Thursday, October 30, 2008

Start of Pikes Place Market

Good Morning: The weather is warm out and the sky is clear. We have been working to get things winterized. The sunshine was wonderful and the goats were all outside. We got the fencing done up behind the barn so the goats can go up there and there is lots of grass up there.
David started Pikes Place Yesterday. He leaves at 6am and gets home about 8:30pm. It is a really long day. He is going to try and do five days in a row. He didn't do so good money wise, but now the word will be out that we are back and I am sure things will pick up. The market has a $5 coupon redeemable at our stand - our name is on it. Pretty Cool!
I stayed home yesterday and worked on homeschooling the girls, and c leaning house.
I packaged up garlic and dill chevre and plain chevre for the market today. I went and got two large rounds of hay and unloaded it into the barn.
We have a 4-H meeting today. We will be planning our sleepover in March.
I had a couple come and talk goats yesterday, they want to buy two of my meat goats to eat brush and be pets. They will call me in a week once they get the fencing thing done.
I have to run to the Farm Store this morning and get some more teat dip for the parlor. And also a couple of markers to mark the goats. Danyel wants to start moving some goats to every other day because they are drying up. I need to make cheese today - probably not until this evening.
My daughter from Texas flew in yesterday, her dad (my X) is in the hospital. We will probably drive to St. Helens Oregon tomorrow after school is out - they have half day- to see my big kids.
Well not much going on today.
Have a great day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Morning. What a weekend. The Sat. cheese class was really great. I thought I was going to run out of soup though. It didn't happen. After cleaning the hall up I came home and unloaded the stuff into the house. The girls did chores and loaded up the goats and I started milking them so they could leave at 4:45. David took the girls to their CAP (Civil Air Patrol) gathering in Chehalis. They got to have pizza and watch a movie and meet some new officers from up by Seattle. I actually enjoyed milking, except for the second load that got out of the stantion while still hooked up to the sucker things. All the rest of the loads I locked the stantion. Its relaxing to do milking ONCE in awhile. After milking I took some aspirin and laid down. I started getting a headache. I ended up falling asleep on the couch until about 9:45pm when I heard David talking to the girls on the phone. He went and got them then and I went to bed. My headache felt better, but thought I should get some rest.
Got up Sunday morning at 7am and went and cleaned the parlor and the girls did the milking. The girls were going to hang out at the airport and help with the glider flights. So when they were done with chores they got dressed in their BDU (camo clothes). We left at 9:50 for the airport and dropped them off before we went to church. After church we called them and they were ready to come home so we went and picked them up and went and ate some lunch. The rest of the day was pretty mellow. I worked on the library in our basement. My headache came back and by 8:30pm I was ready for bed.
This morning I felt pretty good and was up by 6am. The stars are out and its does not feel cold out either. Though its 33. Today my milk gets picked up so I will just be working with the girls and our homeschool.
NEWS BREAK: CHEESE CLASS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 22 AT THE HOPE GRANGE. It will be posted on my web page. So if you couldn't come in October how about November. Get signed up first 25. This makes great Christmas gifts and holiday goodies.

David is working on the fencing behind the barn so the goats can start cleaning up the brush up there. I did alittle more caulking in the milk parlor too.
Well you have a great day and think of Warm Summer days.....only when your not having a hot flash!
This is Danyel's new puppy -boarder collie and blue heeler cross. 10 weeks old.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cheese Class

Good Morning. Today is my cheese class.
Yesterday I had to make up some garlic and dill chevre and plain chevre for the Longview Market, Sat.. David went and vacuumed the marinated feta and grande rosa and the pepper rosa Thur. Our lables are in, but we both got to busy and forgot to go get them. So we have temp. lables on our grande rosa and pepper rosa.
We worked on making the farm presentable for the tour today. David put carpeting on the cement for walk ways for the winter. Its so slippery on the cement basketball court (soon to be new processing plant). I cleaned the Parlor this morning so it would look clean for the tour this afternoon.
I took supplies over to the grange last night. And then this morning I went over at about 5:15 to set up most of it and take the rest of my stuff over. I will leave at 8am to go over there to finish setting up and make coffee and put the tea water on. I have to cut up the cheese samples. I only got cheese from the sheep dairy too. The cow/goat dairy is no more. I guess after the flood it was to much to get going again.
David's Book signing gig in Kalama went pretty well. He said that just about everyone bought some cheese.
The girls have CAP (Civil Air Patrol) this morning and will be leaving about the same time as I leave. Afterwards they will be dropped off at the grange to help me clean up. And they can eat lunch there too.
David will get home about the time the tour is on the farm.
Well got to run. I think I have everything if not its a short hop to get back home.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Farm from the Air!

