Sunday, May 29, 2011

Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread | Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

I've been using and baking with sourdough for about 6 months now. I love it. I haven't perfected the breadmaking from straight up sourdough yet, but I'm very close and I'm not unhappy with the results I have had. A little more tweaking here and there and I'll be feeling fully confident. I've made several loaves with just sourdough, which is time consuming. I've also made loaves with both yeast and the starter (guaranteed rise yet still enhanced health benefits of sourdough) and I have made sweet breads, cookies and cakes with my sourdough starter. All in all it's a fun process and the taste results have been excellent.

I ran into this blog explaining the health benefits while searching around for some muffin recipes. It's worth a look and understanding that perhaps you will want to start a "starter" of your own!


Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread Kitchen Stewardship A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Know your goats before you leap!

Shane, when he was cute.

So I'm ready to pull my hair out. One of my girls flat out won't shut up. Miss Cassie pants is yammering and yelling away for seemingly no reason. Or at least I thought it was for no reason. Turns out I could not possibly be more wrong. Turns out she's an "Equatorial type" goat. Has both Boar and Nubian. Aren't I lucky?? Humph!

My buck and his supposed companion wether (hah! - he's actually a buck) figured this out before I did. Shane got frightened by my husband coming down the hill with a large cleaned rabbit cage that he set on the ground non too carefully. What did Shane do? He lept over his fence and lept right on over the girls fence too. Shane soon figured out, that "HEY!! THERE BE PRETTY LITTLE IN HEAT GIRL GOATS OVER HERE! WOO HOO!!" "The smell is positively divine and I can't stand it anymore, I gotsta, gotsta have that sweet little girl" Oh boy, are we in trouble.

We've been battling this problem now for about a week. Thinking it would blow over. Not knowing that Cassie is actually in heat. And then doing some research and finding out that woah! I have "Equatorial type" goats. This is ridiculous. I would have never known. I guess I should have known if I'd of researched a little harder, a littler further, a little DEEPER! Grrrr. Now that I'm looking, I see all the signs. She is indeed flapping around and fawning her little fanny. *sigh*

So now I have some decisions to make. I'm not so sure my neighbors will be anymore patient than they already are. We live in the country but yes, there are some houses a bit on the close by side of things. I'm sure they hate us. I know I'd be uptight if I had to hear all the silly noises coming from here. And loud. And aggressive. Did you know that buck goats ROAR? Sheesh.

Anyway, here is the research I found and I highly recommend this website. Might do you some good to read the entire website before actually making a decision if you want to buy some goats of your own. Knowledge is power and I'm sort of powerless at the moment. Dang nab it.

From one of the very best goat sites on the net:

When can I expect my doe to come into heat so she can be bred?

As far as breeding goes, there are two "types" of goats:

"Equatorial type" goats that come from climates that are hot all year long.
These goats will breed all year long. Examples of these breeds are most meat breeds like Boers, Spanish & Fainting, and also Pygmies and (sometimes) Nubians.

"Alpine type" goats. These are most of the Dairy breeds. These goats are seasonal breeders,like deer, and have a definite breeding season. This usually is from about Aug. to Dec/Jan.The does will come into heat about every 21 days and the bucks will stay in rut during the entire breeding season. Once the buck go out of rut, they loose most of their interest in sex until the next rut.


I am purchasing a young buckling who has more "Alpine" blood lines. I hope to get this problem nipped as soon as possible. Just talked to the gal today and will have him on Monday.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Real Liberty and the Estrella Family Creamery

Watch this video. These are real people. Consider two things if you would.

1. We do not live in what we thought was the USA, we live in tyranny and under a dictatorship. Period. No matter who is in office. It just seems to grow and grow with each new administration.

2. Please, consider donating to help these people. We CANNOT just turn a blinds eye. We CANNOT just let the government keep taking away more and more and more of our liberties. It is happening to us ALL and on all levels. Stop watching the boob tube, stop racing off to work just to be stressed out (so you can be medicated by big pharma) so you can pay the bills for the things you don't need. You need real food. Not the junk in the grocery store that is dead!


When are the feds going to just come in and take my milk away? It's for my own and my families consumption, right? Or gifts for friends and family, but what makes me think after seeing this that they won't come after me for mine? What about people who can't farm, but want to live a healthier lifestyle? They don't get to have the choice, now do they?

The implications here are huge. We have to make a stand somewhere. I've never been an activist in my life. At least not until now. I am now AWAKE!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Raw Goats Milk and Farmer Cheese

One of these days the weather will turn nice for good. Today is a pretty good day, high of 67 degrees so far. But we've had so much rain! My garden isn't fully planted yet either. We have had 60" of rain so far for the year and if that isn't record breaking, I'd be surprised. Then again, nothing should surprise me I guess.

