Friday, October 24, 2014

Last Market of the Season

Tomorrow is the last Farmers Market of the year. I'm relieved. It's been really hard since school and baseball started.

I have been invited to work at a couple other fall festivals, but the fees seem very high to me. By the time I spend $30 for a table, I have to sell 9 or 10 bars (considering the cost of my supplies) to cover the admission. I sell 5 or 6 bars on a good day at the market.

Mom and I have spent hours wrapping soaps. They'll make wonderful Christmas presents. If you can't make it to the market/festival at Midland UMC on Saturday, feel free to contact me here or visit my Etsy store to order.

I already have orders for 21 bars. One lady wants them in 3-bar sets. I need to find a cute way to package that.


These are two new scents- lemon and apple pie. I can't wait to use up what I have in the shower so I can get into a bar of lemon. It smells so fresh.

I have had a bit of success on the cheese front too. This is a honey-rubbed farmstead cheese. I wish I had aged it a bit longer to develop the rind more, but it is creamy and delicious. 



This is another saffron-infused caciotta. It is so wonderfully creamy and mild.

The goats are starting to dry up with the cooler weather and most of them being bred. I am down to about 2.5 gallons a day now (we peaked at almost 6 gallons). 

Buttercup and Alice still have not gone into heat. I am starting to get anxious. The others have been bred a month now. Buttercup kidded 3/25 last year and I bred her on her first heat, so I guess as long as she goes into heat soon, she's just repeating the pattern. I was just hoping for all kids to be born by April 1. I want the kids to be big enough to breed by next fall and that gets harder the later they are born. 

I'd best brave the chilly weather and get the milking done. I have a big day of market prep and homeschooling ahead of me. 

Please come see us on Saturday. Midland UMC. Market is 9-noon. Festival is 11-3. We will be there all day!




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Update

I'm sorry I've been MIA. The kids are playing Little League and it's killing me. We didn't get home from the ball field until almost 10:00 last night. You could just tell that those boys didn't want to be there.


Breeding season is rolling along. Kat, Lovely, Scilla, and Trixie were bred over 21 days ago and have not come back in heat.  I'd planned to breed Buttercup and Alice a month later so I only have one month dry this year, but neither of them has cycled yet. I'm getting anxious about it now! I guess they read my thoughts and didn't want to tempt me to put them in with the bucks early.

We have been training the girls to come browsing with us. They're learning fast. It's home free once we get past the old fence line, but until then, they are still drawn towards my landscaping.


The kitties like to tag along with us.


I've had a few new cheese successes. One is a saffron infused farmstead cheese. The other is goat camembert. I wish I'd gotten a good picture of the first saffron. This pic is of a new one. It doesn't have its rind yet.


The Midland Farmers Market is closing out the season with a big church-wide festival on October 25. I have a lot to make and package to be ready! I'll find the time somewhere.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cheese Day

Today is the day to find the back of my milk fridge. It is filled to bursting with half gallon jars of white gold just begging to be part of the alchemical processes that will turn them into glorious blocks of cheese.

Cheese is truly a miracle. It's one of the few things I can think of (bread too perhaps) in which four ingredients can be transmuted into such culinary diversity by simply tweaking time and temp.


I am feeling ambitious today so am planning the following:

3 gallons Cabra al Vino
2 gallons Camembert
and
2-5 gallons of "I'm not sure yet" perhaps butterkase? Maybe a honey-rubbed farmstead cheese?

We'll see how far I get.

For the rest of this season, I am on a mission to do better with natural rind cheeses and not let them get away from me in the cheese cave. I think I need an accountability partner- someone to write me every morning at 8:30 and say, "Go check the cheeses. Now". Siri may have to do the job.

Y'all have a blessed day. I'll try to post the progress of some of these.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I Miss Reading

And writing.



So there you have it. I saw something the other day about a girl who reads. I used to read! I think the last book I actually sat down and read all day was The Help. It's been awhile.

That doesn't mean I've been without books. I am am avid listener of audiobooks and usually put down at least one a week, but somehow it's just not the same. Life has gotten so busy that as soon as I sit down with a book, magazine, or even a newspaper article, my giant "To Do" list starts running through my head.

I need to slow down. Winter is good for that. I never thought I would actually look forward to winter.

I think part of that slow down is going to be an early end to working at the farmers market. I'm burned out. I have several customers who come to the house. I wish I had a good place to put an outdoor fridge so people could come and go as they please on the honor system.

For now, I'm going to stick the headphones in and go work on the fall vegetable garden, while dreaming of a paper and ink book and my spot on the sofa. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Etsy Store






I have opened up an Etsy Store to sell my handmade goat milk soaps. Christmas is coming- check it out!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunshine

The sun is shining today. We've needed the rain, but 4 dreary days in a row was starting to wear on me. Hopefully I'll have some time to hunt for mushrooms today.


Homeschooling started back last week. So far so good with the exception of hyper housebound boys the last couple days (see comments on weather). I really like the Sonlight curriculum. It's been a bit of a challenge to juggle the farm and homeschooling. I'm still trying to find areas that I can cut back on farm responsibilities and areas where I can put the kids in charge of their own education.


In the midst of all this, I'm trying to get the goats ready for breeding. I am taking deposits on kids this year, but that means that I have to get everyone clipped, photographed, and posted online to people know what they're buying.  I may just have to take pictures of Magnum from a distance. He stinks so bad!
Hammock Haven Lichen Lulu

Hammock Haven Magnus Opal

I'm off to get the milking done and then a long day of teaching.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Soap

I've been making soap this week. Sometimes I get inspired and want to do it, other times I'd muck the barn before making soap!


The brown is Indonesian Teakwood, arguably my favorite scent. The blue is Beach.



This one is Lilac. I think I'll use the wavy cutter to cut it today.



I also made bath bombs. I want to do more of these, but ran out of baking soda, much to my goats' dismay. I got some lemon/eucalyptus essential oil and want to do some "Cold Care" bath bombs. School is starting back and that means the start of cold season.

I also want to try Kris' idea of fresh cucumber in soap. Cucumber Cream. Yum.