Good Morning. Wasn't yesterday great! Sunshine and warm weather. Yesterday was a run day and alot didn't get accomplished at the farm. I got most of my grocery list taken care of for the cheese class, just ran out of time. I'll finish today. I took the chevre down that I stared on Monday. I got about 70 pounds to my 33 gallons I made. Which is good numbers.
I am going to be cleaning the creamery really good today, and the milk parlor too. So I have less to do tomorrow. I also will be making a gallon batch of cheese for the cheese class. David will be vacuuming some cheese today. I have computer class this morning, Danyel has Biology and we have our first 4-H meeting today and then the new caseworker is coming to meet us and our foster son. This evening will be all around packaging cheese for Friday evening's book review thing in Kalama that David is going to.
The weather is suppose to be great this weekend.
The girls had a great day to fly planes yesterday. I thought you'd like to see this picture of our property from the air. We are the farm right next to the gravel pit on the right - on the other side of the brown dirt pile. Our barn is the long building and our house is in the trees below the long barn. Our property is the pasture in front of the barn and a small green patch behind the barn. Hope you can all understand my directions.
Have a Great Day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flying in the Sky

Good Morning to all. The sky is clear its alittle chilly out, but sunny.
Yesterday I got my chevre hung up and packed my other chevre for the freezer (about 50 lbs). Danyel gave her biology report and did a good job - no grade yet. And then we called a CAP piliot who was offering O flights. The girls got booked for a 1:30 flight. They didn't get to fly because Danyel got alittle sick from the other kids flying. So they were down by 4:30pm. I went and picked up the girls, and we went to Rochester to pick up an Australian cross blue healer puppy for Danyel - Free. She has wanted her own dog and since she is a 10th grader it means she will only be around a few years - I thought she should have her own dog now. That brings our total up to 5 dogs. And I am the one who doesn't even like dogs.... Yikes!
So today we have a busy schedule I will go pick up my foster son and take him to his dr. appt. and David will take Danyel to her biology class. When I bring the foster son back to school - I'll pick up Danyel from her class. While the foster son is in his Dr. appt. I'll run to Walmart and get my supplies for the cheese class (the food). After that the girls will go fly today at 1pm. And its going to be a beautiful day to go flying. They both will fly. They must wear their uniforms and be all proper today too. So after the flying there is chores and church this evening.
Danyel named her puppy Michelle, she is black and white like a boarder collie.
Well its about time to go so, you have a great day and enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Morning. Its a little foggy out but its not freezing.
David hooked up our propane heater and got the propane tank filled so its not so cold in the milking room. He added a small fan that blows over the top of the heater so the heat spreads around the room better. I did some more caulking yesterday too. The holes and cracks are slowly disappearing.
I made a 33 gallon batch of chevre yesterday. Today I will hang it to drain. I have about 28 people signed up for my cheese class on Sat. I have all my books made and put together. Tomorrow I'll go get my supplies for the lunch.
Danyel has to give her presentation today in Biology. I think she is ready though.
David is heading to Longview for the farmers market this morning. He is returning the water pressure cleaner to our friend after the market too.
Our milk was picked up yesterday also. So before milking I had the tank to also clean. I scrub the sides and top, with the same stuff I clean my milk lines with. It takes about 15 more min. to my cleaning schedule.
This morning I let the girls sleep in until 6:20 - Its because I slept in till 5:45am. Anyway school will be normal today. And I'll be in the processing plant messing with my cheese. I need to go and vacuum pack some marinated feta for Thur. book signing gig. in Kalama Wa. and then Sat. Market in Longveiw across from the fairgrounds. This is the last Sat. market for the Longveiw one.
This is a picture off our deck, taken by Ali Rider
Have a great day and know the little mountains you must climb are only bumps in the road.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blustry weather is here!

Good Morning. Its windy and pouring rain this morning. This weekend went well, no rain and little wind. The farmers markets were alright, mine was down in dollars but that is they way it goes with farmers markets. After David's market he ran to Cash and Carry to get some more containers for the garlic and dill chevre and the yogurt. And he got the taster spoons, $53 for a box. That is crazy. When we got home it was about 1 hour before we had to start chores. We were short one person as Ali was with her CAP platoon for the weekend. So we covered her chores and got finished about 6:30pm. I ran in and made dinner - baked salmon (Ali doesn't like fish), baked potato and veg. And then we all sat around and read books. Bed came early as we were all tired.
Sunday was a little slower. I got the kids up at 7am to do chores and after chores we headed to church. After church was lunch... chili and all the fixings. I went out and cleaned the parlor and then we all got dressed again and headed up to Lake Mayfield to go to the ceremony for the Civil Air Patrol. Ali got pinned and moved up a rank. Ya! I had to pin the pins on. Well, my fingers are numb and pinching those frogs (the little clips) that go on the back of those pins was almost impossible. I even dropped one on the ground. But I got it done. And was so proud of her passing her test. We ate cake and visited with other parents. We left at 5:45 for home. Everyone changed clothes and jumped into doing their chores. I cooked hamburgers and fries for dinner. At 8:30 we all sat down so I could do our reading time. Only have three more chapters and we are done with this book - the girls already have the next one picked out. Since we turned off the satellite we spend more time reading. And we started this half hour reading thing. We have read two books now since the NO TV thing. The girls didn't like not having their half hour reading while Ali was gone.
I am going to make some chevre this morning before milk gets picked up. I will make about 30 gallons. I will also make some buttermilk and start some yogurt. I have some running around to do while Danyel is at Biology. David has market in Longview tomorrow and will go to Winco to get my grocery's for the Cheese class this weekend. I can't believe its almost here. Anyway I am going to try another one the 22 of November, as some people cant make it to this one.
We decided that we won't bred anymore does to Ice this year, as his feet are hurting him and I am not sure he is doing his thing. The boar bucks all perform quicker. Anyway I think I have all most all my girls bred anyway.
I hope you all have a great day and remember who really is in control....Not us!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't Cry over Spilt Milk

