Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Kitchen Lately

Since it's "milking season" on my micro-farm these days one side of the kitchen sink is always full of the milking gear.

When it's not in the sink being sterilized... ...it's on the windowsill drying out.
The stuff includes the "Udderly EZ" milker components, including two one-quart collection bottles, a couple of funnels to pour the collected milk into cleaned formerly cow milk gallon containers, the Clorox to put a few drops in the sink to sterilize everything, the waterless hand sanitizer I use to wash the teat area of the sheep, and the stainless steel bucket I thought I'd use originally before I got the Udderly EZ milker. The hand milking wasn't working for me so I got the milker and now I use the bucket to carry all the stuff in. The bucket is actually too small for everything so I'm going to use another bucket.

I've decided to stop milking Baby because she is really too thin. On the body condition score I'd have to put her at a "1". The four other ewes are between 3 and 4 so I'm not worried about them at all. In fact, Jamie and Francine are getting close to being too fat. It's too bad Baby is putting everything she's got into making milk. Besides Jamie, she was the best milker. So for two days I only collected one cup per side, just to ease the pressure. I had been getting about three cups per side. The urge to milk her out was very strong and I had to force myself to stop, even as the precious white fluid continued to pour into the collection bottle.

That's how my sister and I talk about the sheep milk: it's liquid gold. Here's one reason why. Check out the prices on the sheep's milk cheeses!

I think I'm collecting more than she can use at the moment. She was off last week allegedly to work on a paper for school but when I started bringing the milk over she was transported to another mode: sheep cheese making mode.

But this week she's falling behind because she's letting other things get in the way. Things like her real job.

It doesn't matter though. Sheep milk freezes exceptionally well and I think besides Jamie the other three ewes are slowing down in their milk production. I just need to make sure I have enough empty milk cartons to put the milk in. I'm getting about a gallon a day at this point (it was almost 1 1/2 gallons with Baby).

Good thing I have a teenaged son who drinks about a gallon of milk a day! (You know, so I can save the containers!)

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi Tina,
I tasted some sheep's milk cheese at a Farmer's Market recently. I have to say it was very good. I liked it as well as goat's milk cheese, maybe even more. I didn't buy any because it was expensive, but I don't think it was nearly as expensive as the link on your blog. Enjoy the cheese-making.