Making Cheese From Goats Milk

There are few cheeses creamier and more elegant than goat cheese.  Not only does it have a rich, tangy flavor, it is also extremely healthy.  It is very low in fat and cholesterol compared to other types of cheeses like cheddar and cream cheese.  In addition, goat cheese contains vitamins and minerals such as potassium, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin A and also an excellent source of protein.

The only downside of goat cheese is that it is a bit expensive.  Take a look at the goat cheese, also known as chevre, at the supermarket.  A very small log will cost you at least five dollars.  If you have a goat – and can get some milk from her (or even if you don’t and can get hold of some goats milk) – why not try making goat’s cheese at home?  It has been made for centuries in many parts of the world, particularly in France and is actually not that difficult so it’s worth giving it a shot.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Goat Cheese

Here goes…Making goats cheese is fairly straightforward.  First you need to gather all the necessary ingredients and utensils, which are :

  • goat milk (about a ½ gallon),
  • a stainless steel pot,
  • a ladle,
  • salt,
  • lemons,
  • a colander,
  • and cheese cloth.
  • You can also add buttermilk if you want the cheese to be creamier.

Your first step is to heat the milk in the pot until it reaches around 185 degrees (you can use a candy thermometer to check the temperature). Let the milk simmer but be careful not to let it burn or boil.

Next, remove the pot from the stove and add fresh lemon juice.  You can also use vinegar in place of lemon juice.  Stir the mixture until the curds separate from the whey.  You’ll know that the mixture is properly separated if it looks like large curds of cottage cheese.

Next, line the colander with several layers of cheese cloth.  Use the ladle to put the curds into the colander.

We don’t need the whey for this recipe but you can always set it aside and use it to make protein shakes or other protein-packed meals in the near future (it seems a shame to waste it).

Let the curds cool in the colander and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible.  Your next step will be to put the curds in a bowl and season them however you like.  You can add salt, pepper, chopped herbs, and olive oil.  Salt alone can make it taste very good but you should use sea salt.

Your last step in making goat cheese is to press the curds in a bowl or container to make it a block.  You can also wrap them in cheese cloth.  Put it in the refrigerator and wait at least one to two days before tasting it.

See, that wasn’t too hard was it? 

By making goat cheese at home you can save a lot of money as well as take pride in knowing that the cheese you are eating you made with your own two hands.

Don’t cry over spilt milk…because it’ll happen a LOT

Today we milked Toffee for the first time. The first time in her 4 years and second freshening she has ever been milked.

And here I was expecting a pail full of frothy, creamy goodness from our just-freshened Nubian doe, Toffee. Who, just 4 days ago, had the most ADORABLE little doeling ever.

Anyways, back to expectations. Ok, actually she did EXACTLY as I expected. We haven’t yet started separating her and Mocha at night due to the freezing temps. So I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of milk to begin with since little Mocha has free access, and we milked towards the evening hours. Toffee fidgeted on the lead. That’s right. Lead rope. Somebody, ahem, dear husband, has yet to build me a milking stanchion.

She didn’t like me touching her udders or teats. At all. So instead of milking with two hands, like most normal people, I proceeded to hold her leg still and on the ground so she wouldn’t knock over or step in the milk pail. Again. AND she has pretty small teats.  I’m not sure if this is how they will stay as she just gave birth and has never been milked before (we actually own her first, and only other, daughter). If this is how they stay, milking may prove to  be very challenging regardless of how still she stands.

I probably should mention she is a total pig, so the scoop of grain she got (hey, she needs an incentive to learn to be milked) lasted her all of 2 minutes. Which, if she was a seasoned milker and had stood like a good girl, I would have been able to get a decent amount of milk from her. I’m a pretty quick milker when I get into (or should I say back into) the groove of things.

THEN lovely miss Toffee decided to try to dunk her udder in the milk pail. Maybe she thought she was helping?