On to my girls and their milk production! Here you see my sweeties, hanging out chewing cud and building milk for the evening milking. Lily and Amelia are on top of the spool and Miss Cassie (Sassy Pants) is below. Notice the mud? Ugh. I have since moved another spool into place so all the girls can hang out together. Of course, they had to battle it out over the new one but all now well and good in fussy, bossy girl goat land. We have also added more concrete blocks to help with tippy toeing through goo. We are all getting irritated by the mud.

The two girls on top are two years old and they are giving me some reasonable milk. I'm impressed because hey! They are half boar and half dairy. Lily is averaging a gallon a day, small teats and all. Amelia (super big teats) is averaging 3/4 gallon and Cassie, the one year old new freshener is actually giving up almost half a gallon. Not bad for a first year doeling. And she has more Nubian than her mother or her aunt. So while she's a big mouth ornery little girl, she is showing some real promise. Good record keeping is a must! I went back to last years records and was sort of stunned to see that Cassie is giving more than the two big girls did first year. So all in all, very happy with the results.

Every day I get 2 plus gallons of milk from the 3 girls. So I usually try to keep one gallon as milk and one gallon I turn to cheese. At this point it's still soft farmers cheese (dressed up with herbs and spices) but will be doing more in the way of hard cheese's here soon. Trying to find/fabricate something that will be healthy and safe to use as a press. I thought I would be using food grade metal cans, but no, they seep some not so nice toxins. Same with some plastics. I may end up building some out of good quality, high grade hard wood. Untreated of course. We shall see. I'm looking forward to trying some alder smoked goat cheese!





Sunday, May 8, 2011

Goat Kids are healthy and strong

My goat kids are really growing like weeds. Everyone is healthy and strong. It's interesting to see the different qualities of the babes from the three mothers. All total I have 8 kids out of the three does, two being two years old and one is a first year freshener. Excellent stock so far, I am very impressed.

One of the more humorous parts of this whole experience is well, experience. This is our third year of having goats, second year in milk. I'm getting an average of 2.5 gallons of milk from the three does and it's my understanding that is pretty darn good for such young goats. They will come into their prime between 4-6 years. The two older ladies are only half dairy so it's even more impressive. The young doeling is mostly Nubian as her sire was a full blooded Nubian. Mom and her sister are 1/4 La Mancha, 1/4 Nubian and 1/2 Boer. So all in all, I'm very pleased.

On to the humor part. Last year, we kept two young bucks. One as a sire and one as his companion wether. Sandy, the two horned goat below is supposed to be the wether. Supposed to I say because this spring I noticed something. He had a testicle. Just one. But it explains why he and Shane, the sire had such horrific battle in the pen last fall. I was so baffled!! We castrated him (we thought) and we READ that the whethers have no interest in the rut!

It turns out that we did not get both of the little buddies when we banded him last year. One of the little buddies slipped right up and away to hide. Just to come back down later when it was safe to do so. Once we noticed that we thought well now, who is the father of all these kids?? It's my understanding that the one balled boys usually can't impregnate, but I know my luck. Sheesh.

SHANE - the unicorn and SANDY the "wether"

The second humorous story is our abysmal failure at dehorning last year. Remember, this was our first year of having to do any of this stuff. We bought our first three kids all done up and taken care of. Buck intact and all dehorned beautifully. Not only did none of our dehorning work, we have a buck, Shane, who is a Unicorn. We have poor Sandy, the supposed whether having had the bad experience of having to be dehorned twice...and he has two big horns. That poor boy has been run through the ringer of our learning process. I feel so sorry for him. He's such a sweet boy. Actually both of the boys are super sweet. I just will not go in that pen with them. They are so big and they just LOVE you to death. Gentle rubs and pushes just about ran me through the wall a few months back so I'm just not going in there again without a prod. As sweet as they are, they are goats after all. Wow! Sadly, we can't keep Sandy and he's no good as a buck, or at least that anyone would buy on a chance. So he will be in the freezer here soon.

SANDY - the supposed "wether" and dehorned, twice.

JASMINE and FAUNA on the left, wanting their bottle. JASMINE'S brother AB1 (he's going to the freezer in fall, can't name food) is to the right. Kids are 10 weeks old here. The two girls are my house girls that started out life with bottle. I'm feeding them a little longer than the other kids that I weaned at 8 weeks.

FAUNA my sweet little "heart" girl. She has a perfect little heart on her back. I love this baby. She will be a keeper of course :-)

Kids in the barn at about 6 weeks old. Learning how to battle it out for the grain feed. The black one is our new whether named Christopher (after a good friend of ours) He will hopefully replace Sandy as the companion wether to the buck, Shane (his daddy I presume)

A bunch of curious babies!

More curious kid pictures. It's kind of like having human kids. Once I have pictures I can't stand it. I have to share all of them. It was difficult to figure out which ones to leave and which to post. I behaved and did these...few. :-)

More posts to come with the milk and cheese!