All-Raw Eggnog

There was a raccoon raid on the chicken coop last night. We had seen the scoundrel lurking around the barn earlier in the evening,  and in retrospect we should have dispatched him then.  But everyone was tired and chilled, and Ethan felt really ill.  Much later,  long after the restless teenager had ceased to flick…

All-Raw Ice Cream Season

The every day summer rains have been hard on the garden, but the pastures are lush and green.  The hay season is over, and the cows knew it as they watched us in a huddle around the empty hay ring as we set up moveable electric fencing for the week’s grazing.  Loud mooings, some plaintive,…

Orange Creamsicle Icepops

  Summer is starting to set in (at least here in Florida).  There was a short spell of cool nights over the weekend, but being nearly mid-May, we can reasonably expect the weather to get hotter and hotter and the intense summer heat to set in. We’ll be getting out the sprinklers and water guns…

The Last Spring Calves

Chestnut was the last of our mama cows to calve this spring.  We missed when she had been bred, and months ago I thought she would be the first to deliver because she was so large and pregnant.  But after all the other calves were born, she was still getting bigger and bigger.  Her udder…

Making Thick, Creamy Yogurt

For years I struggled to make my ideal yogurt – one my children would actually eat.  They would down yogurt by the carton, and it always seemed so unprofitable to have so many dairy animals and be buying yogurt, just for the sake of the picky, picky little ones. Their ideal yogurt must be mild,…

Making Butter

Once I was travelling outside of Carcassonne in Southwestern France.  I was passing through a small, small town, the kind they have there with the cobbled medieval streets that are made for foot traffic only, and trap foolish American tourists who think every road should be worthy of large vehicles.  There was a small market…

Kefir, An Immortal Ally

  I have bought and tried out many different milk cultures over the years – piima, viili, fil mjolk, heirloom buttermilk culture, Flora danica….there were more, but those were the ones I remember clearly.  While all of these cultures made different and  interesting forms of sour milk, there was one problem – they were incredibly…

Milking By Hand

  A few days ago, Matilda’s calf was born – it was a beautiful all-Jersey bull calf, leaving no doubt that the Jersey bull Sampson did his job while our Devon/Jersey bull Explorer was off visiting another farm. I have missed the rhythmic, grounding routine of milking.  Each day I walk up to the pasture,…