Clover? My darling? I’m going shopping. I’m going to get everything I need to milk you. And then you’re going to let me.
We’ll discuss this later. Look! The big city!
Okay, not exactly the big city, but I just came off a farm on a rock road in the middle of nowhere. This is the bigtime! Ripley! The biggest town in the next county over. I hear there is a good farm store here. I need home dairy supplies and–
Come closer, My Beloved. I have not seen you in so long.
Did I mention I live on a farm on a rock road in the middle of nowhere?
OHMYGOD!!! That was so good!!!!!!!! I’m so glad I came here to go to Taco Bell!!!
Oh. Wait. That’s NOT why I came here.
THAT’S why I came here.
And it’s such a fun store! Look, they have all these little toy cows and horses and pigs and…. Where are the goats? All these toy farm animals and no goats. But they have dinosaurs!
If this goat farm thing doesn’t work out, I’m totally doing a dinosaur farm next.
Look, chore boots. Who would buy chore boots? That doesn’t sound fun at all.
If I’m buying any boots, I want these boots.
Except I don’t need any boots. I have some chore boots at home already.
I don’t need any of these, either.
That’s just plain scary.
I could use one of these, though…..
I couldn’t resist. And–score! I got milk filters, too.
I asked the clerk for a small, seamless, stainless, hooded or lidded dairy pail for goats. She said, “We don’t have that.” Who does? She said, “That’s specialized equipment. You should go to Ohio and get that from the Amish people. It’s only two hours and ten minutes to Ohio.” And two hours and ten minutes back……
So, we struck out for Ohio.
NOT REALLY. We went to Charleston. It was only thirty minutes away from Ripley. Though, as far as I know, there are no Amish people in Charleston. There is, however, a Green’s!
Where they have fun stuff like toys for horses. If I ever get a horse, I’m getting them a ball!!!
But look! I found a stainless steel 2-quart pail–small, right for goat size–and I didn’t even have to go to Ohio.
It was in the pet food aisle.
So I came home and said, “Clover?”
And she looked really eager!!!!
But she scampered right up on the milkstand when she saw us put the food in the milkstand tray.
And went right at it.
Now let me just say that, #1, we got her in the milkstand, eating, and I realized that I FORGOT THE MILK PAIL UPSTAIRS. So I ran upstairs to get it and then back down. And that, #2, this first-time milking process (first-time for Clover AND first-time for me) involved FOUR people. 52, who was in charge of handling Clover. Me, in charge of milking. 17’s girlfriend, in charge of photography. And 17, who was in charge of…..
…..leaning on the gate and eating a sandwich. But I’m sure he was enjoying himself. Like, more than the rest of us.
It started out okay…..
I was all studied up. I could even do it two-handed! And, like, I was MAKING MILK COME OUT OF HER MAGIC UDDER!
OUT OF CLOVER’S UDDER!!!! WHICH I WAS TOUCHING!!!
Then she kicked me.
And kicked me and kicked me and stomped on my hand and tried to sit down on the pail.
Trying to sit during milking, and kicking, isn’t uncommon in a first-freshener (first-time milking goat). Which is why four people were there. I said, “You’re goin’ down, missy!”
Clover said, “I want twenty cookies, every morning!”
I said, “Ten!”
She said, “TWENTY! and I want thirty more logs to play on!”
I said, “Twenty cookies but no more logs! I ALMOST WENT TO OHIO FOR YOU!”
And she said, “I WANT SATELLITE INTERNET IN THE PEN!” And then she kicked me and stomped on my hand again and said, “YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO GO TO OHIO!”
And I said, “OKAY. TWO HUNDRED COOKIES. FIFTY MORE LOGS. SATELLITE INTERNET!!! WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!!!”
She sorta stopped kicking and sorta stopped trying to sit on the milk pail. She had a whole lot more milk in her (a dwarf dairy goat like Clover should be able to give a pint or two a day), but I was tired and she was tired. And I decided we’d had enough for the first time. Besides, I did it!!!
