Thursday, July 7, 2011

seabirdskitchen and all things goat

On our trip to the Macon region, we spent time with local friends. That's the way to experience a region! So we enthusiastically supported the idea of the "goat milking entertainment". One of the family members has a friend who runs a farm. And on that farm he had some goats... Anyhow, we weren't sure what the entertainment would be, but were game for anything.

We met "at the fountain" in Blany - a small speck of a town with a public oven and Marc's farm, a bar and a bend in the road. A trek though the fields, and then down to the milking shed to meet Marc, the goats, the border collie and the cat. The dog gets wildly excited with the thought of the daily milking, so when she was let off the leash, she exhibited the boundless energy that a border collie has, together with the herding instincts and absolute discipline. The cat was properly aloof and hissed and spat when the dog came too close.

The first batch of goats (18) of them were let in to the milking stall, where they were hooked up to the machine. The cat placed herself on guard and the process started. It takes about 10 minutes to milk the batch of goats. Somehow the dog knew when they were done, because she got very excited at the thought of herding them back to their pen. Feed stations were filled and the next batch were set up. A total of 4 batches of goats, so we were in the hot shed with the goats, each other, the flies, the dog, the cat, and who knows what else for about an hour and a half. Wouldn't have missed it for anything.

After the milking was done, we sauntered to Marc's house, went into the cheese shop where his wife sells the goat cheese made only from their goats and showed us all the varieties they made and all the stages. Then to their patio to try the various cheeses, drink some local wines (including a nice cremant) before dinner. We left there at about 10:30 and started dinner at Dominique and Daniel's house in Tournus at 11 or so.

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