Good Morning to All. It isn't raining and its pretty warm out too. Not what the weather man had predicted for today.
Well I made cheese yesterday. Everything was going fine until after the pasteurization process I was filling a gallon jar full of milk to put into the refrigerator for making buttermilk or yogurt. After it was full I was carrying to the table and the bottom of the jar fell off..... milk everywhere. What a mess. So before I could continue with the cheese I had to clean the floor up in the processing plant. That made things a little bit unsettled. Anyway the milked cooled to much while I was cleaning so I had to reheat the milk to temp. again. When reached it I put in the rennet and then turned off the paddles and took out the paddles and the thermometers. And waited an hour. But when I came back the temp had not been turned off so I had cooked curds. There is a rule about making cheese never throw it out, it could be something great. So I just finished the recipe as normal. We will see if this cheese turns out or not.
Today Ali leaves for two days - Civil Air Patrol weekend. So that means Danyel and I will have extra chores through the weekend. Ali will do her chores before we leave to take her to the camp around 4:30 tonight.
We will be doing our home school this morning. I will go make my yogurt with the fresh strawberries David got me at his market yesterday after school. And turn my fresh pressed goat cheese's.
I will have to mix up more garlic and dill chevre and plain chevre for the market tomorrow. This will be my last market at Des Moinse, because next week is my cheese class. I started printing out my booklets for the class. I looked for the covers yesterday and couldn't find them - so I will have to look at Staples for the covers -so I could put them together. I have 22 people signed up too.
Well I will let you go. Have a Great Day.

This picture is one of Ali's frog pictures. "Just think, only a little further"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cheese Baskets Ready!

Publish Post

Well I got away with it most of yesterday. Birthday's are not my thing so when mine comes around I try and lay low. I just don't like the fan fare. If you want to do something nice for someone do it on an unsuspecting day not on an obligation day. It means more for me on the other days. Anyway I do get calls from my parents, and children (most of them) and the youngest girls even got me a card. Which was really cute... There was a cow on the front behind a fence "Your Day. Your way. Your say." You open it up and it says "Its your birthday - milk it for all it's worth!" That was really funny.
This is one of my cheese baskets - $42
I made up David's cheese for market, garlic and dill and plain chevre. He loaded up the truck last night. Yesterday the girls had to go get some more shots for their school records. And we went by the 4-H office and picked up our club information. I am going to try and sell Christmas Baskets of cheese this year. So I ran by the dollar store and got a basket. When we got home David and I arranged the cheese and took pictures so I can put it on a poster to be able to sell them. We will make them up and deliver them to one spot in Longveiw the week before Christmas. I'll try and sell them at the Bazzar I am going to the first part of November. I think we will try it at Pikes Place too.
Speaking of Pikes Place that will start the first of November. I have to gear up for this market. We go through so many samples and not as much sales. At the farmers markets we use little samples and sell lots of cheese. Anyway David will have to stop by Cash and Carry after market on Sat. and get some more yogurt containers, chevre containers, tester spoons, toothpicks and sacks for the first of November. We will also be doing a market in Tacoma on Sat. too.
I caulked yesterday and I have to say it looks so good in the milk parlor. It closes all kinds of gaps and looks finished. But I am going to see if I can get a different caulk, because the one I got stays soft permanently and I think I'd rather have one that dries hard. Anyway I will pick up some more today and talk to the guys at ACE hardware.
I am going to start a batch of Grande' Rosa and Pepper Rosa today and also some yogurt and buttermilk. David cleaned all the dishes in the cheese processing plant yesterday for me and so I am ready this afternoon to make cheese. I will run Danyel to biology, deposit some money in the bank, pick up a few groceries and then pick up Danyel and head for home. She is going to work on her Biology project and I am going to work on cheese. And maybe caulk a little.
David and Ali are at their last Broadway Tacoma Farmers Market. I sure hope he sells a good amount of cheese today. They will be home about 4pm today. Then we have to milk, eat dinner and be at a football game at 6pm (or David has to).
I have said before we do foster children - but I won't talk about them on my blog except to say, this one is in football and this is his last game and its at home. So depending on where I am in the cheese process determines if I go. (Personally I don't enjoy freezing, getting wet in the rain to watch football and I have already gone to one of his home games this year - There was a total of 6 games and two were at home. And this time is David's turn. Did I mention the team is 5-0). Anyway this evening will be another run time.
Ali has to finish packing this evening for a Civil Air Patrol weekend at Lake Mayfield. She will earn a rank up doing this. We will run her up tomorrow evening.
Well life is good, well maybe great - we have a roof over our heads, meat in the freezer, and a job we enjoy, and a great family to work and play with. I don't care whats going on in the rest of the world as long as my world is working well. I guess I am an ostrich with my head in the sand.... but it works for me. Have a Great Day regardless of the hurricane outside your door.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Working Schedual