I MILKED HER!!!
Then I took it into the house, put it through the strainer and into the carefully sterilized jar I had prepared for my milk fiesta then chilled it.
I am SO makin’ cheese in ten years at this rate……… Anyone know a recipe for a tablespoon of milk? I MILKED HER!!!!!! And–I tasted it. It is the sweetest milk I’ve ever tasted.
She is goin’ down! I WANT MORE!
Kathleen in MI says:
That milking pail looked so pretty and shiny and pristine in the store. It looks like that pail took at least one kick also. I hope you bought more than one.
On August 11, 2008 at 5:57 am
:shimmy: Go Suzanne :shimmy: Go Suzanne :clap: :thumbsup: You did it :snoopy:
On August 11, 2008 at 6:09 am
You go Suzanne!! Hurray for you. A good start!! :shimmy:
On August 11, 2008 at 6:37 am
That was awesome!!
On August 11, 2008 at 6:47 am
Congrats on your first milking, and Clover’s too.
My mother has her mother’s cornstick pan. Looks just like the one in the photo …AND we use it. She has a little recipe that just fits the pan. I know it has minced garlic & hot peppers in it … SPICEY Corn Sticks & Sour Cream to dip in!
We use Thai peppers because that’s what we grow. The Thai peppers aren’t ready yet, but I picked a Cayenne and a Jalapeno yesterday … the Thai can’t be far behind.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:07 am
Well, now that you have the “feel” for it, or she does, hopefully it get easier and faster! BTW, those balls are fun, my Border collie plays with them, pushing it around the yard! Thanks for sharing.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:24 am
Your realize that you’re going to totally have to change your button links on the blog to:
“My name is Suzanne McMinn. I write books AND milk goats.”
I think it’s quite fetching personally! Who knows maybe before all is said and done with you’ll become the Goat Whisperer or Goat Guru!
Either way I’m crossing my fingers for ya! 🙂
On August 11, 2008 at 7:31 am
I use to live in a very small community with 5000 people and i was an hour to town – so I know the excitement of a taco bell!!!!! walmart – the mall and on and on.
I guess Coco looked the other way!!! wow thanks for sharing the adventure. i loved the green boots with flowers. old cast iron skillets and muffin tins are really worth a lot. make the best cornbread though – nothing like it. I cant wait for the eggs to come too and for Clover to get use to this milking thing.
M – can you send us the recipe for the corn muffin pan you mentioned – sounds wonderful.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:35 am
Carolyn A. says:
I knew the milk would be sweet … all those cookies. Why wasn’t Georgia there for the christening? Sure she would have have some insight to add. Poor pail took a beating though. At least you touched the magic udder. xxoo
On August 11, 2008 at 7:38 am
You’re my hero!
On August 11, 2008 at 7:41 am
Just add it to your coffee in the morning…until you get enough to make cheese. I suppose the milk has a shelf life of only a few days.
Enjoyed the milking saga…looking forward to next episode.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:42 am
Robin G. says:
As someone who spent two hours yesterday making a tablespoonful of mozzarella, I totally understand the feeling of accomplishment. Good job!
On August 11, 2008 at 7:44 am
Kim A. says:
Reading this post has been the best part of this Monday morning. You go, girl!
Good thing she’s not a full-sized goat, huh? 😆
BTW, I *SO* want those daisy rubber boots!
On August 11, 2008 at 7:45 am
Now you can make like..a Kraft singles worth of cheese! :snoopy:
On August 11, 2008 at 7:51 am
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You did it!! It will get easier…try pouring her food directly into the trough (no bowl). Pushing around to get all the “crumbs” will keep her busy while you’re milking. The other thing you can do is let her out, but keep the babies locked up, before you milk. Then they won’t steal it all from you…
Doesn’t Ripley have a Tractor Supply?? Don’t waist your time going to OH (the Amish). They’re overpriced, and you can usually find what you need locally. I can also give you some more links if you’d like.
