Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last week in May

Our New Lambs!

Good Morning: I know your surpised to see a blog so soon. Well I am inbetween cheese making days and so I thought I'd write. Our Memorial Day was very nice. My parents came over for a short visit. We went to some friends house for a BBQ. We took potatoe salad and cheese and crackers...of course. We stayed until 5pm and came home and did chores. I worked in the processing plant cleaning and getting ready to make cheese on Wed. Oh yes, my hose that I was so excited about was to short - so now I have to get about 30 more feet....have to wait for the farm store to order some more hose now. I was so bumbed. Oh well I'll be carrying milk for the batch on Wed. The processing plant in town came and picked up my milk on Sunday evening - only 100 gallons. So thats why I can't make cheese till Wed. We only have four baby goats left to bottle feed. And two of them will leave this next weekend. Only to return in a week to be goat sat for a week. Ali has picked out a pack goat and its in this group and then a single buck that will probably join our freezer goat bunch when its weaned. We are all done kidding until July if those two does took. So we are onto bigger and better things.

We are working on our new loan - so we can stay here. With the economy and all, its crazy with the finances. We pay what we can and try and sqeeze by on the other bills. We are one of those families that don't have health insurance - and no unemployment left to speak of. But somehow we are doing it and we are still here on the farm. I think God has something to do with it personally. But It will all work out the way its suppose to - because we do trust the Father Above. We are thankful for what we have and enjoying the grace God has given us.

David has a new market tomorrow starting.. Tumwater. Its a short market 11-2pm. We haven't done this one in two years. So it will be interesting to see how it is now. We have plenty of cheese left from last week - so I don't have to package and label for tomorrow. But will be back into swing of things Wed.

My chevre turned out great yesterday. I took it down from hanging and put it into the refrigerator. This will be packaged for this week. My Grande' Rosa and Pepper Rosa are getting a nice rind on them and will also be packaged up Wed. I think I'll be making NW and Black Jewels on Wed. I'll have helpers here to learn how to make cheese and run a dairy all day... so lots of help. Ya!
Maggi and the Frizy

David has been working with Maggi (border collie and blue heeler mix pup), to catch a frisby. She is doing great. So when we go outside there is Maggi with her frizby wanting someone to throw it for her. We also have a lambs now. They will be put in the freezer about October. One of them is for my daughter and her family. And two for us. We also worked on a new flower bed in front of the milk parlor. But the other new garden is where our blueberry's are. David made it square and added the plants we bought from the Herb Festival. It looks great. That is the other photo.
Our Blueberry garden

Well I'll write more as soon as possible. Have a Great Week!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Good Morning:

These pictures are of our 4-H sleep over weekend.

I just want to say that I really enjoy writing to you all when I get a chance to sit down. Its a great jounal of our life on the farm. I know sometimes its kind of dull - but then there are the times when things are hopping. So put on your running shoes for this weeks blog;

May 19 - This was a day off - truely. Couldn't make cheese didnt have enough milk, goats have been liced and wormed and the girls have been trimming toes during milking. I did go out and clean the processing plant and dust the high spots and scrub the low. My inspector is coming tomorrow to test the thermometers on my pasturizer and inspect the farm and the processing plant. We worked on the yard and my parents came over. I made dinner for us all and looked through old pictures they brought me. (Boxes and boxes) Mom decided after a friend passed away that she didn't want us kids to have to go through all her stuff when she passed away. So she thought she would start disperssing it now. So that is what is going on. And since I am working on the family photo album I should get the photos. They are great too. Looking at people that are not in our lives any longer and remembering. So today was a relaxing day.

May 20th - I made some Grande' Rosa and Pepper Rosa, 50 gallons so it makes about 35 pounds of cheese. I had to package and lable cheese for market on Thur. This is going to be my first day alone at the Olympia market. David will start Broadway in Tacoma market. So I need to have alittle extra cheese packaged cause you never know what your opening market day will be like. The weather is suppose to be sunny so that always helps bring the people out. The girls worked onHistory and math and Bible today for thier homeschool class. David did running around picking up bits and peices of stuff. Like grain and Hay and such. We didn't get to go to Church this evening - due to the extra things going on this evening. The goats are producing great and everyone is healthy. We do have one doe with diahrea in a pen and are doctoring her. She doesn't look very good... but you never know.