At first I was a little disappointed, although I had been expecting this result. Maybe I should invest in a seasoned milk goat. But if I can train horses that are literally ten times my weight and a LOT bigger, I can certainly teach this darn goat to stand to be milked.

I hope.

~ Nісhеllе Diary of a Homesteader

Too Many Hens

One may keep a dozen or a thousand hens, provided they have ample accommodations in the poultry house and are properly cared for. The great stumbling block to the success of some is that they try to keep too large a number of hens on too small a space. This is not always done intentionally as the hens appear to have enough room; but the roosts will be crowded with more hens than it should hold. It will not suffice for the hens to have room enough to sit in a row, with heads all one way, each hen touching the other, especially in warm weather. They should be able to turn and change position on the roost. The fear of thieves deter poultrymen from leaving the doors and windows open, and as a rule, the interior of the house is warmer than it should be. This is not surprising as the roof is low and the sun pours down on it for twelve hours. When the hens are crowded, their bodies increase the heat, and lice are quickly propagated, the warmth producing the most favorable conditions for their multiplication. More eggs will be obtained when the hens have plenty of room; and they will be less liable to disease. Crowding induces disease and lowers the vitality of the fowls. Each hen should have ten square feet of room in the poultry house, and twelve inches of room on the roost, to be comfortable.

The Natural Homestead

My friend always told her husband that she would rather spend money on having a child than on a pet. Granted, children cost more, but if you’re going to spend money on a small creature that will bring you delight and loyalty, wouldn’t you rather have the creature grow up to take care of you in old age? This is how she saw things anyway. That got me thinking, the animals on mine and many other homesteads are pets (mine are to me anyway), and if you look after them well, they will also look after you.

Chickens are pets which provide eggs and often meat. Those two gifts are obvious. What is not as obvious to some is that chickens also give gifts in the form of their feces. Chicken poo is full of nutrients and can help fertilize the ground they walk on. Unfortunately, most people with chickens have their coops in one area, unmoving. This makes the land beneath the chicken coop somewhat barren as other means cannot help the decomposition cycle along. No sunlight or plant life can get to the area and it is also trampled by the chickens, making the soil compact. How to fix this is to move the chicken coop around the yard in order to get the fertilizer more spread out. This allows for less compacted earth and also for plants being eaten more evenly spaced. Chickens provide a lot for edible gardens, backyards, and for farms.

Cows can also provide the obvious: milk. Milk is getting more and more expensive. Many cows have had growth hormones which allow the cow to produce more milk. Some people believe these growth hormones are transferred to the milk and may be harmful to humans. Many such people go to organic farms to buy milk (even more expensive than the grocery store) so that the milk is not homogenized or pasteurized and does not contain any growth hormones. Granted, the typical backyard gardener cannot have a cow, but a farmer or acreage owner can. In “Ten Acres is Enough” the author describes how he bought and raised a cow. He benefited greatly from the heifer and his wife absolutely loved having fresh milk for everything. With a cow, grains or grass can be converted to milk, butter, and cheese and then finally fertilizer.

Goats provide similar produce as a cow, but might be able to live in large backyards (if the city code allows it). Goats eat nearly anything. They can live in a smaller building than a cow and make a little less noise. However, if the goat gets out of its pen, it can destroy your garden/backyard. So, buyers beware.

Speaking about rabbits slightly makes me sad. There are only two reasons to keep rabbits as “productive pets” and that would be to harvest their skin or their meat. I knew a family who hadn’t much money and that’s what they ate as meat. Sad, but the Lithuanian restaurant downtown sells Hasenpfeffer for $20.00 a plate, so rabbit meat is worth some money. The fur of a rabbit can also be useful. When I was younger, I had a beautiful fur coat with patches of all different colors. It was a rabbit coat and I loved it. Unfortunately, I was allergic to the thing and my eyes would puff up and my asthma would kick in every time I donned the furry apparel. Rabbit pellets are also useful for fertilization.

natural homestead by jill wingerWhen looking after our homestead livestock perhaps there are ways we can look after them more naturally. In my own life I have been using less and less chemicals, processed food and more herbal and other natural alternatives – why shouldn’t we do the same for our animals? If it is better for us then it is pretty likely to be better for them as well.

