A week of milking goats

Immediately after our Abel Tasman Tramp, we spent a week in Upper Moutere wwoofing—volunteering on an organic farm for 5-6 hours a day in exchange for room and board.

Goat on a farm in Upper Moutere, New Zealand
A curious goat

Every morning around 8:30 and every evening at 6:30 we were responsible for milking 8 to 10 goats. To make things more efficient, Stephanie handled the mechanics of milking, while I was the self-appointed goat runner, bringing goats back to the paddock (pasture) when they were done. If you’d like to vicariously milk a goat with Stephanie, check out the video we made of the process on her post, How to milk a goat.

Milking the teat of a goat on a farm in Upper Moutere, New Zealand
Testing the milk

After the morning milking and before breaking for lunch at 1, we’d help with various chores in the gardens, including staking peas, digging up thistle in the pastures, cleaning out animal stalls, pulling up kale roots, weeding carrots and parsnips, and harvesting fava beans and peas for the market. Then we’d take the afternoon off before the evening milking and dinner.

Long shadows cast along a dirt road on a farm in Upper Moutere, New Zealand
Long shadows on a dirt road

The food was hearty, filling, and largely homemade. Breakfast was toasted slices of dense whole wheat bread, butter, jam, and tea. Lunch was a combination of leftovers from dinner with bread and cheeses made from the goat milk (chevre and feta). Dinner ran the gamut: spinach quiche, roasted vegetables, lamb chops (hoggit raised on their farm), pasta with vegetables. Potatoes were a frequent side dish, often simply boiled, as were stir-fried leafy-greens. Most nights there was a dessert: fresh fruit crumble, “pudding” with ice cream, chocolate cake. The farm supplied the bulk of the food (fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese), and the rest was supplemented with things from the store (flour, pasta, sugar, butter, peanut butter, oil, tea) and things they got from other farmers/food-producers in trade.

Vegetables from a farm in Upper Moutere, New Zealand, harvested for the farmers market
Vegetables for the farmer’s market

1 Comment

chris

Farm was a short experience but very intersting. You did so many things ….. Oh ! I like the goats. I hope this time in the new farm, everything will be much better.
Justin I send you many kisses you will share those sweet kisses with stéphanie. Love from moumounette

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