The Milkweed Diaries

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goat Field Trip

Today we visited Three Graces Dairy to pick out our dairy goats. Three Graces is a beautiful farm in the Shelton Laurel community in Madison County that produces super-delicious cheeses made from goat, sheep, and cow's milks.

Roberta, the matriarch of the farm family, and Romalio, who works with the goats, showed us around. They have over 100 milking goats - Saanens, Nubians, and Nigerian Dwarves - as well as sheep and Guernsey cows. Big time, by our standards!

Nubian doe

The farmstead cheese that Three Graces produces is incredible - it was served to the Obamas at the Grove Park Inn as part of a showcase of local foods from the NC mountains, and is highly acclaimed by farmers market customers. We loved trading produce for Three Graces cheese at the tailgate market this season and Christopher is rarin' to get our own milk operation going.

Saanen and Nubian

We decided on four young does--three Nubians and a Saanen--and a Nubian buck to get them knocked up. I'm still holding out for a Nigerian Dwarf, but we decided to wait until next year instead of trying to manage the breeding logistics that would have been involved with adding a Nigerian buck to our little herdlet.

We're very excited about welcoming these new residents to Red Wing Farm...and the babies that will be born in the Spring! Yay goats!

Young Nubians snuggling

Stay tuned for goat updates....the new arrivals should be appearing on the farm sometime around Christmas. And you can be sure that I will post photos!

The Saanen doe we're adopting

And up close....



Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf

Nigerian doe

Those ears! That smile!

A lovely Nubian girl


Anonymous said...

FOUR does knocked up Milkweedy? Wow: talking about jumping in to a project head first! whee! I hope from personal experience there's more than one milkperson handy. Are they all doelings too (i.e., never kidded, never been milked)?

I think you will really love milking and making cheese etc. It is a wonderful way of rounding out the table as well as finding a lot of new friends! And goats are delightful animals. My husband was all set to HATE my goat but instead is the biggest sap for both of them. (That doesn't mean he'll milk them, though, but he's great with hoof trimming and barn mucking. It's all right. They love him too.)

Keep us posted.

Milkweed said...

I know, El! I'm a bit wary of the big leap, but my main man Christopher is a goat lover with mad milk goat experience...and he will be the one in charge, with me standing by as assistant milkperson.

He has a mind to sell raw goat milk "for pet consumption" next year, one of the many strategies to bring in the proverbial bacon since Christopher quit his job earlier this year to be a full-time farmer...

Of course, we may be crazy.

Milkweed said...

PS: yes, bottlefed doelings. Moms are all excellent milkers and dad was the son of an excellent milker....but they are untested!

Anonymous said...

Oh, great!! Glad to hear Christopher has earned his chops before in the teat-squeezing department. And four yearlings will probably yield a decent amt. of milk for you...just be glad you aren't getting four four-year-olds because my goodness you'd be swimming in the stuff. And indeed, good idea on the "pet milk" sale as that's what I do, albeit I usually sell the stuff as products (kefir, yogurt mainly; chevre as the other, hard/cultured cheeses less often but at a much higher price). Our one doe produces soooo much more than we could personally consume. Even with a fine love of cheese, 2 gals/day in the high season and 3 qts/low is, er, lots of milk.

stephen said...

so adorable, what a Christmas present, huh...can't wait to meet them and their chitlins....peapie won't have to fall in love with clothes pin anymore!

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