At this rate, you’ll be making sour cream, cream cheese and drinking milk by the end of the month.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:59 am
Way to go, Suzanne. Hang in there! It’s a test of wills for awhile. Love those shots of Clover! Don’t ya just love a road trip for goat supplies! haha
On August 11, 2008 at 8:10 am
Excellent work. :thumbsup:
On August 11, 2008 at 8:21 am
Congratulations on milking Clover. Did you buy more than one pail? Looks like Clover put a pretty dent in that one. So, how did it feel to touch the udder? I was saying to myself “eeewww”. Again, congrats and You Go Girl!
On August 11, 2008 at 8:27 am
Your on TV!!(stationswebsite)!!1oneoneoneUNO
I was checking the headlines and what do I see but a story on YOU!
On August 11, 2008 at 8:28 am
It will get easier. If you separate her from the babies overnight she’ll be ready for you to empty her out.
On August 11, 2008 at 8:35 am
recipe for a tablespoon of milk = put in a nice cup of coffee congrats on the success though!
On August 11, 2008 at 8:37 am
I totally understand the need for Taco Bell. The closest one to us is a 35 minute drive one way. I cracked up reading this post and seeing the thimble full of milk you managed to get out of Clover. :rotfl: But like you said “I milked her”. :thumbsup:
On August 11, 2008 at 8:42 am
Traci in GA says:
Congratulations Country Girl!! My DD and I have been following the “Clover Story” with great anticipation. You’ll be making cheese in no time!
On August 11, 2008 at 8:43 am
Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:
What are those knobby things on either side of Nutmegs neck?
On August 11, 2008 at 9:05 am
Kathy R says:
I almost milked a cow. I was 6, and my great-grandmother had a farm in Putnam County with two milk cows (she had more, but when I was six she was 76 and had slowed down just a bit.)
I begged and pleaded that I could too milk that cow. So she settled me on the milking stool with the bucket between my legs, showed me where to put my hands, and there I was, ready to go. Until she mentioned, casually, that I would do just fine but the cow might kick me. I was OUT OF THERE! So ended my one chance at milking. I think I’m ready to try again if a milk cow (or goat) were to end up in my pasture. Maybe.
PS: Taco Bell in Ripley is the way I celebrated my last birthday. We combined it with a trip to Tractor Supply. My city relatives in California weren’t impressed with my choice for dinner out on my special day. They just don’t understand. In between trips to Ripley I make my own tortillas, enchilada sauce, refried beans – they aren’t Taco Bell but they will do in a pinch.
On August 11, 2008 at 9:26 am
Teresa H. says:
Hooray! You did it! I agree with the post above, you should use it for your cup of coffee.
As someone who lived in a small town in the TX panhandle for 20 year I also understand the excitement of going to “town” to eat out. Except for I used to opt for Long John Silvers most the time…mmmm…sadly, there is not one of them where I live now either. Darn it all! Taco Villa too, wish we had one of those here. And a Sonic.
LOL ok now I’m getting hungry. :hungry: Course, with all the recipes and stuff you have on here I usually do. :rotfl:
On August 11, 2008 at 9:36 am
Teresa H. says:
Oh, and I nearly forgot…
You should get a camcorder for events like that, I bet they would be fun to watch later.
On August 11, 2008 at 9:37 am
You did it!! You really did it!! I am so proud of you!!
On August 11, 2008 at 10:02 am
Crystal B. says:
Congratulations Suzanne. You go girl. 🙂
On August 11, 2008 at 10:04 am
That was priceless!
Next time someone needs to video it!
You made my day!!
On August 11, 2008 at 10:07 am
What a great post! So funny and congratulations on your success.
On August 11, 2008 at 10:16 am
Jill S. says:
LOL, woo-hoo, congratulations one your tablespoon of milk!!!
