Monday, June 20, 2011

It does a body good

Where to put the chaise lounge?
My husband built a milking stand and we've begun regularly milking Natalie. Some first impressions:

-Milking is enjoyable and satisfying when the goat cooperates.
-Milking is maddening and messy when the goat doesn't.
-Milking forces you to confront earthy realities about food which is currently very voguish but also, I think, basically a good thing.

While I've known that milk comes from live animals since I was 3, until a week ago I had only ever acquired it from a carton at the supermarket. It has been disorienting, therefore, to suddenly start squeezing milk from the body of a bony, noisy, inquisitive mammal who tries to eat the buttons on my shirt and never, ever, bathes. Then to take the white fluid up to the kitchen and put it in my coffee? How weird.

But, of course, it's not weird at all. What's weird is that I would ever think it was.


  1. I love it. I totally agree. It's how I felt the first time I actually grew my own lettuce - but was slightly creeped out by eating something that I witnessed growing out of the dirt. So strange how disconnected we are from the whole life cycle thing.

  2. I had that reaction when I realized my own BODY was producing that white stuff my baby needed to live! Makes the world make sense somehow though. You can never think of breasts/ udders the same again once you realize why they exist.

  3. how much milk do you get from a goat BTW?

  4. At our peak so far we got about a pint and a half. Not a lot, but she's a young doe, first-timer.

  5. We got to milk some goats at Hidden Villa. Very satisfying. I love the hiss of the milk against the side of the bucket. We're confronting earthy realities about food at our house, too. My kids mail ordered quail to raise for eggs and got 8 males and one female. Now these cute little birds are eating each other alive. We accidentally crushed one and there was great mourning and a funeral and now, 4 weeks later, we're giving half our pets to a friend to eat.

  6. OMG reading your post makes me so happy! WE just got chickens and now I am working on the 'goat' concept. So brilliant!

  7. I listened to (parts of) your interview on NPR this morning. I wish you would read my note on the backyard ranch and comment.