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Posts Tagged ‘Goat Milk’

Yep, the freezers are emptying quickly.

The photo above shows the two top shelves of the commercial freezer in my shop.  We also have a freezer in our laundry room, one in the barn, and one 1/2 full at a friend’s house.  All are empty except for the freezer at the friend’s house. 

One small goat kid can consume 4-20 ounces bottles of milk a day.  Multiply 80 ounces a day by 10 kids (give or take) and the freezer doesn’t stay full long!

Remember the goat milk transportation going on a year or so ago (here)? There will be no need for it this season. 

Cleaning the freezers will now be a breeze…that is a plus!

Milk replacer is now being introduced at a ration of  1/2 milk replacer/water, 1/2 milk.

And there is still enough fresh milk for soap and lotion, barely. 

The kids are certainly a lot of fun.  They are a lot of work.  And I do enjoy them while they are little.  They do not stay that way long.  They are a blessing.

You might ask, why bottle kids? Sometimes unplanned things happen.  I had a lot of triplets this year, for starters, the third in a set just do not get fed well, and sometimes the third is a weaker kid.  Other factors were involved as well.  Just call me the Goat Milk Bottle Queen.  It seems to be my job each spring.

Have a beautiful day!

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Yep, as many of us just experienced, the winter blast arrived, hasn’t quite left yet, and is leaving winter permanently in it’s tailwinds.

Frozen water buckets.  Slick slopes down to the barn.  Winds.  Static electricity in the clothes and hair.

The new Carhart is a joy.  No cold air penetrates.  The Muck boots that I ordered last season grip the ground and keep the toes and legs warm.

But there is a draw back.  Everything feels stiff, bundled up.

As I placed myself next to the doe on the milk stand, I didn’t bother to turn on the light.  I have a window.  It provides dim light in the early morning.  I was too cold to bother much today at all.  Feeling awkward in my arctic attire.  I began the milking steps.  Step one…wash teats.  Step two, place fingers around fully engorged teat.  Step three, squeeze in the proper manner.  Step four, squirt, squirt…but something went wrong.  No milk in bucket.

Wait a minute…did I say no milk in bucket?

Uh-huh…I was milking down my sleeve.  Nice aim. 

The joys of bundling up.  The joys of winter.  I bet my coat loved its refreshing milk bath.  But, yeah, it did a good job! I didn’t feel a thing.

I have been busy, almost too busy to notice.  I am still here, alive and kicking.  Doing the silly things I normally do. 

You don’t know the half of it.  And, boy would I love to hear your funny stories too. I bet you have some!

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In most states the sale of raw milk is illegal.

Raw milk has been linked to certain illnesses over the course of history, however, raw milk, especially goat milk, has acted as a “wonder drug” according to those that drink it.  Many report lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and children that thrive on the milk as well, with overall allergies tremendously lessened.

I read an article this morning, posted to the Wisconsin State Journal regarding the safety of raw milk.  All the while thinking, so many illnesses are blamed on certain types of food.  Take the big spinach scare – the problem was not the spinach, it was likely the water in one location that was contaminated.  One farm, one isolated problem…not the spinach itself! You might find this article in The Atlantic interesting as well, re:  Why Small Farms Are Safer, it touches on the food safety issue as well.

I make no bones about it.  I drink raw milk.  I am not a huge milk drinker, but I feel safe in knowing where my milk came from…what went into it…what did not go into it.  If I were to sell raw milk, I would definitely want it to be tested, for the peace of mind, safety for others. 

As the article from the Wisconsin State Journal mentioned, why can tobacco be sold? Tobacco has been tested.  It has no healthy benefits.  It has been proven to cause deadly health issues on a consistent basis, unlike raw milk, yet, it is one hot commodity.  Hmmm?

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Goat Milk

A few days ago I poured 2 ounces of whole cow milk into a cup, thinking it would be a quick refreshing drink. 

I took a sip…blech!!!!

Several thoughts crossed my mind.  The milk did not taste right.  It tasted metallic.  It seemed processed.

Then I realized I had not tasted store bought milk in several years.  I do not drink milk often, it mainly goes into soap and lotion.  When I do put goat milk up for myself, I filter and drink it raw, ice cold.   

What a difference!

It was like comparing the taste and texture of a fresh summer garden tomato to a store bought hot-house tomato purchased in the middle of January!

How I would love to be totally self-sustaining on the farm.  I would love to grow every ounce of our own food.

Can you imagine how much healthier we might be if we shrugged all processed foods?

I have been nibbling on protein bars here and there, helping me to fill in the gaps between meals.  Reading the labels on the boxes tells me, “You can do better than that, lady!” I would be better off drinking 4 oz. of fresh milk.  It would work the antibodies up in my blood, not to mention lower cholesterol, amongst other helpful things. 

What do you think, have you had dreams of being self-sufficient, or at least nearly so? 

Do you think we, as a whole, could be much healthier without the chemicals and processing of our food?

