Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Archive for December, 2008

Deepest Winter – Snowmageddon

Posted by Nika On December - 27 - 2008

Snowmageddon Day Two

When we first moved here 13 years ago the first couple of winters were impressive. We had three or four 3-foot storms that first winter. I just figured that this was par for the course around here.

Since then, the past 10 years or so, winters have not been so impressive. This makes people forgetful of what a proper New England winter is like so that this past week, when we got a snow storm (after the ice storm of some three weeks ago that put out power far and wide here) people truly lost their minds with fretting about the storm.

It was called #snowmageddon on twitter – lots of traffic then.

It wasnt a three foot storm but it did get pretty cold (close to 0 F) which is the part I kevetch about (for the animal’s sake – poor babies!)

The photos in this post share a bit of that time.

Snowmageddon Fun

Night time fun.

Snow Storm 2008 - getting chickens in

Q tending her chickens

Snow Storm 2008 - silly chicken

One barred rock chicken that seems to be doing an odd snow dance – first she flies out lopsided from the shed ….

Snowmageddon - more chicken silliness

Then she some how manages to go totally sideways.

Snowmageddon Day Two

The goats and the llama didnt appreciate the low temps but those low temps made a wonderful thing happen – the llama has started sleeping with the goats! This is good because she can help keep them warm and she bonds more closely with them.

Cold farm animals

This blonde goat is named Wheat.

Cold farm animals

Eating hay.

Cold farm animals

All three species.

Cold farm animals

Home-hatched chicks – very fluffy. They are a flock of four.

The garden is totally submerged but I have already started planning the plantings as well as thinking about moving the seed starting equipment down next to the wood boiler so that they can be toasty warm.

Seton Boiler: connections

Will share more about the 2009 garden soon!

The world is in a Ferment – also – homemade Yogurt

Posted by Nika On December - 19 - 2008

Hope all is well out there and that you are weathering this time of transition well.

  • We are about to transit through the winter solstice
  • The economy is listing and no one knows where it will all land (recession? depression?)
  • Seed catalogs are starting to come in and we can dream about this year’s bounty!

I have been extra quiet these days because of being overwhelmed by all the bad news of the world and also my own bad news.

I became a part of the statistics when I was recently laid off. Add this to my husband’s laid off status and things are really stressful here.

To get off this negative and on to why I am writing today, I am going to share some photos from our home last week, of making goat milk yogurt.

Around here, any milk project starts with milking of our goat Torte.

torte being milked

torte being milked

To make this, I used a yogurt starter from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.

Homemade goat yogurt

This yogurt starter has several bacterial species, including:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium species
  • Steptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii

I also made a DIY yogurt culture box from a roomy box, a seed warming/starting mat and foil.

Homemade goat yogurt

(messy ballerina modeling culture box)

Homemade goat yogurt

The starter directions say one packet per quart. I made 2 quarts that day. You have to bring the milk up to 180 F (not sure why) and then back down to 116 F. I used a water bath to cool the stainless steel pot of milk.

Homemade goat yogurt

You then add the starter to the 116 F milk and mix well. Once mixed, pour into culturing jars (I used sterilized pint canning jars) and let set up for 9-12 hours or to the thickness desired.

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

(mixing in starter)

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

(Cover with foil)

Homemade goat yogurt

(Cover with fleece jacket)

Homemade goat yogurt

(Leave alone for 9-12 hours)

Once set up, cool in the fridge and then enjoy!

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

Homemade goat yogurt

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.

Twitter

    Photos

    2016-02-18 22.18.16-1.jpg怪獸香脆起司雞汁麵IMG_1571WP_20170423_12_58_01_Raw