One of my latest projects here has been dabbling into making homemade ice cream from our goat's milk. This has come with some very surprising and yummy rewards for sure! Back before the holiday season I suddenly had an epiphany one day when I was thinking about what to do with our abundance of milk. I haven't been completely satisfied with how much milk it takes to make cheese and although our cheese is delicious and we all love it, I was looking for some other uses for our milk and that is when I thought ICE CREAM!!! I immediately went on the search for an ice cream machine and I literally have not stopped making ice cream since! Due to the nature of the ice cream making process I can currently only make one batch a day but do hope to expand to being able to make more soon!
The best part about this whole endeavour is that the ice cream I make is 100% natural without any of the gelatins or preservatives found in store bought ice creams. (the exception of course being the "junk food" variety of ice creams such as cookies n' cream or Skor) All of my recipes so far for ice cream are literally made with just our milk and then sugar as the base. Flavours are added from there consisting of a variety of organic fruits and nuts as well as natural extracts. So far I have made the following flavours;
Maple Walnut, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry, Chocolate, Butterscotch Ripple, Orange, Cherry, Skor, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies N Cream and my personal favourite - Strawberry Orange Banana!
I have plans to continue making different varieties but so far I am often making repeat batches as they all get eaten up!
Now that the holidays are over and I am back in school full time it will be
difficult to keep up on all my projects but I will certainly try! I still have
to jump into the world of making soaps and just yesterday I bought myself a
yogurt maker! Oh the many wonderful things you can do with goats!
I have a hard time believing how much time has passed since I was last able to post on here. September was SOO long ago and a great deal has been happening here since that time. I will do my best to give an accurate and full update here but this may take some time and afew more posts as well to get it all in. School has been particularly brutal on me this term and hasn't given me an ounce of free space to really focus on the farm all that much and that includes keeping this blog and website updated. Doing an honours year is a great thing but extremely tough as well but I know all the hard work will pay off. The good news is that I will be officially graduating in June and will have plenty of time at that point to keep this dream going! This post is bound to be a long one as I fill in all the holes from the last few months.
Let's start with the amazing picture posted above! This painting entitled "Canadian Goatic" was lovingly painted by Geordon's neices Natalie and Jessica and given to us as a Christmas gift. We just had to show it off here! The girls did a wonderful job at not only capturing us but the personality of several of our goats as well! We are thrilled and honoured to have received such an amazing and thoughtful gift. Thanks girls! xoxoxox
One of the biggest and most absent bits of news I guess on here would be our attendance at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as exhibitors this year. We did attend and compete at the Royal this past November and it was a memorable experience for sure and one that we look forward to repeating year after year. Carmela, Maisie, Cassi and myself spent four days at the Royal where we met some amazing people and learned so much about showing.
** I appologize for not having better photos. Geordon was being the *ahem* photographer on show day and clearly was distracted and not thinking about getting good photos.**
Carmela placed 1st in her class, Maisie and Cassi both placed 2nd in theirs. We
did not win any great awards or championships there this year but we were
completely thrilled and delighted to be there and to have any ribbons from The
Royal is an accomplishment all on its own to be proud of! Next year we will go
again and hope to do even better! We look forward to the 2013 show season!
Breeding season is wrapping up here. All of our girls are bred to their chosen mate with the exception of Cassiopeia who must wait another month or so before I breed her. Spring kiddings will begin with CC who is due first at the very end of March. Bonnie, Maisie, and Lucy will follow in April with Dixie, Carmela, Mimi and Donna all due in early May. It is sure to be a very exciting time here with kidding season! Jose was chosen to breed 5 of our does this time around and we can`t wait to see what his genetics will add to our herd. Gigalo and Shaemus have both also been used for breeding this year. We hope for many happy, healthy doelings!!
We had a beautiful autumn here this year with some amazingly warm sunny days which allowed for us to enjoy many wonderful hikes with the goats. With the snow comes the end to the majority of our hiking days as the snow just gets too deep for the goats to comfortably walk in. Here are some wonderful photos of our Thanksgiving Day hike though :o)
The holidays are always a fun time here at the Meadows. We try our hardest to ensure that every Christmas is spent with an abundance of relaxation and peace, free from all the drama and stress that the holidays bring to so many. This year we spent the holidays with my dear Mama Melina and her boyfriend Red having lots of laughs, good food and making lasting memories. Our son Daniel surprised us all by proposing to his girlfriend Erica! We are excited for them as they move forward making their own life together. Here are some pictures taken over the 2012 holiday season here.
We were blessed with a happy donation of left over Christmas trees generously donated to us by our friends at Dean's Home Hardware located in Port Sydney, ON. Our goats really loved the different variety of trees they received! We also received one from the Cook family from Huntsville, ON. We are always on the look out for more so if you are in the Huntsville area and have a real tree free from tinsel and sprays then we would love to hear from you!
Well I think that sums up the important bits of what has been happening around here for the last few months. I will write another post very soon about an exciting new project I have started but will leave it for it's own post. Hint - think goat milk ice cream!! YUM! Stay tuned for more info!
From all of us at Sky River Meadows, we want to wish all the best to everyone in 2013. May blessings and happiness be in all your days to come!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France
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