Friday, 16 September 2011
I was out and about delivering milk and cheese for most of the day. Friday is my main delivery day - I start with a few local drops, then go to Faversham and then up to South London to Franklins Farm Shop in East Dulwich. Fantastic restaurant and farm shop that specialises in produce from the Home Counties. I also deliver cheese from Winterdale Cheesemakers and Cheesemakers of Canterbury to them, the most fabulous cherries and asparagus (when in season) from Syndale Farm at Newnham and, hopefully soon, some lovely bits and pieces from Romney Marsh Wools. It can be a fairly lengthy journey if the traffic is slow, so if I have the van loaded with all sorts of Kent produce it makes it all worth while!
On the way home I deliver to several places near Dartford, Borough Green and Wrotham then a quick visit to the local butcher to collect one of my little chaps ready to take to Wye Market with me tomorrow for a customer order. The other had already been collected and was on his way to the Goods Shed Butcher in Canterbury. Two more booked in for slaughter on Monday morning. It's the sad part of life at the dairy but a necessary one.
When I got back to the farm, all the goats were out in the field munching on grass and lazing about in the sunshine. Managed to get through milking fairly quickly tonight despite some bad behaviour from several ladies. The goats seem to like the new parlour much better than the old one - David thinks it is because they come in as a larger group. We have certainly seen a change in behaviour from some of them, particularly Flora (the fat lazy one that I have mentioned before). Flora always used to be the last goat to come in for milking in the old parlour. She would never ever stand on the left hand side and, even if she came in on her own, would insist on standing on the right hand side of the parlour. It would take ages to get her up the ramp and into position - you cannot rush a Flora Goat. Imagine my surprise this evening when the call went up half way through milking - 'Flora alert'!! Flora was at the gate, butting other goats out of the way, eager to come in for milking. Not only did she push to the front and race up the ramp, but she also came in first! A milking milestone!! We'll see what happens tomorrow.
It's great to see comments from a few new faces joining the blog and I think everyone would like to see some more piccies of young goats ... so, I make no excuses ... here are a few of our babies for you: