Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Many Topics

It is pretty sad when Mom wants a snow day more than the kids do. Actually I would like a 2 hour delay; it would allow me a bit more sleep in the morning. It’s only 9 pm and I am already anticipating how tired I will be tomorrow. It’s been a long day here. I made/ am making fresh cheddar curds today. Someone tell me why? No, I know why, they taste good and sell good, but they are the hardest thing I make. I shouldn’t say that, when I make curds all of the work happens in one day that is why it seems harder, they go from milk to cheese, packaged and ready to sell in just one day. When I make hard cheese I just spread all the work out over a longer period of time. So I guess it’s not harder, just different. I took the slabs out of the vat, but still need to get them milled (cut up) and packaged tonight. I’m taking a break to get the kids in bed (as ready as I am for Lilah to stop nursing, I think if she does I may never get to sit down again) and blog, simultaneously. I finished reading the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder tonight. It was great, right up their ally. I’m so lucky the boys have the attention span for chapter books, it makes reading to them so much more enjoyable for me.

I am excited to flavor the curds tonight. I got my order from frontier co-op today, a huge box of spices. Yes I get excited about spices, especially these; they are all organic and most are fair trade too. I can’t get over how reasonable they are priced too. I mixed up the seasoning for the Cincinnati Chili Curds this morning, I added some dried tomato’s to the mix, I know they say if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, but I’m tweaking. No harm in that. I am going to do taco flavored curds tonight as well. I’m looking forward to trying that one, and then the staples, BBQ and Ranch, making them too. Well now that you know tonight’s agenda, I guess I can get to it. Maybe, if Lilah ever goes to sleep.

I would like to start adding pictures to my blog posts, and I will, I just need a new cord to connect the camera to the pc. I will blame the kids for the state of the current cord. When the cord stopped working, I took it as a sign I needed a new camera, it was just wishful thinking though. A new cord is only going to cost me five dollars somehow that doesn’t justify replacing the whole camera.

I got wonderful news today too. I love the song “Ohio” by Over the Rhine and thought it would be great if we could use it on our website so I emailed them for permission. Permission granted. I received a thoughtful and complimentary email from Karin. I will get the link and the song up asap.

It’s snowing outside and any inclement weather out here puts a damper on my communications, it slows up or stops my internet connection and does the same to the school bus and back in the day, when we were shipping milk, the milk truck too. Another reason I am grateful for the cheese house, I don’t have to worry about the milk truck making it in and out. We just have to get the milk moved across the road. Come rain or snow or sleet or hail Nick Nolan will move milk, he is handy like that.

Well I’ve got the baby in bed and the internets back. Better get to it.

Night all

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It has been a busy and exciting couple of days here on the farm. I say on the farm but most of the excitement has came from the computer here in my living room. Where to begin? I know, the beginning. I met Andrea Levasseur in dance class in Bay City Michigan when I was 4 years old.... Ok maybe that is to far back. Andrea and I have been friends forever, we are not the kind of friends who talk everyday, but we keep up. Andrea and her husband Todd Tue first visited us on the farm long before we started full time farming. Over the years they have been here a few times and every time they were we discussed shooting a documentary about the farm. We talked goals and music and message, but it was mostly talk. Until the last visit. It was right after we got our cheese making license. Todd brought cameras and equipment and we were doing it, shooting footage for a documentary. Todd and Andrea captured us, doing what we do. It is a good thing it happened fast and when we were crazy busy so I didn't have time to worry about my hair or what I looked like, looking back I wish I had at least considered it. Now we have a start, but it is just that a start. Todd and his production company Milk Products Media have launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a full fledged feature Documentary about our farm and our newest endeavor, turning grass into cheese. It's exciting, well everything is exciting, the cheesmaking, the cheese selling, but mostly the positive feedback on our cheese, our goals, our family, our farm. I feel renewed, spring is coming. So watch our video if you haven't or watch it again just for fun.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Without Topic

I've thought all evening about what I should write about here tonight, I guess I should have started thinking about it earlier, because I haven't came up with anything yet. At some point I would like to give you some back story about the farm and our family but I'm not feeling to inspired tonight.

Nick and I went to a meeting about Gallia county's new farmers market, it was encouraging and for all of you locals, I will share information as it becomes available I have nothing to report as of yet.

Attending a meeting did mean that I made it up over the hill and out the end of the road. It was the first time in 6 days, and I really wasn't to stir crazy, I probably could have made it till Monday, but I was glad to get a few groceries. We raise and grow most of our food, but I still need Foodland to keep me in junk food.

I still have lots to do to get ready for Saturday's market in Athens. I have to cut and package cheese and get our coolers ready. Sounds easy, but it is a time consuming job. Tomorrow is a make day out in the cheese house and I plan to try a new recipe. I am going to make a raw milk monteray jack. In the past I have made a non aged pasteurized monteray jack that was good, but not great. I really think using the raw milk makes all the difference. The cheese has so much more flavor, better texture, and melts better. One of the other benifts of using raw milk is that it doesn't take near as much energy. We heat our home, the cheese house, all of our hot water and the milk with a wood fired boiler. Cutting firewood is a never ending task, and the raw milk cheeses use less wood. One of the harder things about making cheese is the waiting. I won't know how this cheese I make tomorrow will turn out until the middle of April. Talk about delayed gratificaiton. This may be helping me with my paticence.

Edgar and Hunter will be going back to school tomorrow. Hunter is looking forward to it, school is like a vacation from farm work, and Edgar, well he's never ready to go, but he get's to miss breakfast because of the delay, so he does have that to look forward too.

Hopefull I will get into a blogging groove and have something worth reading to say. I encourge you to comment and or question me. often.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Offical

So here it is, my first blog post. I've been writing these in my head for literally years now, so I hope I can capture both your attention and my thoughts.

I have spent the last week or so, mostly ignoring my required tasks in order to get our new web site up and running. Ta da. I believe I have done it. We are now just waiting for it to be live, and since we are waiting on Host Papa, we will probably be waiting for a while. I will say, with each new thing that I attempt I learn something, most of the time it is what not to do next time. with web hosting what I learned is not to use Host Papa. Oh my I have a forum.

We made cheese today, a batch of Gallaswiss. About 160 lbs. I have lots of hands in the cheese house, Edgar and Hunter have been out of school for what seems like weeks, so I have all three little kids in the cheese house and Nick has extra hands out at the barn. Snow days have both benefits and drawbacks, and today was the 8th school day off in a row. Need I say more.

I still have some work to do in the cheese house this evening so I had better get to it.

Thanks for reading, Enjoy your day and eat some good cheese.