May 21 - We were both on the road about 7am for market. The girls are home today. I left them with some chores and some schoolwork to do. Market was pretty good. I met alot of nice people at this market. David did pretty good at his Market too. When we got home at about 4pm the girls had thier friends over. I paid Katie and Nichole for helping the last weekend milking and doing chores while the girls were gone. I have to package up an extra 20lbs of chevre for the Seattle Art Musem order. And David will reload up the car for Pikes Market tomorrow. My parents came and picked up the girls and took them to where thier motorhome is parked right now - so Ali could climb under it to get a number off the front axel.

May 22 - David left at 6:15 and took Ali incase they get really busy due to Memorial Day. So it was Danyel and I all day. I had so much cheese to label and package it wasn't funny. I started working on packaging cheese while Danyel milked the goats this morning and finished about 11pm. We had to borrow vaccum sealer bags from Black sheep creamery - I ran out... OOPS!

They loaned us some and I was on my way again. Danyel and I did some running around after Biology. I started making cheese in the morning too - Chevre. I thought about the milk I'v been hauling down to the processing plant - 52 gallons each batch. Its heavy and time consuming. So we went to the farm store and had one of the gentlemen help us figure out how or what we needed to make a nozzel for the bulk tank and then buy 70ft of hose. I think it will work. We got home and I finished my cheese and tried my new contraption in the bulk tank... it fits. I'll try and make cheese on Sunday after church. It was really pretty out today and I washed the table and chairs on the deck. Watered some of the plants and planted a few more in the pots.

David and Ali got home at 7:30pm. Danyel was n't finished milking yet cause we started at 6pm cause it was pretty warm out. My back hurts and so do my legs. But all is well at the dairy.

May 23- I was up at 5am to clean the parlor and cut up samples to take to my market. I need to leave at 6:15 or close to that. I am driving to Adna to pick up Meg (Black Sheep Creamery) and we are car pooling, or as it is truck pooling to Puyallup for the market. We arrived at about 8:30 in puyallup and the market starts at 9am. David went to Proctor street in Tacoma and had left our house at about 7am and was set up ready to sell by 8:30am. I did get set up in time and was selling right off the start. I am inside the pavillion and in front of one of the big open doors. So I wore my coat all day at the market while it was hot outside. But the market was busy and I sold alot of cheese. At this market there are three cheese venders. David did very well at his market too. I had David buy some pork steaks at the market for dinner. He also brought me a bunch of spinach and some greens. We were both home about 4:00 and I went out and cleaned the parlor then hung my chevre that I made yesterday. Then into the house to cook dinner. David unloaded and counted the cheese and the tills. We all got to sit down about 8pm. I fell asleep about 11pm but took a nap at about 6pm for half an hour. Ali had a friend spend the night - so they slept in sleeping bags out in the barn in thier fort.

May 24 - Sunday. We got up at 6am and went out to do chores. I cleaned my parlor and then headed to the processing plant to clean and wash dishes. I want to be ready to make Black Jewels and NW Comfort today - using my new hose to get the milk to the pasturizer. I'll let you know how that works on my next blog.

You all have a great Memorial Day and remember the men and women that have given thier all for us to enjoy the little freedoms we now have. Please enjoy these freedoms as it may be the last ones you'll know. And you need to remember what it feels like so we can again work for our independance when the air has settled. Have a great day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again!

Good Morning: Ice and One of our Boar bucks lounging --- One of Ali's frogs

Well chores are done. I am in the house and its only 8:30am. Pretty good for lately. The girls have run down to the neighbors to check on her stuff while she is gone. David is on his way to pick up two round bales of hay. The house is quiet except for the crunching of dog food by the Maggi. The weather is kind of foggy and the moisture is in the air. Its suppose to be a nice day today. The local processing plant is coming to pick up my excess milk which is over 200 gallons for this week.

