Saturday, August 26, 2006


Ok. I'm a farmer and I only just today baked a yeast bread! I've been planning and scheming about it for weeks. First the organic white bread flour, then the wheat flour. Active yeast purchased a month ago and kept in the fridge. Have sea salt because of cheese making.

Made a "simple loaf". White flour for the first bread. Immediately wanted to make many many many more loaves after the first try came out quite edible. Claire ate almost the entire first loaf. Well, she helped Dave and I eat a large chunk of it.

I also made simple breads and cakes to use up the yogurt I made earlier in the week. Yup, becoming a homemaker. Dave figures I need an Amish bonnet or something. Claire figured that was ok as long as she can get the cart and horse to go down the road like these boys she saw on one of her trips to see Grammy and Grampy.

Bought this new Ecover floor detergent when I dropped cheese off at Syracuse Coop. Another floor cleaner that I don't feel sick around. Woohoo. I am really liking the Ecover brand. Very good soap to clean cheese cloth with in the first wash. I also use the sterilized washing machine and another rinse using 100 ppm bleach. Line dried and it is fresh as a country breeze (before the manure spreader goes by the window).

Got the photos and permissions out to Jeff for the book. Cheese books are great books. I'll have another Christmas gift for the family baskets. This one they will not moan over, like the technical ones I drool over. Nice and fluffy with pictures and stories about farmers and cheese. Perfect for gifts. That and I can sell them at the farm stand.

Costing out low velocity coolers. Not too bad with some of these internet companies. I think we may be able to install ourselves. Shall see.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Milk cans and cutting boards

Went to the antique fair again. Dave and Claire went too. Claire wanted to get food and see Renate. I wanted to get cutting boards and something to drink. Dave saw ss milk cans from the road and wanted the daily meal(s).

Mission accomplished.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I should deliver cheese when I am alone. I love to have Claire and Dave, only with the truck, SQUISH! My knee barely supported me by the time we got to Syracuse. On the way home, Dave had me drive. He seems to take up more room when he is in the middle. My shoulder hurts and he kept doing this shoulder twitching thing. Calire waited until the last 3 minutes to sleep, so Dave sat in truck. She then slept until just outside of Bouckville.

Dave Whitman came by. I gave him rent and we talked perennials. He has an awsome collection of perennials. Not a good marketer (his own admission). I think his prices and location are reasonable. I'll be buying some shade stuff like vinca, hosta and sweet woodruff. He also mentioned another one that would go well under the stairs below the cut & wrap room.

Dropped the last of the scrap metal (horse hay feeder we bought for the feed pan and a spring tooth harrow). Had to stop for lunch at the diner there. Not a bad little place. They could have toasted the bread for the shaved ham and cheese sandwish and I think they use canned pineapple for the coleslaw, but otherwise better than the other diners in Vernon. The fellows unloaded us and were pretty decent to talk to. Auction rats vary. Seems this group of guys were pretty decent to the lads while they off loaded equipment all week.

Have to get ready for the Farmers' market tomorrow. Signs, pack everything, etc...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Antiques and Cheese

Drained the raw milk Quark. Giving the bulk of it to Shirley considering it was their milk I was working with. Travis and Matt want some too. I'll probably give the last of it to Renate and maybe eat a wee bit myself.

Renate took some baby Gouda's to sell at the Antique show in Bouckville. She sold one baby last time I talked to her. I am not sure if Tom will try the rest, or if she will wait until she goes tomorrow. I hesitate to sell at that festival, even if it is in my back yard. Seems that there is more weather than profits for food type vendors. I guess it would be better than a day at a rural market like Hamilton, but I have this feeling about the place.

I still think that I need to break down and forgo sleep to sell at the Greenmarkets in NYC. I HATE that idea. I don't get the sustainability concept of 3 1/2 hours of driving one way, hanging around for hours and then coming home... I'd have to do deliveries and all. You know have $2-3000 of product into the region at a wack. I think I will consider the attack next year, if hubby will work with me on this one...

Priced out some of the building costs for aging facility. I hate this reach in cooler here, slide in box there, drain table until bloom if the cooler if full thing... I'm up to my eye balls in cheese. Heading to Syracuse to sell as much as possible tomorrow. To heck with the Farmer's market here in Hamilton. I need the room... To go into partnership for aging facility or more debt? That is the question???

Saw the most bizzaar thing at the antique show. A kinda "I loved him so much I had to kill him" kinda thing. Chickens meet taxidermy. Some beautiful rare and some common, yet lovely feathers. The heads were odd, if not horror show wrong. I was wigged out. I liked this one cupboard (narrow, perfect in the bathroom), but opened it out to find two more stuffed birds in pretend nests... Had to move on. Stuffed chickens!

Claire and I are to eat and sleep early. LOOOOOOOONG day ahead tomorrow. At least Dave is done with the cement at Tom's for now. We have to bring one mroe load to Burton's. A horse feeder bought at auction for the waterer in it (sheep) and a spring tooth harrow that Dave bought because it was cheap and he had to bid (an auction rat habit that I am mildly prone to as well). He got a better one a few weeks later, so now to remove the farm of excess scrap metal...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Summer Sweat

Well, the weather has been cool. We are just in that time during the summer when one tries to catch up from poor weather earlier in the year and start preparations for winter.

Jeff's compresser went on bulk tank. Got some free milk for cheese experiments.

Dave is up to Tom's all weel trying to get the barn as close to done as he can in a week. They are pouring cement on the west side. He (and Nolan when the wind shifts) have been working on the forms. Tom needs to change focus or pick up a hammer with the milk house side of the project.

Made a cheddar earlier in the week. I'll cloth bind it after a wee nap.

Renate had maybe 3 hours of sleep after wine and guests. She needed to leave early to take a nap at the antique show. They are set up behind the Coop Gallery. Lisa and I will trawl trough the market on Thursday. I have to do deliveries into the Syracuse area on Friday. Was hoping to get some Fresh Mozz. curd done as well...

Priced the building yesterday. NOt sure how much or if it will fly cash flow wise this year.

Need nap. I need beauty sleep (especially after seeing the reaction from the library ladies when I returned those books...I guess I am a zombie).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Oil Dependant or Not Oil Dependant...

Well, we bought Tom Montieth's bale wrapper. I thought it was to make forage harvesting a "one man's job." Nope. I have to drop everything to run the wrapper. It has made forage harvesting more helper dependant. It has cost me in cheese. Yup, cheese. I got to rinds too late after having to drop my life for this new boy toy. Pig food. Could have saved them I guess, but I don't like the grease that developed by waiting so long to get to them. Too warm in plant.

Theoretically, it is suppose to make better feed that haylege. I read that in a seed catalogue. We have a little more time to work the kinks out of this system. I think it will work with time (and not a first try with the BMR sorghum sudan grass...).

It does use a lot of plastic. 34 bales out of the roll. 20" wrap at $79-80... I want Dave to see what he thinks the real cost is. Fuel, time, wrap, string... I wonder if they can make this wrap from corn plastic, or if it is oil derived plastic...