Archive for September, 2011

That’s So Cheesy!

September 26th, 2011 by Kim

An excellent, easy-to-follow book by Ricki Carroll.

So, since weaning Hershey, BoPeep has been giving me about one & a half gallons of milk every morning when I milk.  We use a good bit of milk for breakfast, drinking & cooking…but not THAT much.  So what do we do with all that extra milk?  Well, that’s cheesy…I mean…easy!  We make cheese…and butter…and yogurt…and sour cream…and ice cream.  All these delightful dairy products from our very own fresh, raw milk!  It’s been wonderful.  And, believe it or not, it’s not very difficult.  I found a great book by Ricki Carroll called Home Cheese Making that has been a huge help.  Here are a few things to whet your appetite.

A jar of cream with clabber added, to make sour cream. Clabber is started in the same manner.

Keeping It Clean

Before we talk about making things from raw milk, it’s important to know how to keep your equipment clean so you don’t inadvertantly spoil your dairy products.  Everything from your milking equipment to milk jugs, pots & cheese-making utensils needs to be properly washed & sanitized before coming in contact with raw milk.  After use, rinse milk equipment with cool water first, to prevent milk stone from forming.  Milk stone can be as simple as a thin film of milk residue (that you can’t even see!) left behind on items.  Next, add some vinegar to your warm, soapy wash water to help remove any remaining milk residue, and scrub items well.  Rinse, then dunk in a bleach solution to sanitize, and rinse again with fresh water.  A bleach residue left behind can ruin your cheese-making efforts as well.  Then leave items to air dry. (more…)

A Big Let-Down

September 12th, 2011 by Kim

Chucky & Hershey have their last buckets of feed here Saturday morning.

Well, it’s been a noisy week on Hope Refuge Farm.  BoPeep did not like losing her young’un!  Not that I really enjoyed leaving mine behind either, but at least I didn’t scream my head off for 3 days after getting him settled in at college.  But all in all things went pretty smoothly with weaning, in spite of the bellowing.  Here’s how our week went.

Stephanie tries to make friends, but Hershey’s not totally sold on the idea yet.

The cow herd had been moved to a newly fenced pasture paddock on the “horse side” of the farm before we left for Michigan.  So Friday (Sept. 2) evening I brought Bo, Hershey & Chuck (Eavie’s steer calf from last year) back to the cow barn.  I penned Bo in the barn corral like I normally had been for milking in the morning, and put the two boys in the front yard-turned-pasture paddock.  I knew things would go better if Hershey had a friend to keep him company, and even though Chucky is about 9 months older than Hershey they’re about the same size & get along great. (more…)