Although the weather in Maine is getting colder and we have even experienced our first snow storm, here at the farm we are focused on the coming spring.
Last week I tool an introductory cheese making course at Sunflower Farm, a beautiful local dairy. The class was highly educational and fun, and not only included making chèvre and feta but also meeting a wonderful group of goats and getting the opportunity to try out milking, something I had never done before..
We have decided not to get goats this coming spring so that when we do, we will be fully prepared. Spring 2015 will mean building a suitable barn and modifying an existing building to be appropriate for processing milk and making cheese. We will be finishing the barn which we framed out this year and using that more for storage and vehicles.
A new barn would be more animal oriented, with stalls and storage for hay, feed, etc. We also need to fence in the area beyond our stone walls. Goats are notorious good at getting out of any enclosure, and from what I have learned, even a fenced in area has to be entertaining and a pleasant enough environment for them or else they will find a way out.
Meanwhile, we have a new plan for the garden in the New Year also, and I will be hard at work deciding what will be planted. Because of its shady location, the old “main” garden is going to be dedicated much more to herbs and flowers, while we will be tilling out a large area of what is now walled in for the vegetable bed.