Thursday, June 6, 2013


Allie (Ali, Ally? drat, I should have asked) and Tess were my enthusiastic WWOOFers yesterday.  By now I have a pretty set routine and standard patter for getting the morning started when WWOOFers arrive.  We become acquainted in the kitchen while beginning the cheese-making process; the curd sets while we tend to the goats.  These young women attend Scripps College in SoCal, both with Poli Sci majors (maybe there's hope for our future).  They decided that WWOOFing during summer break would be a learning adventure; Allie will be going on to another farm after her sojourn at Tim's goat ranch and Tess will go home to be with family.

Down in the barn, my girls cooperated nicely and both Tess and Allie did well at the milking process.  The mice appeared on cue while the ground squirrels waited in the wings.  Having spent a week working with the meat goats, it was interesting to the ladies to see the difference with dairy goats and between large and small herds.  Buckets full, we headed back to the house for the next step in making chevre.  The cheddar cheese bread had just finished baking and the kitchen had that wonderful aroma.  Warming the whey and stirring the curd is a hands-on experience.  It's easier to feel how the curd changes than to explain it.  Leaving the cheese to hang and drain, icy cold white gaspacho was a refreshing lunch on a rapidly heating day.

Making cheese is not difficult, but it is time consuming.  Allie and Tess were up for another lesson so I brought out the wool and drop spindles and they spun yarn while we talked of many things (of cabbages and kings, as it were).  Each WWOOFer brings a new perspective and they are not the only ones who learn throughout their day with me.  It certainly broadens my experience to spend time with diverse, happy people.  As we later took a stroll around the deck, the turkey mama paraded her brood in the back yard but, sadly, there were only five following her this time.

The women tried a sample of the finished product of their day's effort and pronounced it delicious.  They wrote down recipes and techniques.  As all good things must, our time together came to an end.  I so enjoyed their company.

It was a good day.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Oh thank you for a detailed step-by-step, now that your WWOOFing routine is down to a set pattern. I'd say Allie and Tess are lucky to have such a wonderful experience! Ah, to be young and thin and able to dress in shorts in the heat like that again! (I know...tramping thru star thistle and such generally requires clothed legs, no matter one's shape...I was just reminiscing about days of old!)