Goat's Milk Soapmaking with Gram

Our Handmade Lavender, Lemon Verbena, and Oat Goat's Milk SoapThe first visitor on the farm from my family was Gram. My Gram has always been the "cool Grandma"... Her seemingly uncanny understanding of what was "in" with the kids (she taught High School English) was bolstered in my awkwardly bespectacled eyes by the fact that she had been a model (which my 10 year old self would have died to be). The voracious reader who always had the right books for me at the ready, was also a curious and creative person (with a great eye) from whom I inherited my interest in (ok, obsession with) minerals and exquisite details from exotic cultures.  

Whenever I would visit her growing up, Gram always had a pile of good books (usually tucked into a basket with some chocolate) waiting for me and fun projects in store for us. We made Ukrainian Easter eggs, we baked, we made jewelry... Oh, she also introduced me to pine nuts! Visits to Gram's were always a treat and now as an adult (well, almost), I hoped to return the favor. I had been looking forward to her visit for weeks and trying to think of some fun things we could do together while she was here. 

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I had cheesemaking, soapmaking, and a visit to The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's Plantation, in the cards for her 3 day visit. Obviously, I had once again failed to add the "unexpected element" of farm life into my time calculations for the weekend. When Gram arrived, our first goat shelter had just been trampled and pooped on by The Herd, and a whole day would be needed to plan and build a new one. 

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Meet Bridget, Little Seed's First Goat!

What a week! I guess it actually hasn't even been a whole week, but the whirlwind of it all has made the past few days feel like only a split second and a month at the same time. We've been on a mission since last Thursday and I'm just now getting a chance to come up for air and bang out a blog post. And ooooh ho ho, what a mission!

It all started last Thursday around noon when I went to go take a look at a goat. The plan for this season is to find 2 does in milk for a steady cheesemaking/experimentation/yummy personal use supply and several kids to build a herd with. Ideally, I'd like to have one Nubian and one Alpine doe to have the opportunity to compare milk qualities. Nubians produce an amazing quality of milk known for its higher percentage of butterfat. Alpines, while also giving a wonderful quality of milk, are known for being heavy producers. I'd like to have the chance to try the same recipe with one milk, then the other, and then a mix of the two and learn what what will work best for the cheeses we want to make.


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