It is cold out this morning about 33 degrees. Not quite freezing but almost. Well, lets see what went on yesterday. Oh yes, I took my chevre down and put it in the refrigerator, I got 100lbs of chevre out of 50 gallons or 430 pounds of milk. That is really good. Our weights go up during the time the goats slow down their production. But of all the chevre this last month of making it, has to be the premium product. I will package all but about 30 pounds and put it in the freezer for next month or so. The Tue. market went pretty good, anyway David sold more product than the rest of the whole 6 vendors. So he'll keep going to that market till the end of the month. He is also looking to go up to Pikes Place during the week, his last Thur market is the 16th - so maybe he'll run up there for Thur. He has a book show coming next week he has been invited to and they are serving our cheese as the snack and then people can buy some if they want at the end of the book review and signing.
I am working on my Cheese Class coming next weekend. Have to go shopping for food and contact the other two dairies that I like to get some cheese from for sampling.
Last night David and I went to an energy saving class. It was pretty interesting, but as usual it was also a sales pitch. It was a good product though. We will think about it. But we got a good dinner and met some neighbors of ours in the area. The girls finished chores and watched a movie and ate dinner while we were gone. I am so glad they are responsible teenagers.
I bought some caulking to plug some holes or I should say cracks in the milk parlor - I can't wait for the last painting to go on.... but this has to be done first. Its suppose to be a nice day today and so I look forward to doing some caulking.
Update on Neighbor and pond: Talked to the planning committee and they are going to come look and see if there is any concerns with erosion or danger to my goats having stagnant water going through my field. And all the water he put in has seeped out, anyway the water line is no longer visible.
This morning we have computer lab at the grange for an hour then will run Danyel to biology class and come home and have Ali work on her Physical science. Then we will go pick up Danyel and go to the health department and get them two more vaccine shots and then they should be all caught up for the public schools. Neither of them are very excited about all this shot stuff. Then we'll come home and work on school until about 2pm today. After that I will go clean the creamery and get things set up to make cheese tomorrow. I also have to package some chevre for David's market tomorrow. Then we'll do chores at 4pm today and eat dinner at 6pm and then we'll head for church at 7pm.
It doesn't seem to busy today.
This picture is one of our goat herd - we were cleaning the whole barn and kicked them all outside, and of course they don't want to go into the field in case we open the door and let them in so they all hang close to the barn door.
Stay warm and think of Hot Coco!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving

It is a cool morning, its not freezing but it has a clean crisp feeling. The girls are up and doing chores, I've done part of mine. I went and cleaned the milking parlor and set it up so when the girls go in to milk they just have to turn on the machine and go for it. They are into listening to the audio books while they milk. We have been going to the library once a week to check out books, mostly for our Washington State History information but the girls go through the audio books and find ones to listen to while in the milk parlor. It seems to keep their minds on what they are doing and milking gets done more efficiently. I bet the goats wonder who is talking so much.
I re-hung my chevre last night and this morning its finally ready to come down. I'll put it in the refrigerator until this afternoon when I will bag all the chevre I have and put it in the freezer. This way I have it when my does quit giving milk next month.
David is going to the new market in Longview today its from 9-2, down by the fairgrounds where he usually is on Sat. We are also going to do the other Tacoma one on Proctor on Sat. - for November.
Its time for me to start thinking Thanksgiving. I love that holiday better than any of the others. I love cooking and this is my holiday. I do all the cooking, well me and my children. We invite people from where ever to come and eat - our family is pretty good size but no all of them get to come. So I need to fill in the empty spots. Our tradition is every child gets to pick out what kind of pie they like and Nana (me) makes them a mini pie all their own. The adults also put in thier order but I make a big pie that everyone gets a piece of. I usually have at least 15 different pies for dessert. Its awesome. Anyway I am getting ahead of myself and the season.
Today I am going to call the planning commission about the neighbor's pond. An up date no water is flowing through my field yet. David walked down there and he pond isn't full yet either.
There were three does that are in heat this morning, so they will go have a visit with one of my guys. When I look at the number of does that are going to kid in Feb. its scary. Its good too, cause I'll have them all done early but ALL is a lot of kids to bottle feed.
Have a great day and enjoy the season at hand.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Neighbor situation

