Saturday Barn Report March 10, 2012

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Spring is definitely in the air.  Grass is turning green, daffodils are ready to bloom, shrubs are budding and leafing out.

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The next cycle of kidding began yesterday with Sarah, one of our new Alpine yearlings, kidding a big Nubian-Alpine cross buckling.  The six other Alpines will follow her and then just a handful of the last Nubian does: Jeannie, Peggy and On, all first fresheners and two mature ladies, Lucy, one of my first milking goats and dam to the Lucy line in my herd, and Sophie.

Our doelings are growing well.  Beatrice, Gwen and Corrine look like keepers, still evaluating Dora and Faith.

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Josephine and Katie are making visits to the buck shed with hopes of rebreeding them for an August kidding.  If they successfully breed and kid and come into lacatation, we will have them available for sale as family milkers.

We are milking twice a day, 29 goats as of today.  When the kidding finishes, we’ll be milking 40.  It seems to be about a two hour process each time from beginning to end (sanitizing and assembling equipment, setting up, milking seven plus rounds of four goats at a time, processing the milk, cleaning and disassembling the equipment, general clean up).

There is lots of cheese making going on from the gallons and gallons of milk we are getting each day.  Most of it is being made into wheels of Sackett Ridge to be aged in our cave until the summer markets start.  We make a vat of Canterbury and a vat of Trestle once a week so we can have really fresh cheese available.  We are also making two varieties of Moodna now, the first, a pungent salty Greek style feta, and the second, a new variety, a crumbly milder less salty American style feta.  Both of these get aged in our cave as well after brining.  All of the extra Canterbury gets marinated with our special recipe and marinates in the cave.

The chickens and ducks are loving the weather and laying more eggs that seem to sell as soon as they are gathered.  We did save some duck eggs for some friends to incubate and should see those ducklings come back to the farm in April.   We are also providing ducks eggs to the local nursery school to incubate and hatch in the classroom.

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We started building an evaporator to boil down maple sap into syrup but didn’t finish it.  It seems we may have missed maple sugaring this year with the concentration on the goats.

We are looking at the garden longingly as well but this year, the goats may keep us from that as well.

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We have been having open hours each weekend from noon to 2 pm for farm visits and cheese tasting and sales.  We have been attending the Cornwall Winter Farmer’s Market whenever it is scheduled.  Blooming Hill Farm and Palaia Vineyards each carry our cheese for sale.  Hudson Street Café uses our cheeses in their menu and Donna is making an excellent appetizer special this week: Asparagus and Edgwick Farms Goat Cheese Fritters with pickled asparagus and mixed greens. Mmmm.

On March 21 at 11 am, the NYS Commissioner of Agriculture, Darrel Aubertine, is dedicating our new creamery and we are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony.

On April 2 at 1 pm, the USDA is holding a press conference at Food Gems in Middletown to honor us and the six other Hudson Valley recipients of the value added producer grants.

We are hoping it quiets down after that.

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