On August 11, 2008 at 10:17 am
Great job Suzanne! They make velcro straps that wrap around
both of the goats hind legs to keep them from kicking, called a “hobble”. Not that I’ve ever used one, but I kow they are out there. I find that alot of things I need for my farm critters, I have to get via mail order. Jeffers Livestock and Hoegger Goat Supply are two good places. Our nearest big town has one stop light, and the town boasts havng the ONLY stoplight in the county! I love rural life and the “big town” at the top of the mountain!
On August 11, 2008 at 10:25 am
Lisa L. says:
way to go with the milking! you did an amazing job! :sheepjump:
On August 11, 2008 at 10:38 am
Shari C says:
Congratulations!!! You did it!!! I admit, I did have to chuckle a few times while I read of your and Clover’s new experience.
On August 11, 2008 at 10:42 am
That Coco! LOL
Oh, that is sooo cute – hey, I would just put that TBSP. of milk, in a recipe you make!
That was cute! What a neat idea to put the food in a tray for her to eat, during the process!
17 looks like you Suzanne! I see humor in his eyes too!
I love Taco Bell..but we have Taco Bell one day a week at our home – I make bean burritoes and tacos – our Mexican food day! Eye Yi Yi!!!
On August 11, 2008 at 11:03 am
Oh, I forgot..my mother used to make those cornbread muffin sticks occasionally, in that iron skillet…oh they were soooo good! I like it better when she did her cornbread in that.
On August 11, 2008 at 11:06 am
It is just the beginning and soon you will be making cheese and soap and fudge and- Yum- my mouth is watering just typing!
AND- you have an inch of milk already! I’d mix them with some eggs and have an ommelette to celebrate!
On August 11, 2008 at 11:19 am
Claudia W. says:
I love your adventures. I love that you do what you need to do until it is successful. This is so much fun!
On August 11, 2008 at 11:39 am
Well, now I am not sure whether I want to get goats or not. I know everything I would have to do but that may be the problem and then doing it all. Anyway I don’t have a 52 or even a 62 to help put up fencing etc so it might not happen. Thanks for the continuing story though it was fun. Blessings.
On August 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm
Kim W says:
Congrats on the 1st time milking!!
BTW…Just because it “only” takes you 2 hours and 10 minutes to GET TO Ohio…it would take you another 3-4 hours to GET TO Holmes County – where the Amish live – from the Southeastern part of Ohio you would be entering!! :fryingpan: Seems the guy forgot to tell you THAT little bit of info.
Blessings from Ohio…
On August 11, 2008 at 12:11 pm
OMGOSH… you are just what I need!! I love your blog, I love your pictures and the way you tell a story is pure genious. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
On August 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm
Debbie in Memphis says:
Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you. It won’t be long until you’ll be getting tons of milk and making cheese. I can’t wait for the next update.
On August 11, 2008 at 12:46 pm
Tori Lennox says:
You go, girl!!! I’d have been done the instant I got kicked the first time. :rotfl:
On August 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm
That is just too funny! Reminds me of how I felt when all those Moms were pumping their breast milk for their babies while they went to work. I tried and tried and would end up with about a tablespoon of milk. Can’t feed a baby on that and you can’t make cheese with a Tablespoon of Goat milk! I bet you become an expert in no time! Clover can be bribed I’m sure.
On August 11, 2008 at 12:59 pm
Congrats! Now you can say you did it. I’m sure it will get easier and easier.
I think I will stick to my chickens. Milking looks way too hard!
On August 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm
:bananadance: congratulations on the milk, good thing you had all that help! Everything will get better…and easier. I live in a small town too. There are two nanny goats in my back pasture, from the neighbors. We were hoping to milk them too, but alas, no billy goat near. The nearest Taco Bell/KFC (ALL In ONE) is about 15 miles away. I love farm supply stores and the smell of leather and feed when you walk in. Good luck on the milking, and thanks for the good laugh.
