Friday, June 11, 2010

Down on the Farm

Tractors, animals, getting dirty ON PURPOSE!  Most kids are fascinated by farms, and my boys are no exceptions.  We have friends who own a goat dairy, and our farm lapbook-in-progress gave us a good excuse, so we took a little field trip (only a couple of miles--one of the things I like about living in the country!) to see Mrs. Annette and the Coursey Family Farm.  The boys had been there before, so there weren't really any big surprises, but we tried to focus a bit more on the farming aspect of things this time.  Annette was very gracious (and patient!) with the boys, who seemed more interested in hanging out with the barn cats (who, alas, were not too interested in posing for pictures) than much of anything else. *grin*

Visiting the goats.  The farm has 15 milkers right now, each with a personality of her own.  
Although he was a little intimidated at first (the goats could easily go nose-to-nose with him!), I managed to convince Brennan to pet one of the goats.  It helped that this one froze as soon as Connor touched her--she obviously enjoyed the attention!

Making cheese with Mrs. Annette.  Connor is adding vinegar to the warm milk as Brennan stirs.  The vinegar separates the milk into curds and whey, a la good old Miss Muffet.  Can't say that I find her culinary choices terribly appetizing!

Pouring the separated curds and whey--the whey flows through the cheesecloth while the curds are caught and solidify into cheese (which is much more appetizing than the mixture!).  Brennan is discovering that the table where the pot had been was HOT!  I was impressed to learn that Annette had earned a second place ribbon for her cheese from the American Dairy Goat Association.  Not bad at all for a dairy that has only been up and running for a little over a year!

Trying fresh (cold) goat milk.  The verdict?  Connor gave it a thumbs up, Brennan wasn't so excited about it.

Speaking of drinking goat milk, the boys helped fill . . .

. . . and warm a bottle . . . 

. . . for this little guy, Midnight!  Isn't he cute?

He's a bit of a messy eater. *grin*

Checking out the chickens.  Connor thought it was great fun to run from one end of the pen to the other and watch the flustered birds cluck and scramble away.  

We also visited Percival, but unfortunately he wasn't in the mood to show off.  He's still beautiful, though.  My photography doesn't do him justice (hmm . . . maybe he knew that and didn't want to waste a good strut!).

Trampoline break!

Counting peaches.  He gave up somewhere around 50.

Pears--Brennan figured out what they were before Connor did!

Helping with farm chores!  Hauling out a bucket of feed . . .

. . . cleaning out hay stalks that the goats won't eat (but the cows will) . . .

. . . pouring in the goat feed . . .

. . . helping put out fresh hay . . .

. . . putting away chilled milk.  Connor also helped fill the goats' water trough, but my battery had died by that point!

We had a great time, and Annette was wonderful (she always is!).  I really appreciated her taking the time to share with us, and she really made an effort to make it fun AND educational for the boys.  Plus, she shared popsicles with us.  What more can you ask?  *grin*

1 comment:

  1. what an awesome day! the goats are so cute, makes you want to take one home,...almost! what a great educational/working type day!