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.