So thinking along those lines I found a new ebook called The Natural Homestead it is by Jill Winger and is a collection of great tips, suggestions, and discussions of just about everything you’d need to know to try your hand at homesteading, even if (or especially if) it’s on a small scale. And full of practical advice and 40+ natural alternatives for taking good care of your animals and homestead in a more natural way. It is normally priced at $24.99 on it’s own but for one week in September it will be included in a bundle as one of the 60 + resources that you can get for  $29.97. I didn’t think you could do better than that 🙂 but I have found a site that will give you another bonus product (your choice from their catalogue) on top of the bundle itself here : healthy living bundle so if you are interested in using more natural products around your animals then now is probably a good time to take a look through one of the links above (i.e. the natural homestead book on its own or as part of the bundle). The first is my ejunkie one so if you purchase the book individually through that I will receive a commission (thanks for your support).

Back To The Land

There is something in man that makes him love the great outdoors. He may not reach the goal of his ambition, for the reason that his love of man makes him settle in crowded cities. But the most lonely place on earth is the large city. Let a stranger come to New York or other large eastern city and he is appalled at the crowds of human beings and their indifference to the passing of others. A man might live in the same block in a large city for years, yet he may never know who is his next door neighbor. Man lives in cities so as to have the company of other men, yet in such cities he finds that his acquaintance will not be nearly so large as it would be if he had selected a small village. Cities have little community of interest and only in a crisis do men and women ever think along the same lines. During the great world war people were brought closer together – more than anything that has ever happened – and even in large cities people were beginning to know and appreciate each other. Wars have the effect. When the great common interest of the whole world is settled on war it is hard to get people to think along any other line. The stories that in peace times would be of interest to the great masses of the people are not now placed on the front pages of our papers but go back in the less conspicuous parts of the paper and the war news has the front page. For a man to get on the front page now he must fall out of a balloon or have some other unusual accident or he will not receive a passing notice. This is war, and nothing else is so interesting.


If some great man could stir an interest in the people such as has been stirred by war, that man could raise money enough to build a checker-board of roads, six miles apart, all over America. When preparedness was first being advocate by the far seeing men of the nation, I heard Mr. Bryan make a speech. He said that the war crowd was advocating the spending of five hundred million dollars and that if these warriors were granted that amount of money they would make it a billion the next year. He said further that five hundred million dollars would build roads over the United States that would be only six miles apart and run from ocean to ocean. At that great meeting thirty thousand people applauded to the echo everything Mr. Bryan said and in just a short time that same people applauded everything another speaker said when he told of the billions that America was spending in the big war. The great networks of roads has been forgotten and nothing but war is even though of.

– anyone reading this will have noticed the time this was written and realised that we are now marking the 100th anniversary –

But, to get back to my story. Men and women love the great outdoors and most of them would go back to the earth if they did not have to give up their associates and the luxuries that town life brings. Men and women will stand all kinds of hardships in order to get outdoor life for a few days but at the end of their vacation they are pleased when they can turn on the warm water in their bath tubs and see their homes lit by electricity and gas. The conveniences of the city are the great drawbacks that keep man from going back to the farm. Let a community interest electricity, running water, mail deliveries, easy access to shopping districts and the farm will come into its own. Make it possible for the farming communities to have all modern conveniences along with amusement gathering place and the cities would be depopulated in a short time. Put a woman on a farm where she must draw her own water, fill her lamps with coal oil, heat her irons by a fire, carry in her wood for such fires and have all of the drudgery of the farm, and none of the comforts of the city, that woman soon tires and she either grows old and worn out or she leaves the country to go back to the hardships of city life; the lack of pure air, the lack of healthy surroundings and all the ills that go with a city, in order to get the few luxuries that city life affords.

