Saturday, July 27, 2013

goat teat pictures

I posted these pictures so some fellow goatherds could help me with advice on what these bumps are.  If you have any input I'd love to hear.  I'm hearing that they may be plugged pores.  Which would be a great relief.  Thanks all.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Blog

Hi there, I've started a second blog.  It still deals with farming, but it is more focused on the therapeutic value of a farming/homesteading life.  It is more directly concerned with mental illness and addiction.  It is called, Farm Therapy.  I think it is pretty cool.  I'll continue to post in Novitiate Homesteader, especially items related to Christian spirituality and Homesteading skills.  Thanks and I'll be in touch soon on both blogs.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Home Ec. insomnia...

I've got insomnia. Which is is pretty amazing since I spent the last three days cutting, splitting, and loading firewood in the mountains.  We moved six truckloads of wood.  I'm sore as can be.  Everyone else in the house is fast asleep. 

So, what do you do when you can't sleep?  Fortunately or unfortunately I get busy around the kitchen.  I say unfortunately because this probably keeps me more awake than I was to begin with.  Tonight I've made yogurt, made Feta cheese, emptied the milk fridge of expired milk, and done a ton of dishes. 

I sold the goat kids, so now the mamas are producing a ton of milk.  We are trying to find customers for the goat milk, but I've only had sporadic interest and no takers. I'm getting a gallon and a half per day from the tow does.  Even with the cheese making that is way too much goat milk to deal with. 

We really need to find a new name for our new farm. Our old farm was named the Wandering Moose Farm but there are no wandering moose here. Just wandering elk.

Well, I've got to go work on my cheese.  Cheers, Russ

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


We've been up in the mountains cutting firewood for next winter.  We've gone up the last two days and will be going up again tomorrow.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cutting the cheese...

I've really been picking up on the cheese making.  Due to different laws in Oregon, we are not able to sell cheeses at the farmers market.  It''s turned into a really enjoyable (and edible) hobby.  I've recently made Feta, Guoda, Cheddar, Romano, and Pepper Jack.  I've acquired a "wine refrigerator" to use as a cheese cave.  That is, a place to age my cheeses that I can hold them around 55 degrees and at around 80% humidity. 

I'm so proud of my beautiful cheeses.

We've been settling into our new place.  We had a housewarming potluck after which two of the boys had friends over to sleep over.  We had three 10 year olds and two 12 year olds in the house.  Not to mention our teenager just for good measure.  it was a pretty hectic evening.  I have trouble with "social phobia" so I was pretty burnt out by the time all the kids finally went to sleep. 

We sold two of the goat kids, so now we are going to be swimming in goat's milk.  We will be trying to figure out the new milk laws in Oregon.  It was so great to live in Idaho where I could sell raw milk at the food co-op. 

We've been up in the mountains cutting firewood for next winter.  We will be going back tomorrow and the next day as well.  Hard work, but it is a good family activity.  Joel Salatin writes that there is nothing so good for working out teenage energy as woodcutting.  Getting the kids away from the television and out into the woods is a fantastic way for them to channel their teenage angst.

I'll try to come up with some photographs today of our excursion into the mountains.

Working hard in a natural setting is good for all of us.  It really reminds me of the magic of God's good earth.  We are so truly blessed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Black Sheep

This is our Suffolk Sheep Bella an her new lamb.  A real Black Sheep. They live in with the goats for company.  The are really enjoying the new place.  We've started separating the goat kids from their dams at night to increase our milk production.  We've been getting about a gallon in the morning between our two that are in milk  The kids are on their mamas all day an we aren't milking at night.

Fancy, our Jersey cow, is still producing a gallon and a half once a day.  We will be breeding her early in May.  We were going to breed her to another Jersey, but I think we've decided to breed her to a small angus instead an to raise the calf for meat.  It's a toss up. 

Things are kind of upside down here with the move, but we'll get through it.  The boys are in transition and adjusting.  Jenny and I are in transition and adjusting.  It seems like the animals are handling the move the best out of all of us. 

neither of us have any idea how to shear a sheep.  I contacted the local FFA to see if they had any students who could teach us.

Well, goodnight and blessed be.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An unexpected turn of events

Well, we are no longer at the farm in Idaho.  We've moved to a rental farmhouse in Oregon.  Not at all what I planned or expected.  But then, you never know where Go might take you once you start walking   We are living only three miles from Jenny's parents, which is part of the reason we moved.  There are several pros an cons to this move, but in general I'm happy with it.  We've brought two Jersey cows, our three purebred Saanan goats, and a couple of goat kids.  There is a beautiful spring fed creek running through the pasture and you can see the Eagle Cap mountain range on a clear day.  I can't really complain. 

We also have internet at the house!  Maybe I'll start to revitalize this blog. 

It'll be a challenge for me to meet an make new friends, but I went to a nice potluck breakfast this morning with some new friends in recovery and I'm sure I'll make friends through church. 

I've been  making a lot of cheese lately.  Some of my most recent adventures in cheesemaking have been a Guoda an a Romano.  The temperature is not right to age them correctly, but i'm hoping they turn out.  I need to buy a "wine refrigerator" with good temperature an humidity controls.  Something that woul allow me to age the cheeses at about 50 degrees with 80% humidity.  I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully I can find the time to blog more often now that I have internet at home.

Until next time, blessed be.