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Showing posts from May, 2011

Raw milk yoghurt attempts and failures

Since we got Bella last weekend, we have litres and litres of fresh cow's milk, so I tried to make some yoghurt.  I used my usual method of mixing a spoonful of the previous batch into some fresh milk (except before we got Bella, I used milk powder instead) and put the container in my Easiyo thermos to set.  Most recipes to say to pasturise (heat) the milk before making yoghurt, but I have also read that making the yoghurt from raw (unheated) milk allows more beneficial bacteria to grow, so I wanted to try that instead.

Unfortunately the result was very disappointing, the whey separated and the yoghurt was thin and very sour.  It wasn't at all appetising, so I fed it to the dogs, they loved it, and tried again.  Same result.  Time to do some reading.  I read every cheese/yoghurt making book we own (4 now!) and everything I could find on the internet (see this one in particular).


It seems there are many many options and conflicting advice when it comes to making yoghurt!
Start w…

Meet Bella and Molly - our house cow and calf

Yesterday morning we brought home our dairy cow, Bella, and her calf, Molly, and we milked her for the first time this morning.  Bella and Molly are both pure bred jersey cows.  Bella gave us about 6 L of milk, so I've already skimmed off the cream, and made some yoghurt and we've drank a few litres and given some to the dogs.  We have all the gear to make some cheese when we have accumulated enough milk, so that will be a new challenge!  I'll tell you more in the near future....

You might also be interested in my series on getting started with homestead dairy

Interview with myself

Interview with Mark and Kate from Purple Pear Permaculture

Interview with Kim from the Little Black Cow

Interview with Rose Petal

Interview with Marie from Go Milk the Cow

Interview with Ohio Farmgirl



Buy my ebook "Our Experience with House Cows" on EtsyLulu and Amazon, or email on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com to arrange delivery.  More information on my house cow ebook blog.





Reviews of &quo…

Making yoghurt from powdered milk

I finally decided to stop being so lazy and have a go at using milk powder to make yoghurt (as described previously),  instead of relying on the EasiYo packet.  I had a large bag of powdered milk in the cupboard that I bought during the flood-crisis here over summer, so it was time to use it up.  I have now made several batches of yoghurt using only the powdered milk, so I can report that it is just as easy and convenient, as well as being ridiculously cheap.
All you have to do as soon as you finish one batch of yoghurt, is make the next one in the same jar straight away, without cleaning it, so that the remaining yoghurt will inoculate the next batch.  All I do is scrape out most of the yoghurt (for my lunch), tip in the powdered milk (1 cup to 1 L of water), mix in the cold water and pop the jar into the thermos as normal (see other post for instructions on using the thermos).  After 8-12 hours the yoghurt is ready.  You can also use freeze-dried yoghurt culture if you don't ha…

Menstrual cups - stop using tampons!

Here's something that my male readers, and even some of my female readers, might not want to read about, but I'm going to write about it anyway, for the benefit of those who ARE interested........

STOP HERE IF YOU THINK PERIODS/MENSTRUATION/TAMPONS ARE GROSS!!


Moon cups are a reusable cup that women can use instead of tampons.  I came across them when I was looking for an alternative to tampons.  I had always thought that tampons were very wasteful and the cost each month was getting ridiculous.  I was also concerned about the bleaches and other chemicals used in tampons that are no doubt absorbed into the body when we use them.  I read heaps of different forums and advertising and finally decided just to give it a try.  There seems to be even more information and discussion, and more products available now, so I guess they have become more popular since I bought mine about 5 years ago, which is great to see.

I wanted to write this because at the time I was looking at buying on…

Dog Box for the Ute

When we decided to look after Chime the Kelpie while my friend was away, we realised we would need some way to transport the two dogs.  We have a single cab ute and Cheryl usually rides on the back, except when its raining or too hot or too cold (which is most of the time in QLD!) and then she rides in the cab, on the lap of the passenger, almost squashing the passenger as she's at least 20 kg, especially when she won't sit still.  We were never going to fit TWO restless Kelpies in the cab, so my clever husband started working on a dog box.

See more information here.


Why choose heritage breeds of chickens and vegetables?

We have decided to keep Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn chickens, even though they don't produce as many eggs as some commercial layer breeds.  There are some very good reasons for keeping alive heritage chicken breeds (see this website for a very good explanation):
Maintain diversity in the available chicken geneticsStop multinational companies from owning chicken geneticsHeritage breeds are more hardy and lay well for longerSome heritage breeds are good for both eggs and meatWe can breed them with predictable results (compared to hybrids)They look beautiful!  If you're considering keeping chickens, there are hundreds of breeds to choose from, each suited to different climates, chicken pens (free ranging or locked up), egg laying requirements and meat production.  It all depends what you are looking for, but don't think you're limited to the commercial laying or meat hens, just do some research and you'll find the perfect chickens for your situation.

There are a…

Winter Woodfires: installing a woodfire

Installing a woodfire is a complicated process!  Of course we decided to do it ourselves, why pay an expert when you can figure it out yourself?  I've already explained why we love our woodfire, so this is more detail of the installation process.

The hardest part is the weight of the woodfire.  They are made of cast iron and range from 100-300 kg.  This is not easy to move!  The first woodfire we bought (a Nectre Baker's oven) was only 120 kg, which was lucky because it had to get into the top floor of our Queenslander!  My husband borrowed a three-wheeled stair climbing trolley and he and a friend pushed and pulled the oven up our front stairs (while I watched, holding my breath, worried that the stairs would collapse).  The second stove (a Scandia Cuisine) was 248 kg!  Luckily this one only had to come into a low-set house.  My husband backed the ute up to the verandah and we wheeled the oven off the ute and onto the verandah using a set of ramps and a SCA trolley (I was sti…