Its been about five weeks since we gave up grains and sugar... I figured it is time for an update. Long story short.. I don't think I have ever felt better! Kids are doing great as well!
We have worked into some standby meals that everyone loves and are easy to create and this certainly helps! Our lunches generally consist of a hot pot meal.... cabbage and other veggies sauteed in good ole bacon grease with bacon.. sometimes I make a curry sauce, sometimes a pesto or red sauce.. sometimes no sauce at all. Everyone loves it! Who can complain about bacon.. right??? Honestly I am quite excited about when we have our own bacon back in the freezer.... oohhh it will be scrummy then! Dinners have been basically meats and veg.. simple ideas like a roast covered in salsa ( green salsa is awesome on a pork roast!), then a stir fry up of veggies and a sauce. We love curry... been doing that a lot! Even Andy seems satisfied. The coolest thing we found is a little invention that turns squash into spagetti noodles! I just fry em up with butter and then toss with meat and sauce... and spagetti! My kids never cared for spagetti squash much ( I never understood that) but they love zucchini and yellow squash as pasta!
Our sugar-free stevia yogurts and chocolate milk help a lot! Pop the yogurt in the ice cream maker and voila.. frozen yogurt! The biggest and best thing I have to report on is my lack of pain level! My ankles dont hurt.. my swelling is gone.. my energy and mental focus so much better its ridiculous! Jamie doesn't complain of her tummy hurting anymore. It's been good at my house.
With my newfound energy and mental stamina I found the time to revamp our webpage. Our website really did not reflect our new focus on dairy alone and needed a complete overhaul. Take the time to check out our new site and let me know what you think about it. As we are starting to get into stores with our yogurt and cheese I needed to have a site that reflected who we are today, what we stand for, and what makes our milk different.
I am on a new quest to find the perfect yogurt flavors! So... I was challenged to create as many flavors as I possibly could think of.... so how does 50 sound? Starting this week, I will have a new flavor each week for the next year. They will be a one time appearance on each... unless we get a strong response to keep a flavor and replace another one with it. This should be fun! Each Tuesday I plan on posting on facebook the photo and caption of that week's flavor and each month I will add a poll to find out what everyone thought of the flavors. I am hoping that people will comment as they try them and let us know what they think. My plan is by the end of the year we will have decided on five or so flavors that will stick and seasonal flavors to rotate.
This week's flavor? Sugar Free Mid Day Mocha yogurt. Let me know what you think! Looking forward to this weekend's markets and the response to our new 50 Shades of Yogurt campaign!
Trixie and The Nooners
It has been suggested a few times (LOL) that we should make Farm Fest a yearly event! What a wonderful idea. But next time lets just make it a celebration.... cuz the barn will be all done.. right???
We had a farm full of activity, friends old and new, great food, fabulous music, and we actually got quite a bit of work done on the barn too!
I made 60lbs of pulled pork, and salad. Ty's Amazing Kitchen came along as well and made gumbo with our cajun sausage! YUMMY! He also helped us roast our corn! Corn was donated by Abie Vegetable People and from Schoolhouse Gardens.
Upstream Brewing Company donated two kegs of their amazing beer and Trader Joe's in Lincoln donated a case of yummy wines! Bands played all day and into the night.
A late night bonfire complete with marshmallows and campers ended our first day and we all woke up ragged and tired but happy and ready to get back to work.
Day 2 was all about the tin. We purchased some second hand tin for the interior of the cheese room but it has to be sanded so it can be repainted. Most of the morning we were roughing up the tin with scouring pads. Looks like fun... right?
We had a lot of fun! I was more exhausted than I thought possible afterwards but what a wonderful weekend!
Andy and I are so thankful to everyone who came out to help and for those who donated. Without you we would not be this far along.
Work party #2 planned for next weekend (Aug 17)! We still have an untapped keg of beer and wine left! Work still to be completed.... join us next weekend. More info to come as I get it. But I am so looking forward to it!
I needed to post today to properly thank everyone who has donated, volunteered, mentored, and supported us! It is hard believe we have come so far. As of yesterday, we are once again a Grade A Inspected Dairy! This absolutely would not have happened without your support and help. Getting our Grade "A" at the new farm is the first step in making cheese again!
I have been all aflutter looking at cheese moulds, forms, tools, and getting incredibly excited! So many choices! It is both fun and a little overwhelming.
My teeny tiny cheese vat!
Now, on to focusing on finishing up the cheese rooms! All that is really left is putting the tin on the walls, hooking up the sinks, an finishing the cave. Simple.. right? My cheese vat arrived a few weeks ago. I stop in and say hello to it daily.. cannot WAIT to get to using it! It is a 30 gallon cheese vat.. small enough to work with as little as four gallons of milk up to thirty gallons. Perfect size for me!
So, how do we finish? Well, a good friend made an awesome suggestion. Let's have a work party! Heck, let's take it one step further and have a work party / mini festival here at the farm! So.. August 3rd and 4th Farm Fest 2013!
We have bands offering to come play all day Saturday and some on Sunday too. We will provide a farm fresh dinner on Saturday (pulled pork anyone!!). Potluck lunch on Saturday.
