Friday, February 18, 2011
Today was gorgeous. I had the day off, no egg deliveries or CSC. I ended up picking up inside my barn quite a bit, and then called it a day. I was off to make cheese. The above is a picture of the curds that have been cut, and then heated. I made cheddar from about 7 gallons of fresh cow's milk.
Bellow is a picture of the drained curds.
And bellow the 'cheddaring' process. The curds are cut into slabs, and then flipped every 15 minutes in a warm pan. This part is still going on. It is the first time I am making a traditional cheddar recipe. Usually I make an abridge version: a Farm House Cheddar. However, today I decided the day would be best spent, inside, making a traditional cheddar.
A friend asked why I liked making cheese when I commented that I enjoyed the actual work of it. My reply was: It is the only work on the farm where there is no chance in being covered with fecal matter. In this there is a reprieve.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The above picture isn't terribly spectacular, albeit it being a spectacularly gorgeous morning. This was last week. My grandfather had found some pump staging on craigslist. They regularly retail for $70 each, but a contractor had just purchased a lift and was willing to let 6 of them go for a clean $100. Both of us wanted the staging, and not wanting to pass up the inexpensive opportunity, my grandfather milked for me that Monday morning and I borrowed my grandmothers car for Littleton, NH.
I got up at 4:30 to feed/water my chickens and chicks at my farm, and then scoot over to a McDonalds in Littleton by 7:30. I got there with a half hour to spare, but needed to stop for gas, and a coffee to keep me going. I have not been getting to bed early. After work I drive to my farm in Franklin- finish collecting eggs, put out the morning's grain, break out the frozen water buckets, and tend the 300 or so peeping chicks which will be my summer flock. Admittedly I usually fall asleep in my little truck when I pull up to the farm. The night of the pump staging adventure I pulled over at a stop sign on North Road to catch a little shut eye, and then dozed off in my little driveway at the farm. I am only writing it, because I am acknowledging how annoyed I am getting with this poor habit of rushing about.
The following two pictures are from the house. The first is from sometime in May/June? I had just raised a section of the post and beam frame. It was the first act of building upwards out of the basement ceiling; going skyward from the floor.
This next picture I took to send to a friend, and represents the current condition of the house. Still a little drafty without the windows and doors, but looking much like a house of course, and largely out of weather. I had intended on finishing the Tyvek, but I got very sick for about a week in January, and have not dared pushing myself too much with house, farm and work. It can wait a little. I am very hopeful with warmer weather, doors and windows. It will be a house.
And what would a farm blog be without a farm picture? Can you guess what is going on in this picture? Well, the benefits of having a property with full southern exposure, is that the winter sun is remarkably pleasant. The hens, inside the barn, dig into the unfrozen floor and hover. Yes, all winter, dust bathing themselves! They look happy and wonderful- now lay more eggs!