So, I told Shaun yesterday that I wanted to have all our work done by 2:00 p.m. and be sitting (freshly showered) on the back deck, laptop in hand, blogging about our amazing life, while sipping a glass of wine and watching him (also freshly showered) barbeque something wonderful to go with the amazing dinner that I had prepared. This is how it pans out in reality: It is 7:30, the goats need to be milked, Shaun is frantically looking for something to barbeque, we are both smelly and dirty and my amazing meal is going to be something I call ‘honeymoon salad ‘, which is “lettuce alone”…***sigh*** not exactly the way I had in my fantasy, but I knew when I shared it with Shaun that it was nothing more than a fantasy. (He did, however, just deliver a glass of wine to me for sipping to get closer to the aforementioned fantasy). The reality is, there are not enough hours in the day…BUT…it was an amazing weekend despite falling short of my fantasy and, besides, without dreams, what do we have to live for…right? Maybe next weekend?!
The last day of May!!! Hard to believe that this month has zipped by so quickly. I am sure I mentioned that May is my favorite month of the year. Everything is really starting to get going here on the farm and Shaun and I are full of energy and ideas for projects. This year was no different. We were excited as our Nubian does started to kid. Illusion was our first to kid with quads—two beautiful little does and two bucklings. Clarice (an AI that I was certain wasn’t bred despite the preg check confirmation) kidded a week late with a single buck kid! It was temporarily disappointing until we realized that he was stunning and that we could use him on a large number of our does)—welcome aboard Apollo…you are our new Nubian herd sire for this year! J We can’t wait to see what our next three does have in store for us. It is so exciting to see the Nubian babies.
Last week was spent helping Ashley move to Lincoln Nebraska where she will begin her PhD. in Animal Science. I have so many things to say about that, but I think it can all be summed up by a conversation that Ashley and I had with the owner of a goat dairy in Lincoln last week. While enjoying some good conversation and camaraderie at the Farmers Market where they were selling, I noted that they had a son and asked if this was their only child. My conversational counter-part indicated that ‘no’ they had three children, but ‘the others weren’t really interested in farming…he guessed they hadn’t done a very good job of romancing the next generation of farmers’. To this, my heart was sad, but also grateful to our two daughters that continue to pursue higher education for the benefit of farming. They both recognize how important agriculture is and respect it as a viable part of our economy and are devoted to a life that sustains farming enterprises. Could we be more proud? Not on your life!
Amber started her 4th year of vet school two days after finishing her 3rd year. The rotational ‘hazing’ is something that as her mother, I marvel at. This was the child that needed at least 9 hours of solid rest lest she be toxic. God bless her co-workers!!!!
At the home front, Shaun (much to his chagrin) held down the fort while Ashley and I traversed to Nebraska. You see, I am really the milker here at the farm. Shaun’s world in my absence was as follows: Rise, feed babies, milk goats, make cheese, feed babies, milk goats, go to bed, REPEAT! He had high hopes of getting all kinds of things done, but the reality is, I was just happy that he was at the airport to pick me up when I returned…our life is not made for one person—we do it together for a reason! That being said, I need to shout out to my hubby who had everything is great order when I returned after more than a week of my being gone. That might not seem like much to some, but I know how much work it is and am grateful that he took all of it on by himself, while I helped Ashley get settled.
Yesterday we made another batch of cheese that we believe will eventually be our signature cheese—somewhat inspired by our eldest daughter ( did I mention how dangerous it is when they come back to the homestead for a visit? Their vested interest always leads to amazing ideas…) this cheese is a cheddar style with a wonderful smokey flavor that we have dubbed “Yacolt Burn”. We love the way cheeses are named regionally and we live in an area of Livingston Mountain that was part of the original 1902 Yacolt Burn. It seemed appropriate that we name a cheese after our region. We don’t think you will be disappointed. The flavor combination is fabulous. It is going to be amazing!
In addition to our cheese, our ice cream production continues. Yesterday (or maybe I should really come clean and say, last night at midnight after a day of cheese making) we made our first batch of Chocolate Spice Ice Cream. This ice cream is amazing! Yes, we completely understand that chocolate is neither regional or seasonal (which is our effort in our ice cream production), but let’s face it, everyone likes chocolate, so it will be a standard! Next week, however, Strawberry is on tap. Let us know if you have a favorite source for strawberries…we want to support other farmers locally and also use the best berries we can find. We also want to hear where you would like to be able to purchase our ice cream. We are getting ready to start creating local partnerships with retailers and we have our ideas of whom we would like to work with, but we really want your input. Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line and let us know where you would like to see us!
So there you have it friends, things continue to be incredibly crazy (and wonderful) here at Conway Farms! Our lives are full beyond reasonable capacity, but we love every minute of it. We are excited to share our new enterprises with you and look forward to encouraging you to live this same crazy (over-full) life.
So, until next update (which will hopefully be full of tales of doe babies), we hope all your kiddings/lambings have gone well, we hope your garden is in and growing, we hope your farm (or pretend farm) is filled with sunshine and abundant farm blessings…until next month…
Shaun & Lorrie