36 hours

And so October is in and we finally got a little rain.  I don’t even think it amounted to 0.5,” but at least it was something… we even have a few puddles in the driveway!  That’s quite a novelty for us this summer.

Pippi is not happy with me
Pippi is not happy with me

Since I need to be finished with milking before I go away toward the end of this month, to that end I have been spacing out the milking schedule a little more and more.  I know some folks go from twice a day, or every 12 hours, to an 18 hour divide (which means the middle of the night), but I back it off to once a day as I am lowering the feed ration a bit.  The first few days are tough, lots of milk in that udder and almost tough to get it emptied before the girls rebel and want off the stand.

Next to last milk bucket for human use this year
Next to last milk bucket for human use this year

And so I am working on this right now.  I don’t want to stop milking, I love the milk that we get in the autumn, the curds are larger and we get more cheese for our efforts out of each 3 gallon batch I make.  But this year family obligations and another weekend (a fun weekend), have conspired against me!  Two 4-day weekends in a row that I will be out of town.  Neither my husband or my son milk.  Even if one of them started, the girls wouldn’t be trusting them all that quickly.  The milk and cheese thing really is my specialty, so I plan accordingly.

I have been milking just once a day for the past 5 days, and I did my first 36 hour separation today.  I won’t milk again until Tuesday morning.  On Wednesday the girls are going to be wormed in preparation  for breeding, and that will effectively mean the end of the milk usage, even though I will continue milking farther and farther apart.  We have a 7 to 9 day withdrawal on the wormers that we typically use, so by the time that is up, so will the milk!

Something new to chew on
Something new to chew on

Another year’s cycle is coming around, and as much as I love Joni Mitchell’s rendition of The Circle Game, I am kind of sad to see this part of the year go into dry dock.  But, then we have the excitement of the Breeding Game to attend to!  Farming is all about the yearly cycles, and each one is exciting in its own way.  And this year I get to experience it all without the stress of the day job.  Yay for retirement :*)

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8 thoughts on “36 hours”

  1. Curious what is different about autumn milk for making cheese. Different types of plants out in the pasture the girls are eating, or some other seasonal difference in their bodily chemistry? That pail of milk looks good!

  2. Hi Lavinia, yes, I didn’t know about the difference in quality of milk that affects curds during the lactation process when I began, either! I think it has more to do with the lactation itself. I think that the proteins are higher and there is possibly more milkfat and calcium. The ratios change over the course of lactation, and I don’t think it has to do with season. I have milked later in the year and longer into the winter, and it really seemed to have to do with the point in the doe’s lactation more than the feed or forage. Totally not scientific!

  3. We are getting less and less milk every day here, just that time of year. It’s always a bittersweet time…missing the fresh milk but nice to have a break from the twice, then once daily milkings.

  4. The weather changes here quite drastically and windy sideways rain is not uncommon for many days in a row. Our goats are most often in fields five to fifteen minutes walk away. Poor Johnny, you won’t ever hear him complain, but I do feel for him as he bundles up to make the trek in lousy weather. He needs the break I think. And of course, the goats need the break too.
    I like your vision…must sit down and watch the leaves fall, the grass grow, the clouds breeze by now that the hotel is closing down. Cheers!

  5. Oh my! That’s a way away to gather the goats, but it must have its rewards some days! Sideways rain is always the worst. Do you have a part in the running of the hotel? The island photos are lovely, you live in an enchanted place. With rain, lots and lots of rain :*)

  6. I’m just an employee, really try to take on little extra responsibility other than my own duties as I have enough to do at home and all. It’s a nice social outlet and great for a bit of extra money. Will work less next year as it has taken too much time away from the garden and family this year and we had to decline selling some things as we were not prepared. This is how we learn I suppose.

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