Good Morning:
Its misting here, and its not to cool. Yesterday I went down and started whacking at some blackberries. Now your wondering why I didn't put my goats down there to do the job. Well when we put them down there - at the end of our driveway they are so nervous they don't eat the bushes. They worry. You see our neighbor has an obnoxious dog and he loves to run at them and scare them. The only place they are not afraid is inside their pen and with our big dogs watching them. Anyway I did cut some of them down and it is starting to look nice. Why would I want to cut them down, well our neighbor has built what I think to be a pretty large and deep pond next to my fence.... and then yesterday I noticed a black tarp going over the edge of his pond and heading toward my driveway. We have a culvert under our driveway leading into our field, which is where I think he is planning to run off his extra water. So anyway I have some concerns over his project and I think I'll have to talk to a land planner person on Tue to find out if he can do this. Oh yes, this is all man made - there is no natural spring there and he is filling it up with his hose. I am going to walk down the driveway as soon as the sun is up and see if I have a creek running through my field this morning. No water yet - maybe his well went dry - one can only hope. Neighbors.
I am on a dead end road and my policy is to not up set my neighbors by encroaching on their property or doing things that would make them mad. I don't want other peoples dogs on my property, that is why my dogs are confined on my property. I don't let my children go onto other peoples property without permission, nor do I let them do loud and noisey things which would disturb my neighbors. But, I kind of expect the same from my neighbors. I don't think I am asking to much. Anyway off of my soapbox.
My chevre is still hanging in the processing plant. This cool weather does something to the hanging time of my cheese. It still tastes great, but it just takes longer to get all the whey out of the cheese. I put the heater in the plant and hope it will finish dripping today.
David is going to do a Tue. market in Longview this week and see how that goes.
I am going to do a bazaar type thing in November and see how it works with selling cheese baskets for Christmas. I am going to take pictures of the baskets and display the photo's and take orders to be delivered the week before Christmas. I wonder how that will fly. So I am working on that today.
David will do Pikes Place the first Sat. of November and then pick up another day too.
I am going to try and work on painting the inside of my milking room this week - I keep a heater in there so it stays warm and will dry. I have to put the good paint over the primer paint and then that room is done. I also want to spray paint my bulk tank again - its kind of chipping off here and there. This is also a home school class - Occupational Education - sweet!
I want to vacuum my front room and the basement since my vacuum cleaner is fixed... I haven't had time to do that yet. A friend of mine brought me some tomatoes and peppers yesterday, how sweet. They should make some good salsa.
Our 4-H club is starting to plan their sleep over for this year. Its always fun to see what theme we are going to use. I think this year they have decided to us the theme Risk (the board game).
They want to stage war's with swords and they will have to get the velco ribbon off the persons back to conquer their country. Last year we did Clue (the board game). We turned our house into the mansion and each team got info about the mystery murder. Everyone had a great time and it was really a lot of fun. We have been doing this overnight for 4 years and each year it has gotten better. We do it in March so the other 4-H club from Clatskanie, Oregon can feed the babies and do the whole dairy thing. We always serve cheese and crackers. Last year we slept at the Hope Grange and that worked great. In the years past they slept in the basement. But since the flood we didn't have carpet down there yet and so we needed another place to sleep 15 kids. I am going to arrange the same thing this year.
Well that is enough chit chat I need to get busy with my home school schedual and getting things ready.
The picture is of Cloe my Anatolian Shepard Female - she dug a hole under her dog house.
Have a great day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good Morning. Danyel and Ali said the sunrise this morning was red - so of course they took a picture. Yesterday the markets were alright, or I should say mine was fine but David's was low. After I got home from market I hung the chevre. It was still draining this morning and hopefully it will be able to be got down this evening. I let the girls sleep in this morning until 7am - me too! It felt good. We leave for church at 10:15 and are home about 12:30. I am fixing chili and the works for lunch today. Today will be a catch up day for me... I"ll check some homeschool assignments and then maybe make some apple dumplings for dinner dessert. Yesterday David took part of my vaccum cleaner to the fixit shop and they fixed the part. So I'll vaccum today and test out the machine. I also want to give the dogs a bath (little dogs).
This is a photo looking across our field, one of the girls took it.
I hope you all have a great Sunday and relax - or as much as you can.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sat. Market - Running

I must of set my alarm for 5pm instead of am, because the girls woke me up at 5:30am. We started a half hour behind this morning - when timing is everything. I have to leave at 7am and David leaves at 7:30am and the girls get picked up for Civil Air Patrol at 7:15am. Milking takes 1 1/2 hours and the other chores take about 35 min. each. David loaded the truck and car for market. I filled up the water containers with hot water, and my thermos with hot coffee. Danyel has to get all the uniforms ready today, for a uniform inspection. Anyway every one is moving in some direction.
I cleaned the parlor last night so all I needed to do this morning was hook up the suckers. I had to take a bag of grain to the milking parlor too, so Ali would have grain to start milking. David can fill the grain thing up when he goes out.
I packaged Chevre up last night too and labeled, Marinated Feta and Fresh Feta. My chevre didn't turn out as good as it has been. Its too soft for my liking but it tastes good. I packaged up just what I needed and let the rest hang over night. This morning I put it in the refrigerator and it looked alittle more firm. I also made another batch of chevre, 50 gallons. I'll hang it up this afternoon when I get home from market. I have only one more market to do and then I'll finish the month off with my cheese class. Speaking of that I have 16 people signed up. I am getting calls daily though to sign up.
Well got to go get dressed for market and hit the road. You have a great day and remember to smell the flowers one last time, for winter is here and the smell needs to last you till spring.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A working Day