I lived a short time on a farm where there were lamps to fill, water to pump and everything that was primitive. I had to strike a match as I went from room to room and of all the things I missed, the greatest hardships was the lack of electricity. The first night I went into town and back to my city home, I was like a “kid” with a new toy; I went from room to room, threw on each switch as I went and from there to the bath where steaming water was to be had and the first thing I knew every light in the whole house was lit, and I reveled in the world’s greatest discovery—electricity.

Out here on Puget Sound we have the best climate in the whole world. I do not ask you to believe me. I am not bragging on our country, and I say it without the least boast, the Puget Sound climate beats any climate in the world. Come with me and live on Puget Sound for two years and you will never live anywhere else without longing for the time you may once again live on Puget Sound. You do not believe it until they had once lived here and then returned to what they looked back upon as a climate that beat Puget Sound; but a short time away convinced them and in thousands of cases they have returned to Puget Sound where they hope to live out the allotted time. I had a friend who married a girl who was raised in one of Ohio’s cities. This girl loved that old city back home and she was always comparing it to Puget Sound, and to Puget Sound’s detriment. This girl’s husband was called by war work back east. He went through the Panama Canal and from there to his old Ohio home. Before leaving the Sound he told his wife—“You have always wanted to go back to your Ohio home, and I must take back several ships to Atlantic waters. Suppose you go back and I will, on my way back, visit you, and come again for another trip to the Atlantic coast.” The wife was overjoyed at the prospect of seeing her dear old home and her husband had hardly reached the Straits before she was on her way to the middle west, or as we would say—“back east.” The husband went through the canal, came out to Hampton Roads, delivered his ship and back to the middle west he went. He found his wife all right, but with her trunk packed and she said—“Take me home. I have seen all the folks and I must get back to dear old Puget Sound.” The husband said—“When we left home it was “Dear old Cleveland—why the change?” His wife answered “Puget Sound for me the rest of my life.” So they came back. The husband must make several more trips to the Atlantic Coast, but in the meantime his wife will stay on “dear, old Puget Sound,” just as you would if you once put in a year here.

sequoia2Out here on Puget Sound men have big ideas and those ideas come true. If you will get a shipping report you will find that Puget Sound is building steel ships faster than any other part of the world and that in Seattle alone there are twenty-five thousand men employed in building either steel or wooden ships and that these yards are never quiet for one moment in the day or night and that on each eight hour shift thousands of rivets are being driven and Uncle Sam is building a merchant marine that grows faster than the U-boats can sink the world’s ships. Seattle contains nearly a half million people and thirty years ago this city did not have twenty thousand. Seattle is the outlet for the big Alaska trade, and every country in the Orient sends ships to Seattle’s wharves. Seattle is growing as no other city in the world, and when it comes to health, for years this city has stood first in the least number of deaths to the size of the population. Seattle is the most healthful place in the world and that is why Puget Sound is loved by every inhabitant.

Near Seattle there are twenty thousand acres of land that was once a virgin forest. The trees that stood on this great tract of land were in many cases so large that even California Red-woods must take a back seat. The Puget Mill Company of Seattle has for twenty years been cutting off this great forest, and that great mill has shipped the lumber to nearly every port in the world. Forests are easy to clear away, but it takes centuries for trees to grow and as a result the Puget Mill Company found themselves with a great tract of land that would produce anything that such a climate would grow. Hazelnuts sprang up where the great trees once grew; in many places filberts were started, and lo and behold, it was discovered that these great nuts could be grown in abundance on the soild that would produce their uncultivated ancestors, the hazelnut.