On August 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm
It’s a start! and practice makes perfect. Might just want to have a good supply of cookies on hand, bribes can’t hurt! Good Luck with the next milking!!!
On August 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm
All I can say is :rotfl:
On August 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm
Goats usually stop kicking after a couple of milkings. You did great!
On August 11, 2008 at 1:36 pm
What an adventure! I am SO going to learn from your milking experiences and then get myself a milk goat or two. Thank you so much for sharing this. Now I know to wear wrist guards, a helmet, maybe a chest protector… for those first attempts. 🙂 Keep up the good work!
On August 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm
Such a fun post; I love to read about the daily adventures on your little farm in WV. Hip-Hip-Hoorah for the Romance Writin’ Goat Milker in the sticks!
On August 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm
Shimmy Mom says:
Too funny. In tens years you’ll make cheese! You’ll get there, Clover just needs to get used to it.
On August 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm
Yay you! :shimmy: :clap: Congrats on your first successful milking. Pretty soon you’ll have enough to put in your cereal!
On August 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm
I have never seen such a small milking pail! I’am from Iowa and we milk cows not goats. I hope you were not hurt. Speaking of Iowa right now the State Fair is going on in Des Moines. The desmoinesregister.com has wonderful pictures of how to wash a chicken. I immediately thought of you! You really must check it out. You will not belive how a chicken named “Snow White” looks after her bath!
On August 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm
Suzanne you need to start a collection of cast iron. It’s great to pass down to your children. I’ve got a few cast iron skillets and a corn sticks pan handed down from my maternal granma to my mom and then to me. My BabySis bought a cast iron popover pan for my 50th B-day. I use my cast iron daily. I need to get some pics and put them up at WilloSwitch.
Cast iron really does add iron to your food.
On August 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm
Yea for you!! And 52 sure has some inpressive forearms.
On August 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm
I am impressed!
Okay, here’s the dancey dude just for your great success. :shimmy:
On August 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm
On August 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm
I am impressed! I think you might need more cookies though 😉
On August 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm
Wow, stop lights
On August 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm
Lisa Carper Stott says:
How neat! Looks like you are going to need some more goats!
On August 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm
tracey k. in Ohio says:
I love the “Chore Boots”, but I dont live on a farm – very much in the city. What about if I wore ’em while I cut my little plot of grass & watered my plants w/my hose? Those are chores…. congrats on the milking. I see it’s gonna take a while to get a full cup…. :hungry:
On August 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm
Emily Harsh says:
Oh how I love reading about your adventures! There is a lot of parallel with our lives – I’m a fairly new “farmer” having just built a house on our 150 year old family farm in…heh-hem…Ohio. 🙂
I’m living a bit vicariously through you: I desperately want goats of my own, but hubby’s not in agreement. He reads your adventures and says, “See, this is why we’re not getting goats.” I read your adventures and say “See, this is why we need goats!”
I have hopes that one day I will win, er, prevail!
On August 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm
Woo-Hoo! You go Suzanne!
On August 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm
LOL Sheri’s comment above!
I love a man with handsome forearms!
On August 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm
Good luck. She looks so tiny with the tiny bucket and your hand. She will get used to it and of course the cookies can’t hurt.
On August 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm
Congrats! I believe the key is to milk them fast. At least that’s what my grandpa taught me, when he showed me how to milk a cow. *ggg* 😉
On August 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm
Green’s is a liquor store here. Maybe you shoulda stopped there. I woulda! Good job on your milkin’
On August 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm
:shimmy: WhoooHoooooooo! CONGRATS Suzanne and Clover, too! :bananadance:
On August 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm
Maybe you should have used the milk to give yourself a facial. Mix the milk with honey or something and given yourself a nice relaxing facial. LOL
On August 11, 2008 at 6:10 pm
mary beth says:
Woo Hoo!!!!!!!! :bananadance:
I think I might be as excited as I was when you announced the SIM deal. This is so cool.
