We have goats!
Thanks to our local farmer friends from St-Fulgence, Les Jardins des Mômes, we will have two pregnant does next spring, meaning we’ll have between 4-6 goats total next summer.
Goats have been my passion for the last few years, and I’ve travelled all over to visit different homestead and small-scale dairy operations in America and Quebec, to learn goat care and cheese making. I’ve worked with several different kinds of goats, and learned to make several different kinds of cheeses.
Most notable of my mentors is Madeleine Vedel, an extraordinary american woman who lived and worked in France for nearly a decade, before coming back to the States to start a goat dairy. She gathered techniques and information about cheese making in France, particularly natural methods for homestead style farms (with 50 animals or less). I spent last spring learning how to make tommes, camemberts, and blues, using a combination of traditional and modern methods and equipment. She really helped me understand the subtleties of the factors that effect not only a cheese, but a goat as well!
Sadly this past year, for various reasons (mainly car troubles), I was unable to work with goats or cheese. I’m a little worried that I’ll have lost some of my savoir-faire, but sometimes letting knowledge incubate can be a good thing. Like a good wine, or, well, a cheese!
Starting next spring, I’ll be working with two young female goats, who are sadly not a breed one would expect to see on a viking farm, but who are nonetheless adorable and will serve the same purpose. I’ll be helping them deliver their babies, teaching them how to be milked (which is quite a challenge; goats don’t particularly like their utters being fondled at first!), and bringing them on walks around the hills by the fjord to browse and graze. Goats love eating leaves and bark, so the nearby woods will be a delicious treat for them!
And of course, I’ll be making dairy products! For myself and the local community, depending on how much we have.
Looking forward to goaty adventures once more.