This month I gave up on weaning

Farming and crafting naturally and by hand is hard work, fraught with failure, unexpected expenses and loss. Some days I feel discouraged and spent. But nature has her ways of bringing me around and once my mind has been rearranged off the productivity track and onto the gratitude track, there is still hard work, there are challenges that I learn from, and there is bounty beyond that. 

 strawberries and rhubarb, made into a topping for a delicious cheesecake made from Bessie's cheese that didn't get as firm as I had planned so was more like cream-cheese.

strawberries and rhubarb, made into a topping for a delicious cheesecake made from Bessie's cheese that didn't get as firm as I had planned so was more like cream-cheese.

I came to this rearrangement of my attitude through my teacher Bessie, this time around. I was all focussed on her milk production, how much I could get from her, and was weaning Esmie. Having them separate was causing upheaval because the herd had to be divided, and my place and my herd are both small. Esmie was happy enough, grazing with Seegersong each day, but Bessie was having a practically unending temper tantrum. Days went by. The agitation continued. I asked advice from a goat group on Facebook, and was given the news that they never will forget or stop wanting to nurse on Mom as long as she is in milk. I want to keep both goats, so what to do? I read fiasco farm web page and learned something revolutionary to my thinking: never wean, just separate for the night and milk once a day in the morning! Lose some milk but gain very robust kids, happiness and peace on the farm, and greater freedom and less work! I am doing this now and am less focused on the production. And what do you know? I am still getting a lot of milk! Bessie is giving me over 6 cups each morning, more than I was getting from one milking before (yes less than from 2 milkings but not by half.). Let go, mother nature says. 

Other times, I learn the amazing results of taking control. Finally we clipped the Black Andalusians (the minions) wings! Tom ( I was holding) clipped expertly as if he's done it all his life. His Dr. training proves to come in handy on the farm for many procedures. Finally they are not driving me crazy flying over the fences, screaming and squawking everywhere and scratching up seedlings till I chase them out again! I couldn't understand why we didn't do it earlier. 

 esmie and bessie when esmie was just a little kid!

esmie and bessie when esmie was just a little kid!