My parents are in town so they came by on Wed. to see us and bring me some goodies... books photo's, towels, and linens. And my understanding is they have more for me.

I thought we had this week pretty together but plans changed about Thur. morning. The girls left by 4pm for the Search and Rescue Confrence in Randle. Thier friends, Katie and Nichole came and spent Thur. - Sat. morning here to help me with chores. It worked out great. I sent them to do the haying, graining and watering and I milked and cleaned the parlor. I didn't have time to make much cheese this week. I did get 100 gallons of milk turned into cheese.... but I have to say it got away from me this week. So David had market in Olympia on Thur. and Then Pikes on Friday. Sat. morning we both left the farm at about 6:45am for our farmers markets, David was in Longview and I was in Tacoma. Our sales were pretty good. Katie and Nichole finished milking Sat. morning and then thier mom came and picked them up. When Katie comes she has to bring her milking doe which works out great for all of us. But this week I had an email from a gentleman who had a nubian doe he wanted to give to me.. she was dry. So I asked him if it was alright to give the doe to a 4-H member in my club and he agreed that was fine. So Katie went home with two goats on Sat. She was very pleased and can't wait to show the doe in the pack compotition at fair this year.

David and I drove to Battleground and went to the herb festival on Sunday. What a nice relaxing day. It's not often we get to be alone and go somewhere fun.

David bought some tomatoe plants at the farmers market on Sat. and so Sat. evening he built a raised flower bed and planted the plants. So our goal at the Herb festival was to pick up some herbs for his rose garden he's working on and to get some more veg. for the raised bed.

We got some cucumbers and squash to plant on the edges of the tomatoe garden. Can't wait. We got some fennel, basil, lavenders and a few other herbs to plant around the farm.

We got some goat milk soap at the Herb festival too from Silver Star Farms - awsome soap. David found a planter there too for his strawberries. We stopped at a garage sale and picked up a few things.

This morning we are going to do some lititure and bible study for homeschooling. Danyel has biolgy and Ali will work on her science. I need to find places for the pictures mom and dad brought to me and do some laundry. Won't make cheese until Wed. morning so I best use my time wisely and get some stuff done around the house. David wants to mow the lawn and plant plants.
Have a great Day

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keeping up with Farmers Markets and Home

Hello: The sword fights the whole 4-H Group for the sleep Over

Wow! its been along time since I last wrote to you all. So you know what that all means right.... This will be a catch up chapter or book. I'll condense it down or I'll have to be writing for a long time. Here goes.

The first thing that happened is my X husband died of cancer on the 16th of May. My daughter from Texas flew in on Friday. I made cheese all week - about 150 gallons into cheese. I did a presentation at the Proctor Farmers Market. I made my marinated Feta white sauce and put it over noodles (that were sold at the market). I also made my lemon and honey chevre and a ranch chevre. It took about an hour for the demonstration. Ali went to the market with me so she could man the booth while I taught. David went to Longview Farmers market. The days before I had made 80 garlic and dill packages - 50 plain chevre's. And about 50 of the Marinated feta and the fresh feta as well as Grande Rosa and Pepper Rosa. I was busy counseling my older children about their dads death and comforting them. It seemed I was on the phone or hands in cheese that week.

We were also working with our 4-H club getting ready for our sleep over. We had a meeting every week on Wed. for about 2 hours each time. Our club had to make the swords and get the map ready for the "Risk - Lord of the Goats" Game.

Our family went to the funeral on Tue in Longview. It was great to see all the family there. David's mom and dad even came for the funeral. As well as my girlfriend who lives up the road from where my x lived. In all it was a good funeral as funerals go. Tami flew back to Texas a few days after the funeral. Danyel and Ali and I drove into Longveiw on Wed. to have lunch with Tami and Mike and Heather and Jamie and CJ.

