It was a gorgeous day yesterday, made all the more wonderful by a trip to Triple Creek Dairy, just North of Davenport, IA. They were having an open house, taking visitors through their milking room and cheesemaking area. A young farm-hand led us through, showing off the 12-goat-at-a-time milking stanchions and explaining where the milk was stored in waiting to be made into the farm’s award-winning chèvre.
Past the pens, Nubian, La Mancha and Alpine goats sniffed our hands and nibbled on the frayed ends of my shorts. Four lean Great Pyrenees dogs strolled amongst the goats, eyeing the visitors warily and kittens darted about.
We were then taken to another side of the barn where you could milk a goat! Of course I had to! It’d been a few years and I remembered that you’re supposed to roll your hand downwards along the teat, but forgot just how much you have to dig in and grasp the base, which you would think would hurt the goat! But she didn’t seem to mind and milk began to steadily shoot out into the pan with each pull and grab. I was even given a cool ribbon at the end!
Max said he was fine not giving milking a try, so we headed back outside where a goat cheese vendor sat selling the farm’s cheese. We bought some delicious sun-dried tomato and basil feta and I talked with the owner about possibly coming out some in the Spring to learn more about keeping goats and making cheese. What a fun visit on a beautiful early Fall day!