Saturday, May 9, 2009

What I did yesterday

I'm never sure if I'm boring everyone by relating the little everyday things we do around here. But what the heck, it's my blog, so you can skip the boring parts.

Being early spring and all, we're accelerating on our seed planting. There's not a whole lot that can get planted outside yet - as I type this it's 6 am and 30 degrees - but we could at least section and dry the potatoes:

With seed potatoes, you cut sections leaving two or three eyes per section, then air-dry them for a few days before planting.

I planted Roma tomatoes yesterday, but because the greenhouse isn't quite finished yet, they go upstairs next to the clothes drying on the racks:

I planted the garlic last fall, of course. Here it is, poking above the straw mulch:

Matilda, as you can see, is thoroughly enjoying the loads of green grass:

As a result I'm getting a full two gallons per milking:

So I'm making a lot of cheese (these are cheddar curds, about two hours away from being pressed):

Because I've been making cheese so much, I'm running low on thermophilic starter culture, so yesterday I made more. First I sterilize some jars, then fill the jars with milk and sterilize it by boiling, then let the milk cool, add the starter, and let it sit out for twenty-four hours to culture:

I'll freeze this in ice cube trays after it's cultured, and then I just take two or three cubes for culturing cheddar.

Oh, and here's some pretty daffodils.

Our dog Gypsy:

Our dog Major:

Typical day on the farm. Except we still don't have our truck running. We think it's just the battery though.


  1. Patrice,

    I've never seen straw used as mulch before. I live in the city, and so of course my approach to gardening is a little malformed. But man! That's a handsome picture of your garlics! I don't even see weeds! I just may be inspired from that picture to invest in some straw for my own garlic and onion patch I have. I now only wonder just how thick the straw is in that photograph.

    Thank you for posting it, though! I'll shop around for some straw next week.

    -Laramie Hirsch

  2. I love to see you making the cheese and such....I flirt with getting a milker here.

  3. We have about 3/4 of a ton of rotted straw hanging around from two winters ago, so it's a logical thing to use as mulch. Doubtless the purists would object because it's not certified feed-free or whatever, but who cares? There are weeds (mostly thistles) poking up with the garlic, but I'm pulling them.

  4. Just found your blog and am enjoying the archives. Our first Jersey milker was named Matilda, too!

    Making lots of butter and yogurt here, but my cheese has been a flop so far, other than the mozarella. I hate waiting at least a month to find out that the cheese is hog-fodder...

  5. Nadja, I'm using a book called "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carroll (just type this into with great success. I had failed multiple times to make edible cheddar until I started using a recipe in this book. That and cheese wax - I broke down and ordered cheese wax and it's making all the difference.