I think I’ve lived a year in the past month. We just thought all the stress and a million and one things to do were because the creamery wasn’t open yet and once licensed and producing we could breathe. Oh, the universe must be laughing up a storm at me right now. Frankly, I’m in awe of myself. Every week since we opened there has been something to fix, repair, move, add to the list of stuff to do, all while hand milking my goats and making cheese and running a boarding kennel in the middle of summer vacation for everyone. Oh, and let’s not forget the twisted knee from not moving my feet as I stood turning back and forth weighing and packaging the cheese, and a mysterious toothache that three dentists have not been able to identify the cause of. I’ve only cried once, when the tooth was so painful I couldn’t eat a delicious dinner of salmon and pasta salad that I’d made. I’ve learned what has somehow eluded me in 58 years of life. It gets done because there is no one else to do it. This is my baby. This is what I wanted and it’s up to me to keep it going. So I do it. And I don’t even mind.
Perhaps it has something to do with loving what you’re doing. Even when a doeling has scours and I’m having to force drench GI Soother herbs down her throat. Even when my new doeling arrives with mastitis and almost looses her udder, or even when the temperature probe goes out in the middle of a vat of cheese and I have to dump the whole thing and have a part overnighted. Even when the humidity is already 80% at 6am and I have to move the fencing for a fresh pasture. I just do it. And that’s pretty cool.
The saga of the bulk tank. Ah, what a story. First we were going to simply use a refrigerator to store our raw milk until cheese making time, since we weren’t going to be producing a whole lot to begin with. Then, once the interior walls of the creamery and the doors were put in, it became increasingly obvious that unless it was a very small refrigerator, not large enough for our purposes, it wouldn’t get through the 32″ doorway.
I had been toying with the idea of a MilkPlan bulk tank for awhile and knew they came in pretty small sizes, so I pre-ordered a 30 gallon from Bob White Systems, and was told it would be available for shipping to me in mid-June (they were waiting for a shipment from the manufacturer in Greece). That still fit into my plans to be open by the end of May, so it got checked off my list and I moved on.
The week it was supposed to arrive, I called to ask when I should expect delivery. Apparently, their shipment had been delayed until mid-June now and there I was, up a goat milk creek without a bulk tank. Enter the handy little tool I have that searches ALL of Craigslist in one fell swoop. Lo and behold, there was my exact tank for sale in Washington state, only 7 months old and a few hundred dollars less. What followed next was a week+ of texts, emails and phone calls between myself, the seller and uShip, which allows you to list things you need hauled and carriers bid on it. Well, yesterday, my shiny new (to me) bulk tank arrived and is ready for installation. Just in the nick of time, since inspection is NEXT FRIDAY, June 3rd. Sometimes I hyperventilate when I look at the calendar.