Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preparing

Yesterday I was working at Wellness Center for a luncheon and as I was clearing empty plates off of tables I found myself setting aside all the empty plastic water bottles. I collected and washed them and placed them inside a brown paper bag and set them by the door. I use these bottles to feed kid goats. (all our goat kids are bottle fed) I have no kid goats on bottles right now and wont until March so why I felt it so important to start collecting bottles is beyond me. But as I was washing each one I had this great sense of excitement run through me. I love kidding season!

Is it right I'm so excited about this so early? and I'm already preparing! making sure I have all I need. I have a long time to wait. I think what brought this up was the photos I had found buried deep in my commuter of last years kidding. Look, in my book there is nothing cuter than kid goats or lambs, I mean they have the cute so down it'll peal the skin off your chest and expose your heart.

The thing I've really come to accept and realize is that I love raising and working with animals. I love working with the sheep and goats I love raising chickens. I love all of the chores and there really isn't one thing about it I dread. I have loss and that is terrible. I feel a huge sense of responsibility toward all of my animals but really I have a deep love for them. Even more for the ones I raise for meat.

Milking is one of my favorite chores. Its the one stable for sure thing in my life. It dictates a strict routine and its not open to negotiations. I never have to re-invent it and it never changes. Not to say that things don't move with in it or I don't make changes when needed. There are days of grouchy goats or low production and spilt milk but that's OK. The thing is, no matter what is going on in my life, if its 4pm you can find me in the milk parlour. And that gives me comfort. And as other things start to slowdown I have more opportunities to experiment and try new cheeses. This is another thing I get to do that brings me extreme bouts of joy.

But here's the thing dear gentle reader. I've hit a wall with my cheese. I sell all I make and I have restaurants call me all the time wanting it and I cant sell it to them because I don't have an on farm processing licence. Also Its raw and I'm not willing to take the risk on that level. I am going to start experimenting with pasteurization, I do have a small three gal pasteurizer but that has always been a really bad word I generally try not to say often, but its come to that. I feel like I am the healthy person I am today because I drink and eat my raw dairy products. I have never in my life felt as good as I do now. Its been 7 years. So I feel like I carry the torch for raw dairy products, but its a matter of do I want to be a food activist or do I want to sell cheese legally? How do I find that balance?

I eat A really good diet of whole foods, raw milk and cheese a micro amount of processed or restaurant food and I feel absolutely wonderful. I like to share that, I suppose its only natural. But I have every intention to make a living making cheese period. There is no doubt in my mind that will happen very soon. But I've got to make some compromises. and I have to do some hard work getting there. I'm gonna take some small steps first then some larger ones and then some leaps.
But the key thing here is action.

When I first started this blog it was just going to be documenting my path of becoming a licenced on farm processor, but life changed and I became discouraged and felt the looming impossibilities. Very few people were encouraging most, more than willing to point out the many obstacles. So moving forward this time I have to learn to just nod my head and keep it going. I mean I've been able to accomplish amazing things in my life so why should this be any different. So I'm back on. I'll share what I can and ask for some encouragement and moral support. Wish me luck but also help me see all obstacles can be gently moved out of the way.

3 comments:

alicegoochbucketass said...

I bet when you were a chef in Seattle, you never would have imagined you'd be a farmer in Oklahoma - and a damn good one at that. Just remember, if you think you can or you think you can't, you're usually right. So, keep your chin up and just do it. Your cheese rocks! You have lots of (sometimes silent) supporters.

Sue said...

And sometimes not so silent, but you always have friends who believe in you and the work/play you are doing. You are wildly successful at anything you put your energy toward. Lambing is my favorite time of year too, like Christmas every time a baby is born. Now go do the chicken dance, sweet friend. I'm doing it with you. LOL

dlbraly said...

Just found your Blog, I was searching farm life. Keep up the good work. A good resource for us looking for a different way to live.
I have been thinking about doing more at home. Thanks for inspiring me.