Saturday, June 7, 2014

It has been a week of highs and lows on the farm.  First, we were expecting baby chicks and ducks,  Sunday-Tuesday there was no sign of babies.  Finally on Wednesday much a hugh amount of squawking I took Little Gray off the nest.  I was really upset, we knew there were 4 eggs loss during the hatching process,  I, also,  knew there was an egg eater in the coop, needless to say the mystery was solved.  Little Gray ate her eggs.  No baby ducks and no little chickens.  Little Gray is not asset to our little farm, there will have to be some changes made.  She is a lovely pure bred Maran, lays a beautiful copper colored egg.  She was one of our first hatching here on the farm.  But with all of this going for her the truth is she will have to go.

Wednesday, we attended a class learning about making mozzarella cheese, not the quick method a number of people are doing., but the long method.  Well, there was a temperature change, outside, and the humidity decided to play games, I am quickly learning all of the above have an effect of the outcome of your cheese.  The instructor was so sad because it took until late in the evening for the ph to come down to where is was needed, the cheese will not stretch until the ph is correct, however when the ph dropped the cheese stretched.  The instructor was not pleased about what had happen and I was so excited.  I had really learned quite a lot in this class.  This was so good because when I was heating the milk on Thursday, I did not throw everything out when I realized I was reading the celsius side of the thermometer.  Poured my milk into a cold pan and filled the sink with cool water.  In a few minutes the pan became warm and the milk slowly dropped in temperature.  I was able to make the Fresh Goat's Milk Cheese, I was just running a couple of hours behind time.  I think this cheese is going to be a great topping for my pizza's.

Storms come and lightening will strike trees.  Mr. Bootsie had another tree to bring down.  Very close to the coop and barn.  Using his ropes he tied off this tree and felled it.  Yes. there is a barn and coop plus there will be lots of fire wood.  This tree was a poplar and we knew it had to come down, the tree split when it was struck.   I enjoy using this type of wood during the times you need a fire but not a really hot fire time.  I think we will plenty wood for this winter's warmer day fires.

The garden is doing much better than any garden I have had in the past.  Picking lettuce, snow peas, broccoli, lettuce and pepperoncini  peppers.  I have little tomatoes on the vines, the peanuts are up.  Baby Squash, about 1 inch long, are on several plants.   I find myself walking through the garden almost every time I go outside.  Mr. Bootsie cleaned out the goat barn and the waste product he had there became my treasure.  The ladies are doing a great job producing jelly beans for the garden.

One of our little girls moved to a new farm with week, it was exciting to see her make this move with one of our farmer friend's goats.  I did have her walking on a lead she was doing  pretty good by the time she left.  Now it is time for me to start working with another one.  We handle our girls on leads at feeding time and I think it is important they learn how to move with the lead.  One of my jealous babies can now start taking an afternoon walk with Momma. When I work with them in the pasture everyone of the babies walk with me, chewing on the lead. Saturday, we begin milking to start milking twice a day.

I have a real treasure in my kitchen.  It is my Momma's butter paddle as she called it.  I have sit and watched her wash many a pound of butter.  I was the daughter who was lucky to receive this as something to decorate my kitchen with.  I just could not put it up because it reminded me of all of the hard work she did weekly to feed us and many others.  This Saturday, I made my first butter.  I could not get to the drawer quick enough to pull out Momma's paddle and work my butter.  My hands have grown large like I remember her hands.  I am so excited to share with you, I HAVE MADE MY FIRST BUTTER.

I thought I would share with you my day as a milk maid.  On Saturday, June 7th, my day started and ended with milking.  In the kitchen I made butter and butter cheese  which is in the mold, 1 quart of lemon pudding, finished the fresh goat cheese, cleaned the whey by making ricotta and worked the kefir.  I made kefir sour cream which was hung to drain along with ricotta.

The first butter cheese was going to be ready to open on June 7th, but we opened it on the 6th,  We have been enjoying the butter cheese and the Feta.  I really do not think these 2 cheeses are going to be around very long.

When I started learning about cheese, I never thought Mr. Bootsie would be so interested.  He is working on making molds and of course, anytime, someone needs to do a little bit of sampling he is ready to assist.  I think I heard someone suggesting he may be needing homemade rolls so he could check out the butter.  Our life on the farm has become a wonderful adventure.  Thank you for taking your time to follow our journey.  Hope you are enjoying it as much as we are.  Until we meet again, which will not be long.