We are up at 6am to start chores. Its cool outside. The does that are with the bucks are crying, wanting out. The bucks stink and the smell travels well this morning. As I am in here writing on the blog I can hear the coffee pot perking, the motor for the milking parlor humming and still a goat crying. These are all good comforting sounds to a farmer. My two papillions are still sleeping in on my warm bed with my husband. I am heading out to take my chevre down, mix up my yogurt and package, and start another batch of chevre before the guy comes to pick up my left over milk this morning. Oh yes I have to clean the pasteurizer and sanitize it too.
Yesterday Danyel and I picked apples from our little grove of trees. She climbed the tree's and handed down the apples. They are such nice apples, I wish I had the time and energy to make apple sauce or to make juice from them. I have just been putting them in a room out in the barn where its cool and safe from critters. I am hoping they last into the winter. I also got a sack full of plums the last on the tree's. This is such a nice farm, I just wish I had more time to do the things I use to do before we became dairy people. I think if my husband was the main dairy person I'd have more time to do those things. But as I am the main person for all of the operations it leaves me with little time to do the things that I enjoyed in my previous life (mom, housewife).
David is going to run to Longview today to the accountants and pick up my computer stick, so I can download last years taxes so that David can drop them off at the accountants on Sat. so we can get that refund thing. Another this I dont like doing is bookwork and that too falls on my shoulders.
We are homeschooling today even though public school is out. Maybe we'll run to the library while David is in Longview.
This picture is of my two reg. papillions enjoying some sunshine a couple of weeks ago. Dutches is the darker one and Reese is the other one. Dutches is the one who helps herd the goats.... and she is good. She looks like a Boarder Collie working sheep.
Enjoy the quiet time in your day.... it refreshes and builds strong minds.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cheese Glitch

It was about 37 degrees this morning. Just enough cold to send a chill up your spine, but not cold enough to put on the parka. We ended up breeding two more does yesterday. I should have about 60 does left to breed. We should have about 105 does this year kidding. Lots of milk next milking season. David and Ali got up at 5:30 this morning to get their chores done before they had to leave at 6:30am for Broadway Farmers Market in Tacoma. This market is from 9-2 today. I will stay home and get some extra stuff done. Like Bookkeeping! We are not doing home school today - though Danyel has to get her report done for a presentation in Biology. Ali will just read her book.
I got the chevre made last night but not without a hitch. First, last week while I was making cheese David thought it would be a good idea to have the alarms go off to let me know when the pasteurizer hit its temp., so he messed with the gray box with all the electrical buttons, modes, the recording chart and such. I don't do anything with that box except turn on the pens and turn off the pens and replace the chart when its full. Well he couldn't get it to do the alarm thing - but put it back where he thought it was set when he was done. No big deal. The next batch of cheese I made that week didn't record right... I had to do it by hand and when he got home I told him of the problem. He must of forgot to fix it so when I went to make Chevre yesterday afternoon.... guess what? That gray box didn't want to record right. So David spent probably 4 or 5 hours trying to get it to do what its suppose to do. While he was working on it I made dinner, did chores and then I took the kids to church at 7pm. While the kids were at church I ran to Adna to vacuum pack the marinated feta. And you know what, I got that done and back at the church to pick the kids up on time. When I got home David had the gray box working right. So I started pasteurizing at 8:30pm and needless to say it was 12:30pm when I finished. So the cheese got made but I am tired. I'll hang it this afternoon and it will be ready by Friday morning to package for Sat. markets. I'll clean up the processing room today so I'll be ready to make another batch of cheese - maybe tormorrow afternoon. I sure could use another batch of Chevre in the freezer for the winter season. I will start some yogurt this morning and also some buttermilk. The buttermilk will be used tomorrow to make the Chevre.
At 10:30 I'll run Danyel to her Biology class today and then run to the Farm Store and get some more Udder wash, and then run and get some color ink - as the last package I got wasn't color and black it was only black. So I have run all my color out. I can do that before I pick up Danyel at 11:25 today.
Well I'll be on the computer most of the day doing bookkeeping - something I don't enjoy so I do it at the last minute. Like that is going to make it easier or less dreadful.
I hope you have a great day, look at all the colors in the trees and think of each leaf as friend in you life and then say a little prayer for each. See how colorful your life is!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grange Night

Yesterday was a very nice day. The milking in the morning went well and the goats were all healthy. I have my two daughters trade off each week doing the milking of the does. This way the other one has to grain the other goats. So Sunday night is a big night when they switch jobs. They do a good job and I have to pay them cheese and yogurt for their work. I think its a fair trade and it sure makes my life easier. I took the cheese over to Rocky Run Dairy and gave it to my girlfriend, she was very appreciative. I visited with her as she was giving a work crew directions on things that needed fixed around her dairy. I didn't stay long. Got home and home schooled Ali until Danyel got home from her one class - we ate lunch and then hit the books again.
We had to do chores and milk early, because we needed to be at the Grange by 6pm. I am the lecture for Hope Grange in Lewis county, Washington. That means I do all the programs, either find interesting people to give presentations or I give them. I love doing this it gets all my artistic juices going. Last night a lady talked about her great grandfather who drew for the audobon society. He made several books and painted pictures too. It was a very interesting presentation. At grange we take a potluck dish and eat dinner as a group. There were about 30 people there last night. We meet once a month. Next month we are having an Indian Chief tell us some Indian stories. Anyway the food was great last night. We got home around 8:30pm. I read for a half hour to the kids before they went to bed.
I still haven't made my cheese yet.... Today! I have no choice its down to the wire now. Glad we are not doing Pikes yet, as I have to make cheese up until the does give me no more milk and I have to make it as often as I have enough to go into the pasteurizer. Right now its kind of lazy. It shouldn't be as I have to get stocked for the three months I have no milk. I just feel lazy and tired.... anyway I'll work on the cheese today.
We have to go over to Adna and vacuum seal some marinated Feta for market on Thur. so I will be in and out of the house all day. It really puts a strain on my home school day. This morning we are going over to the grange hall to do computer class. The girls like working on the computers and they are learning a lot. Then we will run Danyel to her Biology class and come home. I'll go pick her up at 11:30. Then come home and eat lunch and then work on school until 3pm today. David also has to get some grain today. It seems we are always running.
I like staying at home and having him do the running. David will do inventory today and load up the truck for market tomorrow morning.

