Sunday, April 01, 2007

One third, two thirds

Monday, March 26, 2007

One month down, two more to go. This month has just flown by. Since I arrived, I have done and been a part of some pretty dramatic stuff. First off: Norma Tate died, thus throwing the family into shock and upheaval. Old and new pasteurizers have been installed, uninstalled, installed, uninstalled, installed, stared at, yelled at, kicked, poked, exploded, repaired, and finally they successfully pasteurized milk. I've learned how to feed baby goats, name baby goats, capture baby goats, and get mobbed by baby goats. I've gotten redneck lessons. I can gather eggs when being attacked by a brooding hen. I can round up escaped chickens. I can find my way around the backroads of North Carolina.

I've also learned that pigs and cheesemaking work well together. Just find someone else to manage them. Whey-fed pigs are tasty.

Chickens love to eat table scraps and help keep compost turned. I like to eat really fresh eggs from free-range chickens.

I still don't want to raise dairy animals. I must buy my milk. My commitment to working with local farmers is stronger than ever. I want to grow with them in a symbiotic partnership, each benefitting from the other. State-run Extension services can help me find farmers who might want to convert to milking goats and sheep.

When I'm looking at dairies, make sure they're clean, that the animals are clean, and they're kept in nice conditions. Does the farmer love his/her animals? Sammy does.

Make sure that all equipment is tested first. Both by the manufacturer and by me.

Running a farm is an incredible amount of work.

I know where carnies go in the wintertime: They hang out at the Blue Mist BBQ, chain-smoking.

Steve has asked me to set some goals and let him know what I want from him. I guess I better start to really look at what I want to learn during the next two months. The clock is ticking.

Up for tomorrow: Wrapping camembert, storing them in the coldest aging fridge (41 degrees.) Also smoking chevre over pecan chips.

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