We are expecting somewhere between 60 to 90 babies this year. 20 of the 30 does bred are due in a 9 day period Feb 11-20th. We attend all births and bottle feed our babies four times a day the first few weeks then reducing to three times a day for the duration! That's a lot of bottles! It gets pretty crazy around here. We welcome visitors who want to feed and love on babies. Bring warm clothes and boots!
My dairy inspections are scheduled for the first week of March so once we get over that hurdle we will launch the 2015 cheese making season! We will be returning to our year round markets in march - Freight Station, Leesburg and new this year: Great Falls. We plan to pick up Shepherdstown and Charles Town in April, and Foggy Bottom in May. We are getting excited.
I am looking forward to the PASA conference (Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture) first weekend in February where I plan to attend workshops taught by Gianclis Caldwell, one of my favorite cheese cheese makers/authors. We introduced three new cheeses in 2014 and am planning to try a blue and an Asiago type cheese in 2015. With the added milkers, I am hoping to have enough milk to meet our 2015 production goals.
We have lots to do in this month to be ready for the coming season. Make room floor has to be refinished, hay feeders need to constructed and hung on the new loafing shed wall, fencing finished to expand our grazing area to our wooded hillside and lots of number crunching and spread sheets to create to be organized and ready to tackle another season; once things start - it's pretty much a steady race through the conclusion of the milking/production season in December.
Time to go break the ice on the water buckets and check in on all my baby factories out there. Hoping for a warm spell in February when kids are due to start arriving!