Experts on soil were hired and they were placed on these lands to see what could be raised and what fruits would do best. These experts went to work and soon discovered that after the land was cleared almost anything could be produced that would grow in a climate like Puget Sound. They discovered that filberts were natural to the soil, that all kinds of berries grew in abundance; the wild blackberries native to the climate seemed to spring up from nowhere. The great stumps left by the woodsmen were burned out in many cases and in their places came the hazelnut and the blackberry. Everything, they found, would grow as things have grown in the best lands of the Puget Sound basin. Following the discoveries in the things that would grow, inventions were tried as to the best way to rid the lands acres placed under cultivation. With experiments down the line, the Puget Mill Company owners decided that on this great twenty thousand acres they would build homes where the people who loved the great outdoors could live, have plenty of fresh air, lots of mother earth, and still have the comforts of a modern city.

Everett, a few miles north of Seattle, is another growing city that has a great future. This wonderful “City of Smokestacks,” in order to become closer to Seattle, Washington’s metropolis, soon promoted, with the assistance of Seattle’s money men, a fine electric road, and this road runs through the heart of the Puget Mill Company’s twenty thousand acre tract. That road brought Seattle within forty-five minutes of this land. Then began the building of a great home center; a place where men and women could get back to the soil, be within easy reach of a good market and at the same time have the comforts of modern conveniences at their country homes.

Into Puget Sound run great rivers; these rivers, many of them, come from the great rivers, many of them, come from the great mountain ranges, the Cascades. In these mountains are great water powers and these are so easily developed that electricity sells in the Sound cities for less than it does any other place in the United States. These great water powers make it possible for the Puget Mill Company to give everyone who lives at Alderwood Manor electricity as cheaply as they could get it in town. From wells can be pumped by electricity water that has a health giving quality as good as the world ever drank. With cheap electricity all labor can be done with less hard work than in any other place outside of a modern city. An abundance of wood can be had for the cutting and drag saws can be had to do the work.

While things were being gotten ready at Alderwood Manor the Puget Mill Company put in a poultry plant. This plant is modern in every respect; the incubators that have hatched the thousands of chicks for the experiment farm are all being run with electricity farm are all being run with electricity, and the man in charge is not a poultry theorist but one who has made a big success with a commercial egg plant.

I visited Alderwood Manor a short time ago and I had gone over this same land when the trial was such as took a man with a sense of direction or that man would get lost. Today through this great twenty thousand acre tract runs a concrete road that connects Everett with Seattle, and thousands of automobiles pass back and forth each way. On this road run all kinds of stages that make Seattle or Everett in a few minutes and each half hour comes the Interurban Electric Road that lands one in the heart of each city.

Alderwood Manor is the center of this community that will yet contain thousands of people. The Puget Mill Company makes it possible for any man to get a home on these lands and it also will build that home and make it possible for the man with a family to begin to make a living from the very start. It will take years to populate this big tract of land, but when that time comes every five acres will have a home and these homes will contain all modern conveniences and in the heart of this tract will be a village where brick stores will be built, modern schools erected, big places of amusement will be built and community centers brought about where the whole population can gather. They will have all the advantages of a city and none of the great drawbacks. Every family will have their home where they can keep a cow, own a dog, have chickens and produce every kind of vegetable that they may need. They can, from an acre of berries, raise all they want for themselves and have great quantities to sell to the never failing market of Seattle on the south or a big growing market that is only a few minutes to the north, at Everett.

Seattle will furnish work for all the men and the girls as they grow up and the electric cars will take them home at night to the great health giving air of the country where the Cascades can be viewed on the east and the Olympic range in the west. Their homes will be lighted with electricity and their water drawn by pumps run with nature’s cheapest and best power the world has yet discovered.

That “Something” in man can be satisfied at Alderwood Manor, as it cannot in any other place I know of in America. After the war it will be “back to the land.” The soldier element of this country will never be satisfied to spend his time in the crowded quarters and those outdoor places that contain modern conveniences will be the first populated. Then Alderwood Manor will gets its full growth and contentment will exist for those fortunate enough to make their homes on that great twenty thousand acre tract.