Many hands make light work! With a little help from our friends we can finish this whole dang barn! Don't like the idea of working in the barn? We could also use help in the garden! A little work and a whole lotta fun is what we are planning. Come, bring the family, enjoy the music, help out on the farm, eat some fantabulous grub and if you are up to it... bring a tent and stay the night! We can have a bonfire and roast marshmallows, relax and enjoy the countryside.
What to bring? If you have a drill, bring it, if you have a ladder grab that too, gloves, a camp chair, dish to share for lunch, to save on trash bring a plate, bowl, utensils, and a cup, swimsuit for the kids.. they can play in the sprinkler, and anything else that springs to mind. Feel free to set up camp if you want to stay the night. We have plenty of room!
As bands confirm and we get a schedule together I will post on Facebook and our website. We also have a facebook event set up. This is a party in progress!
Can't come but want to help? Our online donation is still active, and there are still many supplies needed.
Again, we are so thankful for all the support everyone has shown!
Boy, am I ready for March! This past month has felt like a rollercoaster ride. We have had some exciting moments and some tragic ones as well.
We have some new piggies! We have added some Hereford pigs to our family. Hereford pigs are a heritage breed that believe it or not originated right here in Nebraska. They are known for their gentle disposition and are excellent grazers. IF you are curious you can check out more on the breed by clicking HERE.
They are really fun little pigs... curious and very friendly. They love a good nose scratch so feel free to greet them when you are here... (mind the white fence - it bites).
These guys will be here close to the house for a few more weeks... we will be moving them out to pasture once we have grass. So, say hi while you can!
stole this off her facebook account! :-)
Ashley is home! She decided that she wants to attend college here at home rather than in Georgia so she came home this month. It was a difficult decision for her but she seems very settled and centered and at peace with her decision. Ashe is back at Lincoln High and will graduate from there this May. She only needed 17 credits to graduate so she only has to attend a half day at school.
I cannot begin to tell you all how absolutely wonderful it is to have her home. She is such an incredible, bright, alive, young woman... her spirit and exuberance fills our home! We are all so thrilled to have her back!
We added four new cows to our herd this month. Welcome Milly, Molly, Mandy, and Candy. Four beautiful jersey girls!
They are doing great.. they have adapted to our laid back milking style and are getting along with the other ladies just fine. We couldn't be happier with them.
We had a tragic accident this month. Weirdly enough it was actually the night that Milly, Molly, Mandy, and Candy arrived. The power lines on the road came apart at the insulator and fell on our fences. This caused quite the fireworks show which scared the cows and calves here next to the house. They ran. One hit the fence and was electrocuted and three others ran into her and were lost as well. The whole experience was horrific... we waited an hour for the power company to come shut down the lines and make our farm safe again... very nerve wracking. All in all... we are lucky... we could have lost many more cows than four, as bad as loosing four is.
We are blessed beyond words that this accident happened at night, that Andy did not touch the fences when he went out to check on everyone, and that our children slept through the whole event. We were able to tell them what happened in as gentle a manner as possible, they were spared from witnessing any of it.
The next week was one of waiting. Waiting on OPPD, waiting on the insurance folks, waiting to bury our four lost cows. The children mourned and the other cows mourned.. it was heartbreaking to watch. The children laid roses on the cows and we covered them with a tarp and waited. One of the adult cows lost her calf eight weeks early and we waiting and watched to see how many more would suffer the same fate. Electricity is such a funny thing.... one moment it's a necessity and the next it is devastatingly dangerous.
Miraculously we had a beautiful calf born last week! Her Mom is Tippy and one of our best cows. They were in the area with the accident so we did not expect the calf to survive. We named the little girl Tiffany and I have some incredible shots of her birth. Tiffany's birth leaves us with hope that maybe we have turned the corner and the rest of our cows will be well. btw... she is named after a friend of ours.. Tiffany Baker. This may seem a strange way to pay tribute to someone but she just reminded me to Tiffany... long, leggy and gorgeous!
All is well with Tiffany.. she is a gorgeous calf.. very tall and leggy and full of beans!
She is in the barn keeping warm right now but will join the other calves soon.
All of these new additions means one thing - MORE MILK! Our milk shortage is now a thing of the past! The past two weeks have been a blur of farm tours as we have opened up our waiting list and have been able to accept new customers. It also means the return of one of everyone's favorite things - CREAM!
Our cream separator has been chugging away and so has my food processor with butter! LOVE butter! LOVE CREAM!
We are bottling over 36 gallons of milk a day right now. Our family has been enjoying treats such as homemade raw cream top yogurt again! Last week I made flavors such as honey, maple syrup, and succanat vanilla which were all huge hits. I also tried molasses yogurt....( that one needs work).
Our new baby arrived today! His name is Shep. He is a Great Pyrenees puppy. He is such a big boy.. only eight weeks old but HUGE!
Shep will be a working dog... his job will be to guard the sheep. In a few weeks he will go to live with them and learn their ways. They will be his pack... not us. This is kind of sad since he is such a love... but our sheep need him.
Even though there is snow on the ground and it's 23 degrees outside.... spring is on it's way! The eggs are a sure sign! Look at what Hannah gathered tonight!
It's almost here... it's almost here! Before we know it we will have cows out on pasture, sheep shearing, and flowers everywhere... and milk will go back down in price! I could not be more excited!
Ya'll stay warm out tonight... its a cold one! I am off to make more yogurt.
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..