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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our Story not short BUT it is sweeet

Oh my gosh, Vera Wang is now a cover girl!!
Well where do I start. I am from a rural Amish area of Ohio. I left Ohio
years ago and ran my own business in the Bay Area of Ca plus I had a 100
acre horse ranch. In order to keep the horse ranch up I worked constantly
at my "REAL" job to pay the bills. I would RARELY visit Napa Valley and
test taste the wine and the artisan cheese but when I did I really gathered
all the information I could just to get my mind off of stresses of my hectic
life. I once read an article about a wall street person that up and quit
the hustle of New York and bought a herd of goats and started making
cheese. What made her cheese different was she would graze them in almond
orchards a couple of hours before milking and it would flavor the cheese
with a hint of almond.

So the search was on, when I had time, to find the perfect breed of goats
for me and a mentor. I kind of gave the goat idea up and left Ca to retire
in South Carolina, bad move but I moved on to Georgia. In Georgia I found
myself on the search again for the breed of goat and a mentor. I decided
that Saanens were for me. They were similar in the goat world to my
warmbloods that I had in the horse world. Saanens where quiet, loving, big
and milked A LOT. I also found my mentor Sondra Steven of Smith & Jones
Saanens' in Georgia. She had been breeding goats for over 20 years and knew
her stuff.

Sondra sold me Tilly and she was due to kid in a couple of months. Tilly
was kind of a loner so she did just fine by herself. Tilly & I would go for
walks are we really bonded. My little house was above the barn and Tilly
would call me down when she wanted to tell me something or just wanted
company. Tilly had a BIG boy named Aramis and my heart just melted all over
again. Tilly taught me how to milk and all about goat care. Sondra, my
mentor, was there all along the way. When Aramis was born I had Sondra on
the phone the whole time and she told me to get my goat vitamins an drench
Aramis with it. And I thought stick him in a bucket with it?????? Sondra
laughed so hard and said NO put it in a syringe and give it to him.

I passed Sondra test and she sold me some of her best stock and that was the
start of that. So I started with one and bought three more and that is how
I started my dairy herd. I only have eight does that are due to kid in a
couple of weeks. I choose not to breed one year because I couldn't a buck
that I wanted to breed to. Improving my herd is very important to me.

The does mature in production of milk on their third kidding. Tilly will be
up to 3 gallons a day this kidding. My girls are known to stay in milk up
to eight years and some even longer if not bred in between. The milk
production goes down in winter when the days get shorter but it picks right
back up in the spring.

I make soap for people with skin problems and hair loss. I am presently
working on becoming an official grade A dairy with the state of Ohio but I
still have some hoops to cross. I am really kitchen challenged so making
cheese is a challenge for me. But I make incredible THICK yogurt. An
elderly couple that makes cheese that is sold to all the exclusive
restaurants in Cleveland has offered to show me how to make cheese. I need
to find my niche. I make a really good vinegar cheese but that is so simple
a child could make it.

My girls are GMO free so when kidding season hits I am sure that I will have
a lot of boys that will have to go off to the market. I am hoping to create
my own little market for goat meat that is GMO free. I am told that dairy
goats offer a real tender meat. And with a dairy goat you don't have the
heavy bone so maybe you would get more meat. My buckling weight right
around 80 pounds at 3 months old.

So to answer your question I am just at the point of making & marketing my
cheese and selling my kids on open market as GMO free meat. I am not a web
person so no one really knows about my soap.

I am also getting some dairy sheep, Finns. I have made some sheep milk soap
and it is incredible as a facial soap for aging skin.

Thank you for asking about my girls!!!!

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