Rain Has Everything Outside on Hold

Springtime storms in Northern California - great dark clouds and bright green grass
A typical day in Northern California just now …

Northern California is having an incredibly wet spring, like a number of other places.

That has most outdoor activities on hold — can’t even get good goat kid videos! (Goats don’t like water, in case you didn’t know that).

There are some up-sides to constant wet — like personal down-time. Time to read and ponder, to explore some new ideas or to engage in a little introspection, or thinking about life.

Inside time instead of outside time, on more than one level.

I recently stumbled upon Scott Barry Kaufman. His work seems like an area worth exploring – especially for those interested in human potential and development. There are even a few online assessments for people to explore a little more about themselves, the Light Triad Scale and the Characteristics of Self-Actualization Scale are just two.


Time to Make Chèvre Cheese

pint jars in refrigerator with goats milk and layer of cream risen to the top
Milk from Daisy the Alpine goat – see the layer of cream on top?
plastic container with slotted spoon, thermometer, pH test strips, and a book called "The art of Natural Cheesemaking"
Things to start with.
goat's milk heated with culture
Container of goat milk after culture added
A book with instructions on how to make cheese
More instructional material
Now to sit for 12 hours at 72 degrees F …

… and now, 19 hours later (we left it in a cool room at 61 degrees overnight because it wasn’t quite ready after 12 hours …

Dipping cheese curds out of the pot
The milk is now curds and whey
Fresh cheese curds in a strainer cloth
Fresh cheese curds dipped into strainer cloth

… now waiting for whey to drain out and curds to firm up.

America’s Disappearing Family Farms

Depiction of Grant Wood's "American Gothic" with paper mache characters in front of a john deere tractor and midwestern farm house
Photo by Neil Meyer, Scarecrow Festival 2016, Cambria, California.  Artist unknown.

 

The article linked and discussed below touches on how the American Midwest has been transformed and has (perhaps permanently) lost control over its past, people and future.

The story resonates deeply with me.  The farm shown in the image below is one, surviving family farm I’m deeply rooted in.  The rural communities described in the article linked below were like my own.

Midwestern farmscape with large, 1930s farm home, barns, bins, sheds, fields and dirt road

 


Excerpt below from “How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms” – The Guardian, March 10,2019

“Over time, it has extracted wealth and power from communities. We can see how that has impacted rural main streets. You can see the boarded-up storefronts. You can see the lack of economic opportunity.

But Kalbach fears something bigger than the loss of her own farm. Farmers are ageing and their children either have little interest in working the land or cannot afford the sophisticated equipment needed to compete with corporations.

Now what you’ve done is you have lost the innate knowledge of how to grow food and raise animals. You’ve lost a whole generation of it, probably two. Now we are going to rely on a few corporations to decide who is going to eat and who isn’t. We’re one generation away from that picture right now.”


 

In many ways, what we are doing here at Two Bucks Ranch draws upon Midwestern roots and values.  But it is not kindly rewarded by what capitalism has become in the global economy, by what our republic has become at the hands of lobbyists and citizens who have lost a common purpose.

Kid Friday

Little goats everywhere.

Lil’ Girl’s triplets almost 1 day old
Daisy’s twins (foreground); PheePhee with her big bruiser boy (background)
Ayla preparing to meet PheePhee’s little boy

Ayla thought bubble: “Yes, I can take down raccoons, but I won’t get you, little guy.”

Chocolate and her twins didn’t make it into today’s photo shoot — but tomorrow!

Update on Lucy

She’s about 1.5 months old, wears a hot-pink halter, and DNA test shows markers for quality milk (Beta Casein A2A2 – high protein and yield) and mono polling (offspring will have no horns).

She still lives with her mom in Shasta County which has endured heavy snow and rain of late. We have no recent pictures, so here’s a look back to a week old. Her full name is Wishing Well Farms Lucy.