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Momma

Momma

As I feed and milk the goats the rest of the hungry animals show up.  Momma cat comes in and takes a nap on the hay.  Who says these are the DOG days of summer?
Fluffy Boy

Fluffy Boy

The kittens are growing.  Fluffy Boy hangs out at the barn gate.  All of the cats congregate, waiting patiently for their treat of warm goat milk. 

Misc 002

Sharisse

 The bottle kids wait patiently for milk as well.  In the summer their milk is fed cold.  I would imagine it is a treat to them in this hot spell!

Can you resist those nubian eyes?

 

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Charolette 9-2-07Thought I would throw in some dairy goat statistics this evening.

Do you know which state had the largest number of reported dairy goats (at last count)? My first guess would have been California.  I was wrong.  Many years ago it was Ohio.  The correct answer is Wisconsin, at 40,000 head of dairy goats.  California follows with 37,000 head.  Iowa and Texas followed.  

Now, when you look at dairy goat operations, the numbers jumble just a bit.  Texas reined in 2007  with a reported 2,100 dairy goat operations.  Followed by California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and Washington state.

With all of these dairy goat operations, with their capabilities of producing over 2,000 pounds of milk a year, the United States imports 50% of the dairy goat cheese consumed, most of it coming from France. Crazy man? I think so!

I love to make the goat cheese! But when I began researching someone I could co-op with in Ohio, or even from a surrounding state, I ran into a lot of opposition both money-wise and a lack of interest.  Ohio is not a good place to own a commercial dairy goat operation.  So, that is when I turned to goat milk soap.  I believe in turning my love of the goats into something sustainable. 

I drink my own goat milk raw, 2 cups a day.  I am a healthy person, so far, so good.  I believe goat milk is one the healthiest foods on the face of this planet (good for cholesterol, diabetes, allergies, the immune system, and more).  I cannot sell my milk, nor can I give it away.  Red tape, and I wish to not get myself in trouble.

I hope my future finds me at 80 years old, in a granny dress, milking a dairy goat, sassy and fit! I need to get the fit part right, first! That is my project this week, fitting up!!!

I will soon write an article on goat milk soap, how I still need to educate the public on its benefits, and even that it does exist!

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The Blue Zones

As soon as my copy of the Dairy Goat Journal arrives in the mail I scan the pictures, especially those sent in from readers. It is such a treat to me. Then, for fun, I jump to the Judging Quiz section, to see if I can again select the goat that wins the class! The rest of the magazine normally is read within a week. For those of you interested in dairy goats, this is a great magazine to subscribe to. I archive the copies on a book shelf, in date order, and I do refer back to them from time to time. The dairy section always intrigues me, especially the farm journals. People out there work a lot harder than I do. I do not milk goats at 5:00 A.M.!!!!

Somehow the last magazine I received sat after I completed the judging quiz. A few days ago I picked it up and began reading an article titled Goat Milk Proven to Enhance Longevity. The benefits of goat milk are not new to me, but what did catch my eye was the source of some of the article’s information, a book titled The Blue Zones, author Dan Buettner.

What are Blue Zones? They are areas and cultures where humans live much longer in comparison to people inhabiting the rest of the globe.

So, to put some salve on the itch in my curious brain, to learn more about Blue Zones, I began a Google search.
Here are bits and pieces of what I found:

Where Are These Blue Zones?The Barbargia region in Sardinia, Italy (where the Blue Zone phenomenon primarily affects men); Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California. http://www.marthastewart.com/article/the-blue-zone

We literally got a taste of secret number one: goat’s milk. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30672884/ns/dateline_nbc-health_stories/

Daily naps – Taking a 30-minute nap at least five times a week can decrease the risk of heart attack by 35 percent. It refreshes your mind and isn’t just for kids after all. http://www.ehow.com/how_5036733_lose-longer-lessons-blue-zones.html

If you do a search as well, you will find other healthful longevity tips such as: eat a lean plant based diet, put family first (and elders), exercise (walking), and drink a glass or two of red wine daily (I drink 5 ounces each evening), and laugh with friends.

I need to go back and read all of the articles I linked to again! They are interesting, and there are more to read via the Google search.

Way to go, goat milk! I love it. And you know what? I do feel better when I have my cup a day. I have been known, when I have no girls in milk, to thaw out a bottle that was frozen for the kids just to fulfill my need for goat milk.

I have been thinking a great deal about getting older (I am fifty now), and how I need to be as strong and healthy as I possibly can. I feel 20-something in the head, but my body isn’t so young anymore! So…with this Blue Zone idea in my head, no I will not try to live to 130, but it sure does make me think, be as healthy as possible. Be as natural as possible (skin and body). Take better care of the body that God gifted to me!

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I am a cheese fiend. I absolutely cannot keep much cheese in the house. How about you?