Our sleep over stared on the 24th at about 5:30pm. Everyone showed up and we milked the goats and did the chores. Then we went to Hope Grange and unloaded our gear and ate dinner there. Then made our crafts and got into our groups for the game on Sat. We roasted marshmallows and made somemores for dessert. Lights out at 10pm and then the alarm went off at 5:30am . We all got up and dressed and headed back to the farm for chores and milking. We finished the farm chores and headed back to the grange where one of the moms made breakfast for us which was french toast and goat sausage, juice and fruit too. Then we packed up our stuff - cleaned the Grange, vacuumed the carpet, swept and mopped the floors and put the tables back. Then back to the farm for the game. The kids ran all over the field having sword fights to win territories. It was alot of fun. We built a fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for lunch - and ate the left overs from dinner and breakfast. It was a fast weekend.

David went to the Tacoma's farmers market on Proctor street. To get ready for the weekend ment I had to package and label cheese on Monday and Wen. and that was a busy week. I have to say I was glad when it was over. But the next week was just as bad.

We had a 4-H meeting to get ready for the youth fair. We were suppose to work on showmanship and clipping with our club from 9-2pm. I had cheese going too! It seemed I had to keep moving. David did the Olympia market on Wed. starting the 16th of the month. So all together we had three markets going each week. Danyel and Ali went to a Civil Air Patrol Spring Conference for the weekend. Katie and Nichole came to spend the weekend with me to go to the Youth Fair and help me do chores for the weekend. It was a busy weekend again. We had to get up at 5am to milk and do chores in order to be at the fairgrounds by 7am to get the animals ready for show by 9am. We did it. We had to do the same thing on Sunday for the rest of the Fair. David did Pikes Place on Friday and Tacoma on Sat. and then came and hung out with us at the fair. The girls got home about 5:30pm on Sunday -- just in time to help with chores.

The next week I had Grange - so I had to make a potluck dish. I didn't have to prepare anything as our speakers were going to talk about the Levey for Evaline School District. I had to make a potluck dish for a funeral that our grange was doing the lunch for too. I made four batches of cheese for the week, 200 gallons. And again packaged and labeled enough cheese for four markets. Danyel and Ali again are gone on Friday and home on Sat. They went to a Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue thing up in Randle WA. So Sat morning I had to get up at 4am to set up the milk parlor and milk the goats (1 1/2 hours) and be over in Adna to pick up Meg (Black Sheep Creamery) to go to the Puyallup Farmers Market (1 1/2 hours drive). David had to leave also by 7am to get to the Tacoma Market, so he got up at 4:30am to bottle feed 9 baby goats, hay all the goats, water all the goats, and grain the ones in the pens. It all came together somehow.

So Now I am up to this week and its Tue. Monday we went to two events. One in Shelton Wa, Farm to Table workshop - we only got to stay for an hour.... but wished we could of stayed longer. Then we went to Seattle for a Chef Greet and Meet. It was local wines and cheeses. We sampled our cheese to chefs - who we hope will want to buy our cheese. This event was from 5:30-8pm. Needless to say we got home around 10pm. The girls had to milk and clean the parlor and feed all the animals without our help. They did good.

Oh! yes, and Danyel turned 17 on the 6th of May. We will celebrate her birthday with Ali's in June. And Mothers day - Heather my #2 daughter came and spent the day with us at the farm. I got a great email from Jami and a card and call from Tami. I really am doing Mothers day next Sunday - The Herb Festival - Just David and I are going!

Today I made our raw goat cheese and our chevre - used 100 gallons of milk.

Tomorrow is another day and we are getting ready for four markets again this week. We also got a 30lbs order from the Seattle Art Museum Taste. This is up from 10lbs every week. David will deliver this on Friday. So I know my schedual makes some tired. And now that you mention it I am tired too!

Have a Great Day, until next time.

I'll try and blog more often..... or at least a word or two each week.