Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘milk’

Breakfast, Bluebells and Goats.

In Animals, Cooking, Gardening, sustainable living on April 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Bella, on the left, is one year old today. Her mother Enid is still giving plenty of milk for our needs. There is enough for making paneer, for souring for brown bread instead of buying buttermilk and even enough for an occasional bowl of custard. There is a misconception that goats need to kid every year to produce milk. Not true. We always milk for 2 years. It won’t be as much as the 1st year but we are not into maximum production. We love our animals and look after them well. We keep goats because we like them, but also to free ourselves from involvement in the cruel practices that are part and parcel of the dairy industry, both cows and goats. Enid will milk until Autumn then be dried off and rested for 2 years. Enid will be put in kid in November and hopefully be kidding 5 months later.

We like to start the day with a good breakfast here in Arigna. Today we had sourdough pancakes, really nice! I made the sourdough starter last September using our own grapes as a starter. I use the sourdough in bread and cakes too. Sourdough makes the gluten easier to digest and is good for the intestinal flora. The flavour seems to improve the longer you have the starter.

Yesterday we went to Deereen Wood near Boyle, it is a spectacular sight at the moment as the Bluebells are flowering. Bluebells spread quickly so there are more every year. A sight to lift and lighten anyone’s heart.

We were amazed to come upon this single magenta coloured Bluebell. Have often seen light pink ones but this was a really striking colour. I wonder if this will spread like the blue ones.

Keeping Goats at Prospect Cottage.

In Animals, sustainable living on March 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

Enid and daughter Bella in playful mood.

We have kept goats sice returning to live in Ireland in 1996. They are such characters, each with their own personality. All animals have their own personality really but if you are involved in intensive farming you won’t want to see that. You can’t eat your friends!

Enid, who provides our daily milk.

We are so happy not to be buying milk from the supermarket. Not part of the chain that kills the calves after birth to get the Mother’s milk. Not part of the chain that kills cows when they are past their peak production. Not part of the chain that routinely feeds antibiotics to the animals.

Andy and Smokie.

Keeping goats is of course part of our self-sufficiency plan. In return they are well looked after. They have a nice shed with a straw bed, this in turn provides manure for the garden when it rots down. They are part of the ongoing cycle of Nature here.

We will never kill them for food, they will be looked after in their old age.

Goats of course do need to be well-fenced. They will eat your shrubs, flowers, trees and vegetables. That is the nature of the goat so it’s up to the goatkeeper to keep good fencing, then all will be well.

Andy and the girls.

All in all keeping goats has been a good experience for us. Of course there is sadness when animals die, but their life span is shorter than ours so we must cope with that. C’est la vie!