Holly, and BW (the buck) came to live with me about a month later. Now, I had 5 mature does, a buck, and the 2 doelings. I was in the dairy goat business !!

I was milking Lilah, Darcy, Emily, Holly, and Bell. This gave me enough milk to enjoy fresh and experiment on making cheeses. I made fresh Chevre, Cheddar, and fresh Mozzarella. Delicious!

I have to admit though ... that first season of making cheeses ... I probably failed as many batches as I had successes with. The secret to making good cheese is to practice ... practice ... practice! Don't give up. The key's to cheese making is temperature, timing, and technique. The temperature and timing you can get from recipe books, but the technique you develop with practice.


~Tonia said...

You were brave to start out milking 5!! I started with 2!! We were all learning!lol They were First fresheners and I had only practiced on my mom's goats!!lol Poor things....

Brenda said...

I'm very glad I had seasoned pros for my first milking goats. Lilah had a very dominate personality and is still the "queen" doe ... even with the herd the size it is today.

My first few times milking the goats was VERY interesting to say the least! I had hand milked cows ... off and on ... for several years before ... but milking goats was a whole new experience!

I learned that they had unique personalities quickly!

Linda said...

Ah, I think I found it! Guess this answers my questions in your first post...