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Thought for the moment.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making healthy and delicious yogurt is easy!


1) 4 cups of local milk – 2% is best but any kind will do. I say local because you do not want to use ultra-homogenized milk, it doesn’t work as well. This goes for cheeses, too.

2) A healthy small container of yogurt. Plain or vanilla works best if you plan to add flavors.

3) 1/2 cup of dried milk (optional – adds to yogurt thickness)

4) Any flavors you want to add (optional). I sometimes cook with vanilla bean or coconut and add a dab of extract.

Heat milk on medium until it reaches 180-190 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, this is when the milk just starts to bubble or froth at the sides. Stir regularly and do not scald because that tastes nasty!

During the heating add dry milk and any flavors you have chosen.

When you have reached temperature, take off heat and cool to 110-120 degrees. This is when you can put your finger in and hold it without risking a burn. You can let this happen slowly or you can put pan into cold water in the sink and chill it faster. This is what I usually do.

When it is down to 110-120 degrees, add ½ cup of that healthy yogurt. Stir until it dissolves.

Put yogurt into a container or containers – I use ½ pint canning jars because they fit perfect into my yogurt maker (makes 5 of these jars). I then let the yogurt sit in the maker over night. If you do not have a yogurt maker don’t worry, you don’t really need one. I just happen to get one free on freecycle’s local exchange (if you don’t use freecycle, you need to find out more about it!) See below for ideas on how to incubate your yogurt without a maker!

After your yogurt jars have incubated the 6-8 hours, put in the fridge. Make sure you save ½ cup of yogurt for your next batch!

Incubating your yogurt without a yogurt maker (the key is to keep it about 100 degrees for 6-8 hours):

Set the stove dial half way between OFF and 200° on your electric oven, or at approximately 100°. The light which signifies the oven is on, pops on for a moment, and then pops off when the temperature is reached. Set your jar of yogurt in the oven and leave it for between 6 and 8 hours (take out the yogurt when it is thick)

You can pour the warm milk combined with the starter, into a large thermos and let it sit overnight.

You can also use a medium sized picnic cooler by placing the jars inside the cooler and then add two jars filled with hot tap water, to keep the temperature warm enough. After 4 hours, check the yogurt to see if it is thick enough. If it isn't then refill the water jars with more hot water, return them to the cooler, and let the yogurt sit another 4 hours.

You can set the yogurt on top of a warm radiator, or close to a wood stove. In this instance you might put the jars in a bowl of warm water to keep the temperature even.

If the yogurt does not turn out as thick as you like you can use these for smooothies! My nieces and nephews love them!

Friday, October 21, 2011


We had a super time last night eating brownies and pumpkin bread (the real stuff) and drinking coffees with a twist and talking and laughing and relaxing...oh, yeah, and making pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We have gotten approval by the town to add a second building to the property!  We have been working hard to get it all done so we can have the building set up next month and its happening!  Get ready for a whole bunch of new products for the holidays!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ozzy is very very loud!

OK, first I was told Ozzy can't fly, then I was told Ozzy is not as loud as a 'real' rooster.  WRONG!  The rooster nearly gave me a heart attack this morning!  We have them in the basement while we finish thier housing - WHICH WILL BE TODAY - and you would not believe the volume of this rooster that can't weigh more than a pound.  They are at the store today if you want to check them out. 
Be well!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Introducing Ozzy & Harriet!

First off, I was told these birds can't fly.  What I should have been told is they can't fly FAR and the run ver VERY FAST!  Ozzy had me running around the stores parking lot and in the woods in the pouring rain this afternoon after I tried to move him to a dry pen!  I wish I had video and I'm also glad I didn't.  People driving by must have thought I was nuts!  They are very funny birds, I hope to get video tomorrow if its nice out.

Harriet has the pompom head and Ozzy has the mullet!

Good and bad news

Well, my mentor in bird raising came over to check on the sick turkey and agreed that he was dying.  He put the turkey out of its misery and than we examined him.  The good news is that we do not think it was disease or parasite (the other birds are safe), it appears that the birds right wing was infected.  This probably was due to pecking or a bug bite.  When we lifted the wing you could see that it was black under the skin and inflamed.