In my spare time (uh huh) I make goat milk cheese. Chevre is my favorite, especially when garlic and my farm-grown fresh chives are included. I love seeing the muslin bags hanging in my kitchen for 8 hours! It feels old world, not to make little of the great a sense of accomplishment that cheese making adds.

I also enjoy feta goat milk cheese. Oh man, my diet is on the line when I make a batch of feta. I bottled it up once with dried rosemary infused in olive oil. I dipped into that jar enough frequently enough to give myself a belly ache!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get fresh cheese into the house is to make mozzarella.

Here a quick recipe that includes some microwave usage:

1 gallon milk
1.5 to 2 tsp. citric acid
1/4 tsp. liquid rennet
1/2 C cool water (not chlorinated)
Kosher salt to taste (not iodized)

Dissolve the citric acid in 1/4 C water.

Dissolve the rennet in 1/4 C water.

Pour the milk into a stainless steel or enamel pan. Add the citric acid solution. Stir well. Slowly heat the milk to 90 degrees. You will notice the milk begin to curdle.

At 90 degrees, add your rennet solution. Stir gently, in a top to bottom motion for approximately 1 minute.

Remove the pot from the heat source.

Allow the milk to set for 5 minutes. This allows the curd to form.

Using a long knife, cut the curd in a checkered or cubed pattern, in an approximate 1″ pattern.

Scoop the curds into a microwave safe bowl.

Press the curd with your hands. The goal is to release and pour off as much liquid (whey) as possible.

Microwave the curd on high for 1 minute.

Note: Use caution, the cheese and bowl will get hot! I wear thick rubber gloves during the process.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and quickly work the cheese with a spoon or your hands. Drain off the whey again.

Microwave 2 more times, 35 seconds each. Repeat the kneading, handling and draining each time.

Knead quickly now, as you would bread dough. You will begin to see the cheese firm up and become shiny. Add salt at this time, to taste.

The cheese should now be pliable, and able to be stretched.

You can form the cheese into a ball and drop it into ice water to cool, or you can roll it out and wrap it in wax paper. I prefer the wax paper.

The cheese is ready to eat once cooled.

It will stay fresh for many days wrapped in plastic wrap (after the original cooling).

Note:
-cow milk can be used (I cannot personally attest to that statement)
-lipase powder can be added (to give a stronger Italian taste, I prefer without)
-do not use aluminum pans when making this cheese
-do not use iodized salt..that is unless you like green cheese.

Have fun!

 

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I have often wondered, just what is it about the goat milk soap that seems to help my skin, and per many customers, seems to help their skin (and their family members) as well?
I no longer suffer from acne, those types of break outs ended in my late 30’s. What I do suffer from, however, is dry skin, and itchy bumpy skin especially in the winter months. I get the sandpaper skin effect behind the arms and the legs during the coldest of months.
I had a wonderful email conversation with an allergist/dermatologist out of Pennsylvania last week. She asked me several really good questions. I answered her as well as I could. I told her that I do not know if the benefits from goat milk products (that she is hearing about and observing from her patients) came from the soap itself (no added chemicals), or if the sensitive skin help came from the milk itself, or if the benefits came from the fact that it is pure soap (look on your store bought soap wrappers, most cannot legally describe themselves as soap)! The physician agreed, she did not know either, but she thought it was a combination of all of the above. She said many of her patients had come to her with improved skin, improved after using goat milk products, and that she was wondering why all of the benefits herself. So, I decided to do a bit of snooping around. I am a teach me type of person.

So, I began my Google search looking for studies on goat milk soap and goat milk products. I looked for results from actual studies. I did not find any. But what I did find satisfied by interest.

Here we go:

From the American Academy of Dermatology I began looking at their various online brochures. One in particular drew my interest. For dry skin it was recommended to use a mild soap, okay, we probably learned that in first grade. But, next (and I copy):

For severely dry skin, a moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid may be helpful. Both ingredients help the skin hold water. These ingredients are so effective that over-the-counter and prescription moisturizers contain them. The one drawback is that these ingredients can be irritating if you have eczema or cracked skin.

Goat milk…high in lactic acid. There you go, bingo!

I continued to read on, do a bit of self-diagnosis, see the photo above, and I found other photos looking very familiar. My winter skin condition is called keratosis pilaris. It consists of tiny bumps, sometimes itchy, harmless, but bothersome…the treatment (to diminish the appearance and itching of the rash) also included creams and lotions that contain lactic acid. The condition never completely goes away it just looks better after treatment. Yes, I agree, I can attest to it diminishing!

I cannot rightfully say my products can cure your skin problems, I am not licensed to sell my products as a drug or medication. And I try so very hard to not sound like an irritating infomercial for goat milk soap, but my customers with sensitive and allergic skin are very happy campers, and so am I. Why? I believe it is a combination of things (as stated above) mild soap, no added preservatives, stabilizers or chemicals (other than those that contain fragrance and/or non-natural colorants), and the lactic acid (which works with the skin’s PH balance).

Interesting…and I loved sharing it with you!

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