Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Milking, cream, hornets & goat repreive

This madam is not supposed to be up there, she is supposed to be outside with her mates. She is new to the petite ferme and thought that she would do a bit of investigation of chez nous. It did not turn out too well for her. After being chased by three dogs I think she will change her mind about indoor visits. She left quite a few feathers behind in her charge back outside. 

Our onions did not do too well, with only these long ones surviving. Because of their shape I thought they might do as an experiment for dehydrating onions, which are supposed to smell dreadfully during the drying time. 

So into the dehydrator..... voila! All dried up, and with hardly any smell wafting about, but this might have been because the dehydrator is in the food storage area which is next to the dog's sleeping quarters which is were there tends to be a lingering aroma of wee sometimes because the rottweiller girls are still puppies although are huge in size and therefore do huge sized wees when they have the need upon them. Citronella does the trick of de-fuming though, and the puddles are getting less and less. Now the figs are finished for this year we are also minus figgy induced dog poos.

So those onions made three jars for winter use....

....more jars for the shelves, which are gradually filling up. 

Four days worth of cream, waiting to be made into butter.....

Lissie is continuing to be a perisher about being milked, but the three of us (me, Lester, Lissie) somehow manage, with me up the front end of her and Lester down below. Apparently milking cows calm down when in calf. We are urgently looking into artificial insemination. Asked the vet who said he knew the man who did this. Said to give him a call when next she is in season. Will do. 

Meanwhile, the goat who was going into the pot has been reprieved. She wagged her tail enticingly at the male goat this morning and kicked up a hell of a voice asking for his favours. Lester relented. Said that she should have the experience of having a youngster before she goes into the freezer. Asked if he was getting to be softy. No, I said. We are smallholders so can do as we like, and if that means being indulgent to a goat who wanted ever so much to have some moments with the male goat before her life is done, then so be it. Of course that does mean that we will have an extra two mouths to feed next year, but heyho, it will be worth it for the joy of seeing her prance across the field to get herself sorted out. But she can't be kept in the long term because she is not a milking goat, so her days are numbered, even though she has had this reprieve. 

Sarah down the lane has a chimney. In that chimney there was a nest. Hornets were in that nest. We have not seen any hornets at the beehive during the last two days. Sarah down the lane lit her fire so the hornets in her chimney would die. Well done Sarah! Looks like you cured our problem with hornets at the same time as you sorted out your 'under siege from hornets' dilemma. 

Lester is plucking a chicken, a cockerel actually. He has another five to go. Cockerels are lovely looking birds but have an unfortunate habit of causing mischief and mayhem amongst the girls, who need to be cosseted and not harassed by numerous randy cockerels. It is a long job plucking a chicken. I think I had best go and help him. But the disembowelling job I leave to him. Singing merrily as I go "Heyho and its a farmgal's life for me......"


The Broad said...

Your post has really cheered me up and made me smile! I had no idea there were 'milking' and 'non-milking' goats! You are both so amazing!

The onions look very impressive and all the rest of your productive shelves! Hope you have a nice cosy well-fed winter!

John Gray said...

Am loving those filed shelves Vera
I think I will buy some similar for next year!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Those dried onions look very good and what a beautifully organized larder :-)

Denise said...

I hope Lester is wearing a good 'n' sturdy apron. My Dad used to pluck chickens in our kitchen with barely a sheet of newspaper in sight. Drove Mum crackers!

Vera said...

The Broad, its to do with the udders! Our two milking goats have udders that Lester can get hold of, but the two other ones have hardly any at all, so he would only get a spoonful of milk but that would depend of whether or not he could find the teats!

John, those shelves are cheap ones, that's why we bought them!

Niall & Antoinette, the photo did not show the chaos in the rest of the room!

Denise, no, no apron. Plucked them outside, disembowelled them on the kitchen table in between my cake making project and the potatoes being peeled ready for canning! And then washed them in the sink and put them on to of the drying washing up. Had to do all the washing up again and disinfect everything heavily!

Jean said...

Considering that goat is the most often eaten meat on the planet, I often wonder why we never see it in French supermarkets. Especially as rhere are zillions of goats around here, because of the cheese.
Equally, it's as rare as hen's teeth in Derbyshire butchers. Our friend of Weat Indian extraction gets hers from one of the many "black butchers" in Nottingham.
She treated us to a goat curry a while ago, made by her mum, a West Indian immigrant of the 1950's. It was one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten.

Kev Alviti said...

Honestly your shelves look amazing! You must be so pleased with all your homemade produce! As for the hornets they sound horrible. We've got some euro wasps around here and they sound like a low flying aircraft as they go past your ear!