On August 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm
Paula Bogdan says:
Thank you so much for these Clover stories; they simply make my day. I just walk around grinning with images of Clover dancing through my head. Your writing is terrific.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:19 pm
Christy O says:
Congratulations! Just keep at it, you’ll get more next time. So exciting.
On August 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm
How did she take to you washing her udder with soapy water?
On August 11, 2008 at 9:02 pm
:rotfl: Great post, Suzanne! :rotfl:
On August 11, 2008 at 9:24 pm
Congrats on the milking success!
I’ve got one of those horse toys for my boy. He mostly just licks it and occasionally chews on it.
On August 12, 2008 at 12:04 am
:chicken: This is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. And those photos are so darned cute of Clover looking up at you. I :heart: you!
On August 12, 2008 at 12:22 am
Hooray ! You got some milk on your first milking ! When I had dairy goats the first milking of a doe was usually the most difficult milking . One particular doe did NOT want to be milked. Period. I used every trick in the book, and I have many, many expert friends….but this doe would not go peacefully to her milking, nor allow herself to be milked. Many a freezing morning I was covered in hot milk quickly freezing on me. One day, as I had her front AND back legs tied to the milking stand, her head enclosed in the standard milk stand which allowed her to eat her morning ration of grain…gosh darn it, she wobbled her whole dang body and leaned and swayed. THAT DID IT!!!! I yelled, “If you kick that bucket you are goin’ to the auction”, and for the very first time I realized where the term “kick the bucket ” came from. In the dairy business, if you have a wild , uncontrollable animal you cannot milk, they go to the auction, a place where animals bought usually end up in the stew pot.
Anyway, miraculously, that milking was the last difficult milking from her. We made our peace…I made a lot of goat milk soap, and we were happy.KathyB.
On August 12, 2008 at 5:53 am
Susan K from Ohio says:
Wow, Suzanne! You have 80 comments right now – way to go! There’s nothing better than free publicity. Of course, you, your blog and your farm are great so one should expect nothing less. *grin* :woof: Conga-rats on the milk. This was such a fun post!
On August 12, 2008 at 10:21 am
Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:
WOO HOO….a tablespoon! It takes awhile for the goats to settle down and let you milk them.
The goat cheese is gonna be great. I swear.
– Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife
On August 12, 2008 at 10:59 am
Milk! Glorious milk! I’m so thrilled for you. But I think you do need Georgia. Maybe she has some sage milking advise or experience. Doesn’t your cousin have cows?
On August 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm
wow, the olympics are on, and here i am cheering over a tablespoonful of milk…really, i am!
home-made feta cheese, roasted and sliced chicken plus crispy bacon, garden fresh tomatoes, lettuce and “bought” olives…all drizzled with olive oil/vinegar… between 2 slices of grandmother bread…yum!
On August 12, 2008 at 8:14 pm
:butterfly: Been there, done that. Just be patient and you will get the hang of milking, and so will Clover. Talk to her and rub her udder before trying to milk her. Hope by now you are getting more than two tablespoons. The milk makes good butter, but you have to have a cream separator (sp). Keep up the good work. Margie
On August 13, 2008 at 3:55 pm
My mom told me you were doing this, lol. She said as I walked in her house “did you know Suzanne McMinn is milking goats?”
Did you ever wonder how many people say that each day now? Mind boggling…
Props to your dad, who is obviously a rockin milker 🙂 You too, you too!!! But seriously, he knows what he’s doing. Gets right down to business.
You bring back such memories. I spent my childhood milking LOTS of goats (thanks mom) and I don’t miss it one bit. Me, I’ll stick to falling off my horse and hitting my head on a rock (yesterday) rather than milk another goat, lol.
But you keep on keeping on girl, you give us a lot of laughs over here in Arizona. We love ya!
On August 18, 2008 at 11:41 am
Rebecca V. says:
just found your blog earlier this week. I love reading it! Congrats on the milking! :thumbsup:
On September 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm