Life is good.

What a whirlwind weekend. Kind of overwhelming and extremely exciting and very satisfying too. Awesomeness crammed into 2 wonderful days. πŸ™‚

Leeks and onions. I have more onion sprouts to plant out to to fill in the gaps caused by a naughty cat.

Leeks and onions. I have more onion sprouts to plant out to to fill in the gaps caused by a naughty cat.

Saturday started off kind of slowly to be honest and the get up and get moving was missing from the day. Jarmies were the order of the morning and large amounts of cups of tea too. It was actually kind of nice. πŸ™‚ Finally Martin found the drive to head out to get some wood and when he got back we all piled into the car for a trip to Bunnings.

Mumma Blackie teaching her babies how to eat and scratch for food. She makes the sweetest sound when she finds a tid-bit for them. She's a very kind and dedicated mother.

Mumma Blackie teaching her babies how to eat and scratch for food. She makes the sweetest sound when she finds a tid-bit for them. She’s a very kind and dedicated mother.

I’m not a huge fan of Bunnings as they’re owned 100% by Wesfarmers who are involved with coal mining, chemicals and fertilisers, energy (fossil fuels of course), Coles and other questionable involvements and interests which has earned them a “criticisms” marking on the Shop Ethical app. However, I can’t deny that their prices are cheap (probably too cheap and who pays the rest of the cost), and everything is under 1 roof. We do usually shop at our local hardware store and other shops but sometimes there are things they don’t stock and I don’t fancy driving all over town to several stores to buy what I need. So yes, we went to Bunnings. I needed several things including a light for our chook shed/goat shed, preferably solar-powered, some bins to store grains for the goat and chooks, a ceramic pot for a belated gift (I am hoping I’ve matched the colour), and a few other bits and bobs which I of course forgot to buy due to distractions known as 2 children armed with small metal trolleys and some hyperactive behaviour. Yeah, not the family outing we had hoped for but still a good afternoon out.

Boning up on our caprine knowledge

Boning up on our caprine knowledge

Sunday however was the wonder day of the weekend. I have been counting down the days and then the minutes until 9am Sunday. Sunday was the magic day that we welcomed another member to our family. Yes, we are now a family with a goat. πŸ˜€

Hello Anna

Hello Anna

Anna was in a free-range situation that wasn’t suited to her individual needs. She’s a lovely 5 year old British Alpine Doe who is in need of some one on one care and close quarters living so she is perfectly suited to our situation. She isn’t in milk at the moment and we are working to optimise her health before we put her to kid (get her pregnant so she can have babies then produce milk) and she’s been happy to be alone which is also perfect for us as most goats require companionship. We’re trialing how she goes alone but will get her a companion if needed. So at just after 9am yesterday, amidst the usual chaos of small children in the mornings, Anna arrived. πŸ˜€ Armed with sprouted grains and my rose prunings I lead her to her new home where she promptly scared the life and soul out of our roosters (there’s revenge for the 5am wake up calls every morning πŸ˜‰ ) and headed in to check out her new domain. She seems to like it too which is a big relief and makes me very happy. Her (now previous) owner and I then had the added excitement of heading off to attend a cheese making course! Yes, Sunday got even better! πŸ˜€

Is it safe to come in?

Is it safe to come in?

A cheese making course for a stay at home mum with 3 kids under 5 is, in my opinion, balm to the soul. Making feta and chΓ¨vreΒ cheeses doesn’t require you to be hands on for all 6 hours, but rather 30 minutes work here then feet up for an hour, 5 minutes work, feet back up for an hour and so on. So there was lots of time for meeting people, making new friends, chatting and enjoying the peace of (almost) kid free time. Yes, we had one sweet little bambino, Mr H with us between nap times but his presence was wonderful and welcoming and with so many mummies around he wasn’t short of a cuddle if needed. And his happy smiling face and gorgeous chatter (ki-ta!) was great. But to not have the “Muuuummeeeeeeee”or “I done a wee” or “I’m huuuunnngggreeeeeeee” that usually punctuates my day, plaguing my aural senses was sheer bliss. As the day passed I found myself sinking more and more into a gloriously relaxed lethargy in between bouts of excited learning and information. Couldn’t have been more wonderful! πŸ™‚

I have no cheese course photos so instead here is a photo of one of my 3 beds of garlic.

I have no cheese course photos so instead here is a photo of one of my 3 beds of garlic.

I checked in periodically with Martin as to how Anna was settling in and aside from breaking into the chooks part of the shed, opening up their food bin and helping herself to their food (grain based chook food not pellets thank goodness) there were no dramas. As of this morning she seems to have adjusted well to her new diet, accommodation and companions although I’m sure she was just as impressed by the pre-dawn crowing of the roosters. Don’t worry Anna, they’re off to freezer camp as soon as I get my chicken plucker built. πŸ™‚

My potato onions all coming up nicely.

My potato onions all coming up nicely.

So, we have moved 1 huge step closer to our dreams and goals of some level of self-sufficiency. We have our future source of milk and the knowledge of how to process it when it arrives. I can’t believe the changes the last 6 months have wrought in our lives! I can’t believe the new skills I have acquired, the things I have learned and the wonderful new members that we have welcomed to our family. Life really is wonderful, albeit rather cold, at the moment.

Not a bad winter harvest hey. Thanks to our greenhouse.

Not a bad winter harvest hey. Thanks to our greenhouse.

Life is good. πŸ™‚


19 thoughts on “Life is good.

  1. Sue says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Ours also included a trip to Bunnings – and with the same reservations I might add!
    Sadly mine didnt include a cheese making excursion – sounds great though.
    Are you planning on using your goats for meat as well as milk? Or do you have another plan for the youngsters?

    • Bunnings, Coles, Woolies, all of them make it hard hey. Convenience and price are BIG draw cards.
      Our goat is for milk but I don’t know about the kids yet. It depends if she’s already pregnant (we believe not but she has been running with a boer buck) and what kids she has. If she is pregnant then any bucklings will be for the pot, ours or someone else’s but any doe kids, I don’t know. If she’s not pregnant I’m not sure if we will try to find a BA with whom to breed her or the boer buck or even a local toggie boy of unknown parenting. We ultimately would like another milking doe so we can run both on alternate milking/kidding years for continuous supply but it depends on several things yet including cleaning up Anna’s ear to find her registration tattoo and hence details of her lineage and breeding. At the moment her health and nutrition is our primary (sole) focus and the rest will come in time. πŸ™‚
      I’ve also not tried goat meat although friends have some in their freezer. I also has a husband who loves Indian food and the two meet quite nicely so I think a goat curry is in our near future. πŸ™‚

      • Sue says:

        I agree. Living on a tight budget some weeks you simply have no alternative than to submit to the lure of the bright lights. Though I ALWAYS do so with a feeling of resentment – if you know what I mean.
        There is always so much to do when striving for self reliance isn’t there?
        We have a couple of vego’s in our family (my daughter and myself ) while my husband and 3 other children are definate meat eaters so it wouldnt go to waste here either πŸ˜‰
        I am still tossing up about sourcing meat chickens. We have the space so thats not an issue its more about the processing.

        • We process our chooks. Not easy but it’s far more ethical than factory farmed ones and as an ethical carnivore that means a lot to me. It also tastes heaps better. πŸ™‚

  2. Linne says:

    Congratulations on the new family member! That is so exciting! I’m thinking she will be quite happy with you all. I never learned to make proper cheese, just the cottage cheese sort and I didn’t make it more than a couple of times. I’ll have to start researching again . . .

    Our Arabella gave nearly a gallon of milk a day, but that was quite a bit for a Toggie.

    As to cooking, we were living in fairly rough conditions at the time, so I just simmered the meat in a big pot with veggies thrown in (potatoes, carrots, onions and then whatever else we had at the time). If you cook the meat gently, it’s very tender and delicious.

    Goats are very creative when it comes to finding food and the kidlets are worse . . . they can jump amazingly! Nice to know she felt at home enough to go foraging first thing . . .

    Love your garden beds and all that garlic! I don’t eat it here as Mum doesn’t care for the smell, but I used to just slice it and put it thick on bread and butter for sandwiches . . . mmmmmmmmmmm

    I remember those days of constant “I went wee” and “Mummmmeeee”, etc. Now I wish I’d taped some of it. It would be lovely to hear those little voices once again . . .It can seem forever while it’s happening, but it’s over pretty fast. Especially if you have the ‘can’t wait to grow up’ sort that I did. Mine did everything early, so there wasn’t much of the baby stage that I love so much; when they just lie on you and sleep for hours . . . I borrow babies whenever I can, just to do that again. ~ Linne

  3. graceoverflowing says:

    So amazing! Good on you all for all the hard work and dreams becoming reality!

  4. […] Little Hippy’s goat coming home and then rabid herself going to a workshop on cheese-making, I was delighted to find this post on the ‘Mortgage Free in Three’ blog: […]

  5. LyndaD says:

    Sounds like someones dreams are coming true?????

  6. Pam Woodgate says:

    Congratulations on the arrival of your new family member. She is beautiful! I am sure that you will enjoy the fun and games that come along with owning a goat. William is always up to mischief and keeps us entertained. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, Miss Anna has been up to mischief too – Miss Piggy pants has broken in to the chooks area and eaten their food AGAIN! Cheeky girl! Thank goodness it’s grains and NO pellets.

  7. Jo says:

    Wow, exciting weekend! Can so identify with your joy at being away from the whingeing! Nowadays my children all seem to need to be driven somewhere. This weekend we had hockey, ballet, choir practice, a school musical practice, a school service, a playdate, a movie and a party. Some of these were car pooled, some walkable, but mostly it was Mum in the car. I get a little nostalgic sometimes about those long days at home, with little people wittering at me…
    What a thrill, to be seeing so many of your homesteading dreams coming to fruition. Be sure to share all your goaty adventures!

    • I am sure that one day I will missall of this but the grass is always so much greener is it not?
      Goaty adventures will be shared as they happen. For now though we are simply learning who she is and allowing her to do the same. πŸ™‚

  8. […] so lets back up a little. A few weeks ago I attended a cheese making course, learning how to make chevre, feta and ricotta which started the (mozzarella?) ball rolling and […]

  9. […] this year we introduced a goat into the mix. Anna came from a friend of a friend who was keen to rehome her as she was their only hornless goat and […]

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