Planning for the Milk Gap and Some Sunday Encouragement

With only one goat in milk this year, I’ve had to be more conscious of how we use the milk we’re getting. Last year, we had both does in milk and were able to dabble in cheese making, yogurt, kefir, butter, etc. This year, only Luna successfully freshened. With 4 growing kiddos, we’ve been using most of our milk fresh, using a bit for yogurt, and one woopsie batch of cheese that didn’t end up making it…I plan on trying again later.

We love having fresh milk, and the high zinc content of goat milk does wonders for maintaining health and wellness through the winter season. But what about during the “milk gap?”

The “milk gap” or dry period between freshenings is a challenge I had planned for and in theory, overcome last year. However, I did make the mistake of freezing milk in 1/2 gallon mason jars. It works with pesto, why not milk?

This. This is why not milk.

Broken mason jar of milk

So I switched to plastic storage containers…and quickly ran out of freezer space.

I had heard of people canning milk before, and in reading I decided that it kinda defeats the purpose of raw milk if you pasteurize it first. You have milk, sure, but a lesser milk. And let’s be honest, all stored food is slightly lesser food than fresh in season food, right?

So then we arrived at freeze drying. I was only familiar with freeze dried food in the form of Neapolitan ice cream chunks we tasted in my kindergarten class’s astronaut unit. It struck me as highly futuristic and probably way out of our price range.

But then we started seeing lots of videos on the Harvest Right freeze dryer. It never ceases to amaze me at God’s provisional timing and how He puts His people on the same page. So we looked in to it, and while it wasn’t cheap, we figured it was a valuable investment in food storage security (meaning no busted glass jars in the freezer and no wasted milk) and with inflation being what it is, it’s probably worth more than the fiat currency that purchased it. So we went for it. At this point, my only complaint is that it’s pretty loud and I don’t have a perfect place for it. But it performs as expected and it’s already finished 3 batches for us.

Medium size Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

As my family transitions away from the worldly systems of debt slavery, 9-5 workaday life, and food dependency, I’m humbled by God’s amazing provision. Because we are still over 75% dependent on outside income, grocery stores, electric companies, online retailers, etc. We are far from self-sufficient. But what I’ve realized during the lockdown more than almost at any other point in my life is that God keeps his promises, and He provides for His faithful when we humbly ask our Father to meet our needs.

Sure there are caveats; not everything we perceive as a need is a need, and God never promised us an easy life. But He is glorified in caring for His children. In the same way, mamas, you get that warm fuzzy feeling watching your kiddos put on clothes you made them, or gobble up the hot meal you prepared, or snuggle into their warm bed as you tuck them in at night. It is a joy and an honor to be their loving mother. It is a highly underrated thing in our culture.

Because let’s face it, no one actually wants to stay at home only to be spoken to exclusively in whiney toddler voices,  to get puked on, or to change poopy diapers, or to take care of your dog’s  Pseudocoprostasis… look it up… I’ve had quite the week, folks. There’s no glory in those moments. It’s humiliating, base, and exhausting, thankless work. But our responses in those moments are the threads in the tapestry of our legacy.

If God doesn’t rule your mundane, then He doesn’t rule you. Because that’s where you live.

Paul Tripp

I had a brilliant moment of clarity today after I had 3 separate children descend into irrational meltdowns over random things, and I slammed a fist full of spoons down on the table because all I wanted to do in God’s green earth was feed them oatmeal and go church!!!

And I heard the Spirit say, “hey- this is one of those moments. What are you going to do with it?” And time slowed down. And I took a breath, I picked up those spoons, and I hugged each of my babies. Because that’s what they needed from me in that moment.

And we were a little late to church. But my kids were steady. And that’s a bigger testament to my legacy of motherhood than all the freeze dried milk in the world.

All that to say, of course, separate yourself as much as you possibly can from the worldly systems of operation, as much as your circumstances will permit, and then push for a little more. But above all, do not forget the Lord and Savior upon whom you are always eternally dependent, and go before Him with gratitude, and humility, and praise.

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