Life among the Nubians

I enjoy my membership in COG-Vancouver Island, which has information sessions over the winter followed by local farm tours. Last week’s farm tour gave us a chance to see Blackberry Spring Farm in Saanich, which has two greenhouses. Barb grows greens for farmstand sale in this one

and Diane has just started planting in this.

Diane has a flock of chickens as well. She pointed out the difference between young hens in their prime

and older ones who at about 18 months stop being productive layers (these are laying hens rather than meat birds so they end up in the soup pot). The differences are in the colouring and the legs.

We actually began the tour with a visit to the goats, which are Nubians and very curious.

They have very long necks

and ears.

Diane chose them because they are great milkers, easy to handle, and are both dairy and meat animals, which is a consideration when half the offspring will be male. In the milking parlour we saw the milking ramp and the milking bucket

and then on to the kitchen to see a bit about her yogurt and cheesemaking. Here Diane is setting the curds to drain.

She says that Nubian milk is the Jersey of goat milk: very rich and high in butterfat, so excellent for cheesemaking, which we got a chance to affirm for ourselves when she concluded our visit by bringing out her spectacularly good bread with some chevre.

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