I trust that everyone had a wonderful festive season and New Year ... Life continued much as normal here at Ellie's Dairy - the goaties don't stop producing that delicious milk, so their humans don't get a chance to stop either! But it is a little less hectic for a week or so, once all the Christmas cheese chaos is out of the way.
Christmas morning was much like any other morning ..
As always, the Ellie's Dairy team worked their little goatie socks off for several weeks to make sure that we had as much delicious cheese as possible for all our customers. Joe and Julie worked particularly hard and were both absolutely exhausted by the time we all drove home on Christmas Eve .... Julie also made a couple of guest appearances at Borough Market with Joe:
Whilst I was entertaining the lovely Phil the Elf ..
The Borough Market Evening of Cheese was unbelievably busy. Joe and I struggled to keep up with customers and we used our entire weekly stock of cheese in less than 3 hours! Apparently, the event made the national papers and came in for some criticism as so many people had attended. I think that next year, things will be considerably different!
I spent a happy Boxing Day making more cheese ... a table full of Shaggy's Beard camembert and bags of fresh curd draining ready for the weekend ..
Enough about cheese!! What about the goaties?
Well, just before Christmas, we adopted a couple of lovely Anglo-Nubian girls. Meet Lara (lying down) and Zenobia:
Big and beautiful and pretty stroppy! They came from a lovely old goatkeeper near Canterbury who is sadly suffering with dementia and is now not able to look after her goats any longer. It is the same place where our big chap Hugo came from a couple of years ago.
These two lovelies spent a couple of weeks in their own pen, meeting all our other goaties through the fence .. and then we let them loose into the main herd. We need not have worried - they are more than capable of standing up for themselves!
Having only ever lived in a very small, quiet goat shed, our herd is a bit of shock to the system and they are still quite nervous of us. But, they are getting gradually more trusting and now appear at the parlour gate at milking time. Lara has been brave enough to come in a couple of times but Zenobia is still not too sure about things.
Chaos still reigns at milking time and I do wonder about my sanity sometimes ... One particular night had Shares standing in a bucket while Husky was drinking water from a tap behind her ..
The end of the year also sees me sitting down to bring all my goatie paperwork up to date .. and it's always a sad task to flick through all the 'pink slips' for our dear girls and boys who have passed away to that big goatshed in the sky. We have lost quite a number of our older ladies and I have a feeling that 2017 will also bring some sadness .. but, as our herd gets older, it is only to be expected. I have already given Tammy (14) and Betty (13) a serious talking to ... they are not allowed to get ill and they have to live forever. So that's all sorted!
Having moved the Gracie Moos back to the farm for the winter, the front field is now empty and so David spent a happy time yesterday ploughing it all up ready for reseeding. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and did a pretty good job of ploughing, even though it is not something he does very often. Here's a little clip of the man at work ..
And so, on we go into 2017 .. We have a few projects in the pipeline and hope to bring a few more new products to you this year. Fingers crossed and watch this space!