Changes!

Forgive the lack of posting the last few months.  Life seemed to get hectic and I just didn’t have the time or energy to devote to the blog.  Between working full-time, homeschooling Maggie, family, home, life, etc I was feeling very overwhelmed and something had to give.  Sadly, it was the blog!  Hoping to change all that.  I just recently quit my job.  I felt that Maggie really needed me to be home with her and to focus more on her studies.  I’m excited about our new adventure and hoping that we can get some good progress going in the homeschooling department!

Also, I am moving my blog from the free WordPress format to a hosted WordPress format.  Exciting.  But it’s taking some time as I am not a computer genius!  LOL  I am hoping to be back in full swing again in the next 2 weeks.

A lot of changes going on for our little family.  But they are all good.  And all exciting.  And I can’t wait to share with you!

-Bobbi

Spring has sprung!

It has been crazy busy around here!  As you know we had baby goats Jack and Nixon, but the fun didn’t stop there!  On April 3 Maple had 6 darling little kits!  April 2013 002 1And then a day later Ivy had 7 kits!  Both had babies in March and all died.  I am so thankful that these little guys (and gals!) are happy and healthy!  I have to admit though that there is one that is really capturing my heart.  Our does are Californian and our buck is Californian/Flemish X.  All the babies are these fat little white furry dots, except for one.  It’s considerably smaller and a beautiful silver color.  It’s totally healthy for being so much smaller.  A scrappy little thing.  I am always for the underdog, so this little bugger is really tugging at my heart-strings.  Since I was little I have always had a thing for the “different” ones.  The most misshaped pumpkin, the runt of the litter, the Christmas tree with the funky hole in it.  So of course there would be one little rabbit that catches my eye.  So much for going with the theory of using the same breed of white rabbit so they would all look the same and make the transition from baby bunnies to freezer food a little easier.  {sigh}2013-04-12 02.17.23
I am truly amazed at how quickly they grow!  Maples kits opened their eyes on Friday and Ivy’s babies opened on Sat/Sun.  They are so lively and so quick!  Trying to hold on to one isn’t that easy!

Here is Maple’s crew checking out their new digs.  Mama’s and babies got moved into the Rabbit  Condo this weekend.
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I am in heaven with our animals right now!  We even milked Sunni (Jack and Nix’s mama) for the first time yesterday.  Things are slowly moving along at PLH and I could be happier!

Life is good!

It’s Twins!

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We FINALLY got baby goats.  We have waited so long for this to happen!  Our sweet little Sunni surprised us Thursday afternoon with two little bucklings.

I knew she was close, but I didn’t think it was going to happen on Thursday.  Typically I come home at lunch and check on everyone.  Thursday I didn’t.  I got home about 3:30 went into the goat house and saw something behind one of the other goats.  I was trying to figure out which chicken it was.  Then it hit me.  It’s not a chicken, it’s a baby goat!  So I looked around to see if there were any more and SURPRISE! found the second one.

I was so proud of Sunni.  It’s her first freshening and I was really worried about the birthing process.  But she did it.

She has been such a good mama.

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Meet Jack……
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And here is sweet Nixon (aka Nix)
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Today Chris made a temporary fence around the birthing house so everyone could come out and play.  They are so adorable hopping around.  What a perfect start to Spring!

Our rabbits, Ivy and Maple are due to kindle tomorrow – which is April Fool’s Day.  So curious to see if they birth early like last time.  If so we will have Easter babies.  Either way we are so excited about all this new birth and happy beginnings!  This is what it’s all about!

-Bobbi

I made cheese!

I have wanted to make cheese forever.  I finally made some!  I am so darned proud of myself!  :)  Of course I chose a very simple cheese to start with, Paneer.   But nonetheless…..I MADE IT!

We purchased The Cheesemaker’s Pantry kit from Hoegger’s Supply Company.  I absolutely LOVE the recipe book that came in the kit!  The pictures are phenomenal.  And the information and directions are great!  If you don’t need the kit, the recipe book would definitely be one you want for your collection!  (I have not been paid to do a review, just really like the product!)

