That's right people. We are farm-sitting in Valley Center, California. It is an absolute blast. This is exactly the type of thing I wanted to do while on sabbatical. We are giving a friend a vacation from her farm chores, learning new skills, and generally chilling the eff out - something we haven't been very good at for the last few months (must ski ALL day).
Here is a typical day at the Z Farm (how far we have come from staring at a computer screen for 10 plus hours each day):
- Feed goats (3 adults and 2 babies)
- Milk goat
- Filter and prep milk for use
- Check for eggs
- Pick veggies from garden for eating that day
- Enjoy the day at the beach, hiking, seeing friends, etc.
- Feed dog, cats, chickens, and goats
- Milk again
Though we had a bit of trouble our first day of milking (involving yelling, panic, goats kicking, and the milk being ruined by a hoof in the bucket), it is pretty awesome now that we have the hang of it. And the goats don't seem to hate us anymore, which is nice.
|Gratuitous goat udders|
I had never milked an animal until last week, ever. It is definitely a two-person job (for us). We try our best to keep the goat (Shyly) happy while milking. We also have to ensure that we complete all the sterilization steps so that our raw goat milk is tasty and the goat stays healthy.
So let me tell you that your arms get TIRED. Our division of labor is such that Dave feeds the goat while talking romantically her. I milk as quickly as possible while listening to Dave tell the goat how beautiful she is.......I am serious here. Sort of weird, but whatever - it works and everyone is happy!
|Dave - king of all goats|
There are also six hens. We feed these animals ALL our leftover food and they inhale it and make tasty eggs. It is really amazing how little waste there is on this farm. Any scraps or peels we don't eat are fed to the animals who in turn make us eggs and milk. Very circle of life-ish.
|That is the chicken coop back there.|
My friend has a gorgeous garden too. We are sort of at the end of the winter season and the beginning of the summer season. Thus, we are eating loads of lettuce, rocket, chard (my fav), carrots, and cabbage. Can you say glorious salads, Dave has never been so regular.
|Sammy watching over the garden|
|Dave has garden envy.|
We made today Farm Day. Instead of driving somewhere and doing an "activity", we just enjoyed the day at the farm doing our little chores, talking to the goats (Dave), and relaxing (me). Oh and there was lunch.......heavenly with a salad, two kinds of homemade goat cheese, and a bottle of Sancerre - because why not.
|Sam is especially good at chilling.|
Well the goats are calling us. Time for the p.m. milking. I will leave you with some more food porn (sorry, we've not been doing much here) from our pizza dinner last night. Tonight we are making osso buco with some of my friend's beef shanks from her beef share. This is redic. I am pretty sure the secret to happiness can be found in a garden/farm/kitchen like this.
|Chevre and chard pizza - yes, please|