Sassy Goats, Begging Chickens and Chevre – A Vermont Farmstay
One of the highlights of my trip through New England this fall was the cheese making class at Trevin Farms in Central Vermont. Trevin is a farmstay that offers a 3-day chevre-making class in the company of the gracious Chef-Owners, Troy and Kevin, and their family: two giant Bull Mastiffs, two friendly horses, a small herd of milking goats, and a flock of free-range chickens. Our host and teacher, Kevin, promised that if I were able to make it to the farm by 4:30pm the first night of the stay I would be able to milk the goats for our cheese. SOLD! I arranged my trip to ensure that I could make it in time and while the road trip through the Adirondack Mountains was delicious with fiery trees in full peak foliage, I had my mind on getting to the goats in time.
At 4:30pm as promised we were given the milking rundown and introduced to the milking goats: Sassy, Indiana (Indy), and Strawberry. The girls were always milked in the same order, which they had chosen, and they were not only practiced but eager to get on with it as was made clear by the forceful bleating that marked our arrival to the barn. Sassy, who was aptly named, hopped up on the platform in milking stance and after a short demonstration it was time to get to work. It was initially intimidating with Sassy’s low groans marking her dissatisfaction at my slow and unskilled attempts to relive her udder. But with a little practice and a lot of goat patience, the milk was retrieved and the udders were relieved, until the next morning at 6AM when it was to happen all over again.