So it all started with a gallon of raw goat’s milk

It’s best to use a double boiler, but you can use a regular pot as well.  Just make sure you stir constantly while waiting for milk to come to a roaring boil.  You don’t want to scald your milk.


Waiting to boil….getting close

Once your milk boils remove from heat and add in either lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid powder that has been dissolved in water



Stir for about 2 minutes.  Make sure you stir in one direction so your curds will form.  If you want salt now is the time to add it.



After your curds form cover your pot for 10 minutes.  Once your whey has settled it is now time to drain


Pour your whey and curds into a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a large pot.


That will leave you with your curds in the cheesecloth and your whey down below in the pot.

Hang your cheese in the cloth above your strainer so the rest of the whey can drain out and the cheese gets firm

This is the whey I got from 1 gallon of milk.  I will either be  using it to make mozarella cheese or I will freeze some for when we have “dry months”.  I know for sure I will be making some fermented whey lemonade.  This is a yummy treat!

And here it is!  My first cheese!  It’s not pretty.  In fact it looks like it would be fun to use for Halloween as a brain.  But it is FANTASTIC! I am so happy with the end result and I am ready to make more!  My next endevor will be a yummy soft spreadable cheese.

Come meet Cookie!

What happens when one goes to buy goat milk?  Well you buy the whole goat, of course!!

Meet our new little sweetie, Cookie

And what happens when you go to pick up said goat?  You find out she had a romantic evening with a buck named Roy.    Hoping for little Cookies to be here  January 2013.

We are so excited to add Cookie to our little farm.  She is helping our dream come true!

EGGsiting Times at PLH!

Every night Chris goes out to the ducks and makes a comment something like “maybe tonight we will have ducks eggs”.  Every night he comes in a little disappointed that there is nothing there.  Well tonight he went out, didn’t make the comment and wasn’t even going to check for eggs.  But then something caught his eye!  No….3 little something caught his eye!  Check out what we got!

A little comparison – on the left is one of our Marans eggs (starting to get a little bigger), middle is our biggest duck egg, right is one of our chickens eggs -

I know it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog.  Lot’s going on.  Gearing up to start homeschooling – will be writing a bit more on that.  The new property is starting to take off and is going to start getting busy starting this weekend.  Life is good!

Bobbi

Nectarine Jam

Yesterday we went to one of our local Farmer’s Markets and got a screaming deal on some fruit!  We bought nectarines, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and some goat cheeses.  We walked away with a little over 20 lbs of nectarines and around 9 lbs of cherries.  We got a screaming deal on them since it was the end of the market and they were loading the trucks.  We couldn’t pass it up!

So bright and early this morning we got up and started cutting up nectarines.   And then cooking them.

Once they cooked down about 30 minutes we put them into sterilized jars

Then it was time for their water bath

And then wallah!  The finished product!

This is my first time making nectarine jam.  We found a great, easy recipe.  I’d love to share it with you.

INGREDIENTS:

18 cups chopped up nectarines.  DO NOT PEEL

9 cups sugar

12 TBSP of lemon juice

3 tsp spices of your choice (we did not use any)

DIRECTIONS:

Cook all ingredients at a very mild boil for 30 minutes.

At this point you can add optional spices of your choice such as 1 teaspoons cinnamon, almond extract, or ground ginger, or 1 tbsp. brandy extract; or any favorite combination. Cook for 5 minutes more.

Skim foam off surface

Ladle into sterilized jars

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This made 17 half pint jars of jam.  And yes, we kept one out to eat now.  :)

Now, this was a super easy recipe and pretty fool proof.  I would be lying to you if I told you we did it without incident.  Let’s just say that there was something that got underneath the burner from using it prior and I caught the stove top on fire.  Whoops!  Luckily Chris was there to save the day!  :)