Tag Archives: Cows

news

Have an update from (almost) down on the farm. We inspected a small herd (20) of cows. They are so cute! most of them haven’t had babies yet but the little bull will take care of that. I get to see how good I am at teaching a cow to be milked. Yes, city dwellers, they do have to be trained. After they get used to it, they like it.
The financing is still being worked on. That always takes awhile, more rules. I need a place to put those cows!
Some good news for me. Robinsons dairy, the dairy I buy my milk from, is going to deliver it to the kitchen for me. It takes a load off my back, saves gas and time. I’m always short on time.
I have had some issues with the city health Dept. They don’t know how cheese is made so are balky about how I make mine. Ron went to the top, and got us a new inspector that actually understands how cheese is made and so we are free to do it they way it should be done now.
My Great White, The Cheese That Bites Back! is ready to eat. It is hot. I’m anxious to get feed back on it. I already have been given suggestions on how to use it.
Note from mom; ” I just got mine today. It is hot hot hot! Nachos for lunch and Mexican pizza for dinner. Yum”

Lots happening!!!

Hi everyone! Welcome to all the new followers. I know its been a while but lots has been happening…… we applied to and were accepted into, two of the biggest local farmers markets here in Denver. We were told that these were the ones to join.
we have been furiously making cheese to get ready for the season. Which, by the way starts in May.
I just starting selling the first batch of blue cheese that I made almost two months ago. It is dry, creamy and deliciously melt y and blue y. Not too strong but definitively a good blue. I was told by a potential client that it is a ‘sexy’ looking cheese. I think I’m going to need to UP my blue cheese production.
I spoke today to a new ‘potential’ client about making Ricotta for his very small and exclusive salumi shop. I’m going to make some tomorrow and take it over to him to taste. If he likes it……..:^)).

We gave up on the property that we had found and started looking again. well, we found an even better place!!! It is 417 acres and lots of outbuildings on it. we are in the process of getting financing to buy it. We can do lots with that much land!
We are very close to being able to buy the land and move on. I figure (hope) that we will be milking our own cows by this time next year! Yay!!!!!

I started some new varieties of cheese this month. I have some gouda, brie and as of tomorrow, ricotta.

I had a slight problem with my thermometer, it wasn’t calibrated correctly, so I had some interesting things happen to my curd. I made some asiago, and it looked fine. I pressed it over night, it came out of the press fine, I brined it in heavy brine overnight. The next morning, when I tried to lift it out of the brine, it disintegrated into the brine, completely. I was upset, of course. I sat down and looked at it for a while. I left it in the brine for about an hour and decided to drain it into cheese cloth and see what i could do with it. After it was drained, I tasted it.  It was awesome!!! A little salty, so I rinsed them and let everyone in the kitchen taste them. They loved them. So, I let them dry a little and then packaged them in four ounce containers and promptly sold a whole pound of them. I call them Salad Crumbles. A very happy accident. My very wise and lovely cheese teacher and mentor, once told me, “never throw your mistakes away, no matter what, it’s cheese. It may not be exactly what you were going for, but it IS cheese” Thanks Gi! I have learned that it is very true.

just a small Update

As a start, this video shows the milking machine that we want/plan to have. It may take us some time to get it but if you watch the video, you can see that the cows like it and actually stand in line to be milked. We’ve done some major research on these and it seems like this is the machine we can depend on. It would leave more time in the day for me to make cheese rather than milk cows, and that is after all, what I want/ need to do if we are going to make this a profitable farm.

Here is another link for more info on the milking machine:http://www.delaval.com/en/About-DeLaval/DeLaval-Newsroom/?nid=7380

We went out looking for land this weekend. We saw some really beautiful and ideal places that we can not afford. As a result, we have re-thought what our starting point is going to be.
We had planned on finding 200-500 acres, rolling hills, maybe some trees and plenty of water. Now I think we are looking for 70-90 acres with rolling hills and plenty of water. I want to spend less on the initial outlay and spend the money on getting more cows up-front and the milking shed and the cheese room right.
We decided to start smaller and if (when) we do well, we can buy more land. Even if that means we re-locate later. In the long run I just think we can be self-supporting faster by starting small. Or smaller than we initially planned.

I made a six gallon batch of cheddar with chilies this week, it turned out beautiful, and yesterday I made a four gallon batch of one of my favorite cheeses, Cotswold. It is on the drying board right now and I’m not going to wax this one. I am planning on a natural rind. It should be JUST ready to hand out as Christmas gifts. I may have to make another one for me to eat. I LOVE this cheese.

Matthew, my brother and his wife Annabelle, and my nephew, Dante, are all moved in and getting settled. Dante lucked out that the fall break in school started this week. so he has an extra week to get acclimated to the altitude and the dryer air.

On a good note, my medication for the asthma seems to have done the trick. Today was my last dose of the icky meds and I haven’t had an attack for three days. Ron and I even went on a nice easy two mile hike (walk). We walked very slowly and took a long time, but I made it and I didn’t have an attack. I hope that means I am adjusting.

Tuesday is the meeting of my San Diego cheese group, Queso Diego. I sure am sad to be missing that. I’m hoping that I will be able to locate and join a Denver group soon.

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Our Mission, In Ron’s words……

To join with nature in creating products having the quality and value lost from years gone, yet using the advances offered by the modern world’s technology and education allowing us to share with more people.

 

For those of you that KNOW us, this seems like kind of a strange thing for him to say. However, I’ve always known that Ron cared deeply about all of this. We, for years, have been thinking of ways we could give back to our community and share the great life and happiness that we have found.

We have huge plans in this regard. While we don’t want to farm so we can be poor, our real focus is- How can we help?

I don’t want to give anything away, but in the next few years to come, we will hopefully, make some real impact on other peoples lives.

Remember, all of this started because I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a Cheesemaker.

I looked to see if there is a better word for that, there isn’t. It describes exactly what I want to do, be and become one of the best at.

We decided to have our own cows rather than buy milk because if I know what the cows are eating, how they are treated, and how the milk is obtained, I can make the best cheese possible. Our cheese will be classified Farmstead because we use our own milk. It’s also classified as Artisan Cheese because I am making small batches, by hand.

 

The Cows I plan on having. Irish Dexter

The "Corgi" of cows

The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about the shelter less mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915. In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle. They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and calves are dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat. Dexters are also the perfect old-fashioned family cow. Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to get to the table, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality, lean meat.

According to the guidelines, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types.

Dexters come in Black, Red or Dun. Dexters are horned or polled, with some people preferring to dehorn them. A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any other breed. The daily yield averages 1 to 3 gallons per day with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.

Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds.

No other bovine can satisfy such a diverse market.

All animals in the ADCA registry were entered in accordance with the regulations, procedures, and information that existed at the time of entry.