Because this took most of the morning, I did not get to join John in his trip to Woodstock to check out the showgirl chicks.  If he sends me good pictures via txt message I will post them here.  In the meantime, I am watching the store and spinning some wool.  The sun is coming out every once in a while to say hello, the weatherpeople are saying its going to hang out Saturday and Sunday this week.  That would be nice, give us some time to dry out a little :)

Be well!

Lots of work on a rainy day!

When it rains for more than one day in a row, there is a lot of extra work to do.  The rabbits don't get thier normal exercise outside, the turkeys get wet and muddy, the goats won't leave the pen, and the dogs don't go out.  This morning was a lot of mucking out the turkey area and providing new straw (We stopped moving the turkey flight cage 2 weeks ago and gave the turkeys access to a 40x40 garden we have fenced in.  This cut down on the fighting and pecking dramatically.)  I then cleaned out the goat pen completely and filled that will cedar chips and gave them extra hay for the long day of chewing cud while looking out at the rain.

Unfortunately, I noticed this morning that one of the turkeys I've been watching for signs of trouble is struggling today and refusing food or water.  He was well enough to come in out of the rain and lay in some fresh straw but that was it.  I fear he won't make it through the day.  I've sent out messages to friends who know more than me about raising turkeys, but I now know from sad experiences that there really isn't anything to do but keep him comfortable.  This always makes me so sad, even though I know that by next month they will no longer be with us, I feel as if I've failed him in some way.

I will post later about my new additions to the farm and let you know how it went.  They are called naked neck silkies or showgirls.  The 2 I am getting are heterogeneous showgirls so they have a naked nack with a bow tie.  Even the boys are called showgirls and I will be getting a boy and a girl, both white, both heterogeneous.  Next spring they will live in a chicken tractor in the gardens helping me with bugs, this winter I will have to establish a home for them in a more protected environment.  For now they will have a tractor I am borrowing and a small living space out of the elements - particularly this never-ending rain.  Better than a drought, but I am kind of getting weary of it.

I will check in later!  Be Well!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guess what I'm getting tomorrow?!

This bird is proof that God has a sense of humor.  Showgirl silkies!  This is a bow tie showgirl.  John and I love them AND can't stop laughing out loud.  I am driving to Woodstock tomorrow to meet a couple looking for a home.  They are a year and a half old and both are white.  I will definately blog pics!  I hope you will get to meet them at our party on October 22 along with the petting zoo crew!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Well, I have FINALLY gotten my act together and have put together a few groups to meet on Thursday nights 7-9 at the store (89 Flanders Rd, Coventry, CT)!  The main purpose of these groups is to get to know eachother and your neighbors and just relax and have fun, don't get caught up on any skill level fear or phobia because it just doesn't matter, we will have fun!

October 20th from 7-9pm will be our first night together.  We are going to make Halloween Pumpkins.  The cost of materials is $5.  We will have some free dessert and there are Keurig cups for just $1 or you can bring your own!  The pumpkins are easy to make and fun.  I made one to show you the final results;

October 27th from 7-9 we will 'spark' up the fun learning how to make olive oil lamps like you see in lehman's catalogs!  Again, cost of materials is $5 ($7 if you want your lamp made with a handle).  No pre-skills neccessary!  Bring your jewelry making wire bending tools if you have any, we will supply what we can.  Here is the finished product;
November 3rd from 7-9 is open mic!  Well, not really, its an open craft night for people to just come and socialize and eat and be merry.  I will bring fiber arts but all arts are welcome.  This is a free night, no materials cost - BYOMaterials :)

Please let me know which nights you are interested in by emailing!

Harvesting Honey!

My friend Jeff was kind enough to not only help me with the honey, but also stopping to pose for these pictures!  We had one heck of a time.  Definately not a good idea to pick a nice sunny warm day to harvest.  The bees went with us everywhere and we had quite an adventure.  I ended up processing 53 pounds of honey!  All loved ones, be ready to get honey for EVERY holiday this year AND next!


First off, our BIG day is October 22! Lots of fun things going on, come on down and bring the kids!  I'm so excited about all the new products we will have for you!

Silky and Cochin Hut 2011

Guineas in their new flight cage!

Easy Bantam Nesting Boxes

Easy Homemade Bread!