This photo is the Broadway Farmers Market - our booth set up- this summer.

Well, hope your having a great day and enjoying your freedom to come and go to worship and to communicate with your neighbors - I am and do.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just another Day at BRD

Yesterday was a blustery day and wet. The boar goats head out rain or shine but my dairy girls stay put in the dry barn.
Up date: on sick goat. Her milking was fine last night. No blood. Its was probably just getting butted in the bag. Gail was back on line and out with the herd.
I didn't make cheese yesterday, I guess I was still recovering from Sat. and Sunday. But I am ready to go this morning. I'll haul about 40 gallons over to the processing plant (across the driveway) and start my batch after chores are done this morning. I'll be making Chevre. I have enough for Thur Farmers Market but will need it for Sat. Markets.
My cheese class is filling up, I have about 7 slots left and the 25 slots will be full. I am going to go get some more colored ink so I can work on those booklets I make for my cheese class. My rennet and cheese cloth is ordered.
I saved some of my Pepper Rosa for a dear friend who convinced me to make it. So after I drop Danyel off at Biology class at Napavine Highschool, I'll run over to her house. I'll also ask her if she will have milk for sale at my cheese class. She has a "raw goat milk dairy. By the time I get back from Napavine and the cheese drop off it should be time to cool down the milk.
Those frozen yogurt cycles turned out great. I'll start another set this morning. Its cold out but the kids still love those things.
I scrubbed down the floors in the milking parlor last night, with bleach. It is a little cleaner looking and smells fresh. I think this week for occupational education - painting skills - the girls and I will put the finishing coat of white in the milk parlor where my bulk tank is. My painting has come to a stop as the weather is not helping me inch my way around the farm. I am sure I can find things to do though, so don't worry about me being bored.
This picture was taken this summer. This is my daughters truck parked in the field. And this is the only goat that thought she should climb the mountain. I bet she was dared to do that. Ali is trying to get her off.
Have a great day, climb every mountain - up there you'll see more clearly!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The day after!

We got up at 6am on Sunday and did our chores, things went well. David loaded up the van for our treck back to the Pomeroy Living Farm to sell one more day,9am. When we got there at 11am it pored down rain harder than yesterday. We put the tent up and set up our wares and waited. The festival didnt open until 1pm. So we sat under cover and ate some garlic and dill chevre and some bread. Oh yes, the girls and I dressed up in our civil war costumes and then took a gift of cheese and bread over to the civil war team that was set up at the festival. Needless to say they bought some cheese by the end of the day too. You would be surprised to see all the people that came and got pumpkins. I think there were more people on Sunday than on Sat., but we sold more on Sat. than Sunday. Crazy! But we all had a good time, it is always good to see old friends.
We got home at 8pm and then did our chores. We got done at 9pm and boy were we tired. We unloaded and counted cheese and put things away and then everyone went to bed. The goats were very glad to see us. As were our inside dogs who were locked up all day inside.
I got up at 6am and went and cleaned the parlor, and then woke the girls up at 6:30am.This morning David is heading over to get some hay, and then unroll it into the barn. We had one goat with bloody milk last night. It will be interesting to see what she does this morning. We don't put that milk into our bulk tank and that is why we strip one squirt into a cup before we hook up any goat on to the milking system. Last night we put this goat - Gail - into a pen for observation. She is acting healthy and ate fine and there are no visible sores on her udder. I suspect another goat hit her hard in the bag while they were playing or fighting over hay. But we'll wait and see.
This afternoon I'll start 50 gallons of milk pasteurizing to make a batch of chevre and yogurt. Oh all the yogurt that didn't sell this week I'll put sticks in the containers and freeze them. The kids love fozen yogurt. Well try and have a good day and see the blessing in rain. Like green Northwest.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

