As I’m sure you’ve read in the last post The Last Baby is Gone we are officially kid free at the homestead which means we’re getting all of the milk. Toffee is an excellent producer she gives me about a half gallon each day. We are literally swimming in milk (okay figuratively, we are figuratively swimming in milk). I have gallon upon gallon in my fridge. The chickens have slowed down a bit. Mostly because a ton of them went broody and I also think the heat has a role to play in it. I went from getting 12-14 eggs a day to getting about 6. But they’re still laying regularly enough that I’m not having to buy eggs.
I’ll admit the garden isn’t producing the way I wanted but we do have watermelon and cucumber coming in steadily. Did I mention there is even a tiny little lemon on my tree? I know I’m no gardener and I won’t even pretend to be. The garden suffered this year (as it does every year at my hands). I’m praying that my potatoes still have life left in them when it’s time to turn out those pots. (How to Grow DOZENS of pounds of Potatoes in a Laundry Basket)
But overall everything was going well.
Then the bomb got dropped. Then Asher gets her diagnosis (Asher’s EoE Journey) and the GI doctor says “no more eggs, dairy, barley, corn, potato and turkey”. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! I Said to him “BUT I BOUGHT A GOAT” he thought I was joking “NO REALLY I KNEW MY KIDS DIDN’T DO GREAT ON COWS MILK SO I WENT OUT AND I BOUGHT A GOAT. I MILK 3 GOATS EVERY DAY! I HAVE GOATS” So what am I going to do? Is it time to give up my dream and sell off the live stock and be *gasp* normal?
Yeah right! Me? Normal? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that the early morning walk outside to milk the goats isn’t a little more painful knowing that it isn’t really getting used. So what am I going to do with all of my bounty?
Use Some- Asher may not be able to have dairy (cow or goat at this point) and eggs but the rest of us still have to eat and I want a good healthy source of milk for my family. Asher was the main user of the goats milk, but we will get some use out of it. The eggs will definitely get used as well.
Share Some- There are plenty of people asking me about eggs. Some times there are so many people who want eggs the chickens can’t keep up. I am more than happy to share our plenty with others.
Feed the Livestock- Rhaegar loves a nice fresh warm bowl of raw goats’ milk with his meals. The chickens adore slightly spoiled goats milk. Any eggs that get too old for my liking go right back to the chickens and Rhaegar (not that we hardly ever have extra ones hanging around).
Make Soap- My son has horrible eczema and I’ve really been getting excited about the prospect of starting to make goats milk soap. I haven’t yet gathered all of the materials and knowledge but you can rest assured that I’ll bring you along for the ride.
Stop Producing- Lastly I’m going to stop producing so much. The last 4 meat birds that I have are the last that are going to be processed. I’m in a busy season of life and I don’t want to add one more side dish to my plate right now. So once they are processed that’s it for awhile. I also will probably stagger breeding this year so that I only have one or two girls in milk instead of all three.
Homesteading is about providing good healthy food for yourself and your family and I feel like I’m doing that, but I don’t want to produce so much just for the sake of doing it that I becomes wasteful. I also don’t want to just stop doing it because we hit this health bump in the road. This isn’t a road block it’s simply a detour. We’ll be back to easy cruising shortly. Thank you for bearing with me.