15th Pumpkin Festival, Pomeroy Living Farm

I got up at 4:30am yesterday to clean the parlor. I got the girls up at 5:00am to start milking and do their chores (milking, feed the chickens, dogs, cats, and grain the goats that are not milking). David got up at 6am to start haying. The girls have Civil Air Patrol at 7:15 this morning. I am excited because Danyel was taking one of her tests to move up in rank. And when I got home I found out she passed. I am so excited for her. Ali will take her test next weekend. But I left at 6:15 for Battleground Wa. to the Pomeroy Living Farm Pumpkin Festival. It is about an hour and a half drive. It was so windy out and then the rain came down. I have known how crazy these people are about getting their pumpkins at this farm.... rain or shine this is their annual event to go for a hay ride and visit the animals, check out the 20 vender's at this event and maybe have some lunch. And sure enough they came out, not in groves but in good numbers. This event is so well run and so fun. There were free games for the children to get out of the weather and a sandbox under cover with trucks and scoops and things. But the new thing this year was the Civil War Re-enactment team was there. There were maybe 20 people, civilians & soldiers. They did a rifle firing for us. They had their tents set up and their campfire going. It was a true step back in time.
The weather yesterday was on and off rain and then clearing, even one time the sun shone through and it was warm. Our sales were slow but that would of been expected at any market yesterday. I got home about 7:30pm, the market closed at 5pm. David was in Longview, WA and they closed down before two because they could see this one big black cloud coming and they had already had several dumpings on before. So we did about one normal farmers market sales yesterday between the both of us.
Today the whole family is going to the market in Battleground. We will load the van and leave about 9am. Today the market opens at noon but we have to be there by 11am. It runs till 5pm. The weather is suppose to be better today. My girls love the hayride and I have to admit we even get out pumpkins there (Danyel and Ali like to carve elaborately on their pumpkins). But because the Civil War guys are there we are going to dress period too. Anyway us girls. David said he'd take pictures and watch. But any chance us girls can wear our pretty dresses and hoops (only two of us have hoops) then we are on it. We will take a bowl with some garlic and dill chevre in it as a gift for the troops and deliver it in period style.
Today should prove to be a fun day at market.
We will milk at 8pm tonight, but we also started at 7pm so the goats wouldn't be to stressed out. Well got to get busy loading up and getting ready for our dress up day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Busy Day at the Cheese Plant

Well its windy this morning but its warm. It fells like fall and smells like it too. I think this transition is my favorite time of year. It always feel clean and crisp. The goats are beginning their new year. It will be five months from now that those kids will be on the ground. Its the anticipation that really keeps us all on our toes. Everyone here at the farm has their doe that they look forward to how and what kind of baby will come. Our boar bucks look so good this year and Ice, our Sannen buck looks great too. These guys are our back bone to the dairy.
David didn't do very well at the market yesterday..... I hate the end of the markets - they slow down so much its like why bother. But because of your customer base you stay and the market managers are great too.
My feta is ready to be cut and salted in the processing plant. That will keep me busy this morning as well as packaging Marinated Feta and Grande Rosa and Pepper Rosa for this weekend. David will take the packaged cheeses to Adna, Black Sheep Creamery, to use their vacuum packager. I need to run to town to get ink to print out some more flyer's about my cheese class Oct. 25 (More info on my web page). I will start making my booklets for the class. I designed the booklet about 3 years ago and they are still working great. I up date anything that needs to be done before printing. I need to order Rennet also, its gone up $50 for one gallon now. That is crazy. I'll order cheese cloth also and that way I'll have some to sell at the class. I started my list for shopping for the soup I make at the class also.
I have to mix up my yogurt and make labels for them today too.
I am also going to work on my bookkeeping and get the homeschooling done.
Last night I painted a cute table David got me at Tue. farmers market. Its the colors of my milking parlor. I'll tole paint some roses on the top of the table.
Well we are ready for the day and I hope your ready for your day. When things look hard or bad just look at a flower and the beauty it brings and watch the sides of your mouth curve up into a smile. Its the simple things that keep us going. I think for me what keeps me going is just the smell of the rose.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Winter is coming

Well this morning it is warm and if you didn't know rain was coming you'd believe it was going to be warm and sunny out. But the weatherman says its going to rain. So I think I'll make Feta today. Today is also Milk pickup today. Mt. Capra comes and picks up my left over milk from the week. I use the first three days milk for my first batch of cheese and then I do another batch in two days and then they pick up the last bit of milk, its usually about 50-100 gallons left in the pot. So that its fresh milk only 2 days old. So we are all within the guidelines of the State of Wash. I packaged the peach & honey yogurt and some raspberry yogurt yesterday.
This will be a pretty slow day today for me. David and Ali (my daughter) are at Farmers Market in Tacoma and Danyel and I are left at home to do school work and putt around the farm. Though I'll be in and out of the processing plant working on my feta. I'll have to get out and get the milk this morning before the milk pickup truck gets here. So I guess that is my sign off note.... and hint of getting to work.
Have a Great Day and Enjoy the little things in life --- like a spider web in the garden.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Plugged Drain!

Well nothing like starting your day out right. Its 6:30am and the drain to the parlor is plugged. This happened one time before and it took us weeks to get it unplugged. The water is backing up under the bulk tank and is over flowing its outside drain hole. Great I hate this kind of work. So as of this moment David is out in his boots trying to figure out how to get the drain unplugged.
On a better note our goats are looking so healthy and acting so good. It is great to watch them in the field when they are in such good shape. Though we strive to keep them this way there are times when its not so good. The early spring before I worm is one of those times. But their weigh is right on now and their hair shines and their ears are forward and their eyes are bright. This is a picture of all our does waiting to go back into the barn while we are cleaning the barn. That is also one of those jobs we really don't enjoy. We have hog panels that make up our pens in the barn. So when its time to clean the barn out, it means take all the panels off and the gates and then we take everything out of the barn down to the clay. Thats why we use shavings instead of hay for bedding. The tractor can move the shavings easier. We do this every 6 months and last month was our 6 month clean. Then we put new shavings on the ground put the panels and gates back up and we are good to go for another six months. About every month we put a new layer of shavings on top, so you can see by the time we clean out we have accumulated several layers of chips. We always try and have it clean for kidding season and then right after that season its time to clean again.
Guess what? The drain is clear. Ya! Life is good. I hope you have a Great Day and keep your chin up and smile.