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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grandma Starnes' Rolls~A Holiday Tradition




We don't normally eat a lot of bread but almost every major holiday I make hot rolls from my great grandma Starnes' recipe. Josh LOVED these rolls!

I will post the recipe as it was given to me and in parenthesis I will add some variations:

Grandma Starnes Hot Rolls

1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar (honey)
1 tablespoon of dry yeast

Mix together and let sit until yeast is bubbly.

3 Tablespoons Sugar (honey)
2 Tablespoons shortnening (butter)
1 tsp salt
1 Cup boiling water (warm milk)

Let cool to luke warm. Add one beaten egg then yeast mixture. Add flour until a soft dough forms (3-4 cups approximately). I usually use white flour on holidays but have used this same recipe to make whole wheat rolls as well.

This dough can be refrigerated and you can pinch off what you need each time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Remembering those who are less fortunate.......




It is right that we should be grateful for the plenty amidst which we live; the productivity of our farms, the output of our factories, the skill of our artisans, and the ingenuity of our investors. But in the midst of our thanksgiving, let us not be unmindful of the plight of those in many parts of the world to whom hunger is no stranger and the plight of those millions more who live without the blessings of liberty and freedom. ~ John F. Kennedy from the 1961 Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dachshunds and their new bed



I bought the indoor dogs a new bed. Actually, I bought two new beds. I placed them on the floor and watched as Oscar curled up on one and Hunter and Zoie on the other. "How cute!", thought I! I came back about five minutes later to find that Zoie (the puppy) had chewed the zipper off one of the beds and chewed a hole in the other one! Bad puppy!

I had an old, heavy duty table cloth and I promptly sewed up a big "pillow case" and put both beds in it. So far so good. No more chewing on the beds and the dogs are enjoying their nice big "king size" bed!

In the pictures above you can see Oscar and Hunter enjoying their comforts and a picture of the little angel herself.................Zoie. You can also see the marks on the wall where the little angel has been chewing on it as well!

P.S. Oscar no longer wants to go outside. He would simply rather lie in bed all day. He already needs to lose weight!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beef Cows






We had a couple of calves get out today and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some photos of the beef cattle.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Homemade Pizza


There's nothing better than homemade pizza made from as many zero mile ingredients as possible.

While I don't grind my own flour and don't grow all of the seasonings (something I really need to do is start an herb garden!) many of the ingredients are from right here on the farm.

To make the dough you can use a breadmaker on the "dough" setting or you can mix up the ingredients and make it the old fashioned way. I have done both:

1 Cup Raw Jersey milk
3 Tablespoons of Honey
3 Tablespoons of Raw Jersey Butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast
3 cups of flour

I melt the butter and warm the milk to about 110 degrees. I add the honey, salt and yeast to the warm liquid. I then mix in the three cups of flour. You may have to add a little more or a little less flour to make the dough pliable and not sticky.

Let the dough rise while you simmer the homemade sauce:

I make the sauce from tomatoes that I canned this summer.

I add salt, pepper, garlic, (home grown) onions, (home grown) bell peppers, and oregano to taste and simmer. The secret is to let it simmer as long as possible so that the flavors mix. After the sauce has simmered and cooked down, I thicken with tomatoe paste.

While the dough is rising and the sauce is simmering, I cook my farm raised, pastured, ground beef.

I then grate my homemade Mozzarella Cheese made from raw Jersey. milk.

I then roll out my dough, apply my homemade sauce, top with burger and mozzarella and bake.

Yummy!

Barn Kittens






Someone dropped the momma cat off at our barn. The kittens will help keep down the mouse population!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Health Benefits of Raw Milk

The Health Benefits of Raw Milk

There's little mention in the mainstream media these days, of traditional foods having healing properties. Sure, there's a ton of hype touting unfermented soy products, vegetable oils and supplements as modern saviors, but in reality, these items have risk-to-benefit ratios like many drugs do (1).

Few people are aware that clean, raw milk from grass-fed cows was actually used as a medicine in the early part of the last century (2)(3). That's right. Milk straight from the udder, a sort of "stem cell" of foods, was used as medicine to treat, and frequently cure some serious chronic diseases (4). From the time of Hippocrates to until just after World War II, this "white blood" nourished and healed uncounted millions.

Clean raw milk from pastured cows is a complete and properly balanced food. You could live on it exclusively if you had to. Indeed, published accounts exist of people who have done just that (5)(6). What's in it that makes it so great? Let's look at the ingredients to see what makes it such a powerful food (7).

Proteins


Our bodies use amino acids as building blocks for protein. Depending on who you ask, we need 20-22 of them for this task. Eight of them are considered essential, in that we have to get them from our food. The remaining 12-14 we can make from the first eight via complex metabolic pathways in our cells.

Raw cow's milk has all 8 essential amino acids in varying amounts, depending on stage of lactation (8). About 80% of the proteins in milk are caseins- reasonably heat stable and, for most, easy to digest. The remaining 20% or so are classed as whey proteins, many of which have important physiological effects (bioactivity) (9). Also easy to digest, but very heat-sensitive (10), these include key enzymes (11) (specialized proteins) and enzyme inhibitors, immunoglobulins (antibodies) (12), metal-binding proteins, vitamin binding proteins and several growth factors.

Current research is now focusing on fragments of protein (peptide segments) hidden in casein molecules that exhibit anti-microbial activity (13).

Lactoferrin (14), an iron-binding protein, has numerous beneficial properties including (as you might guess) improved absorption and assimilation of iron, anti-cancer properties and anti-microbial action against several species of bacteria responsible for dental cavities (15). Recent studies also reveal that it has powerful antiviral properties as well (16).

Two other players in raw milk's antibiotic protein/enzyme arsenal are lysozyme and lactoperoxidase (17). Lysozyme can actually break apart cell walls of certain undesirable bacteria, while lactoperoxidase teams up with other substances to help knock out unwanted microbes too.

The immunoglobulins, an extremely complex class of milk proteins also known as antibodies, provide resistance to many viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins and may help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms (18). Studies have shown significant loss of these important disease fighters when milk is heated to normal processing temperatures (19).

Carbohydrates


Lactose, or milk sugar, is the primary carbohydrate in cow's milk. Made from one molecule each of the simple sugars glucose and galactose, it's known as a disaccharide. People with lactose intolerance for one reason or another (age, genetics, etc.), no longer make the enzyme lactase and so can't digest milk sugar (20). This leads to some unsavory symptoms, which, needless to say, the victims find rather unpleasant at best. Raw milk, with its lactose-digesting Lactobacilli bacteria intact, may allow people who traditionally have avoided milk to give it another try.

The end-result of lactose digestion is a substance called lactic acid (responsible for the sour taste in fermented dairy products). Besides having known inhibitory effects on harmful species of bacteria (21), lactic acid boosts the absorption of calcium, phosphorus and iron, and has been shown to make milk proteins more digestible by knocking them out of solution as fine curd particles (22)(23).

Fats

Approximately two thirds of the fat in milk is saturated. Good or bad for you? Saturated fats play a number of key roles in our bodies: from construction of cell membranes and key hormones to providing energy storage and padding for delicate organs, to serving as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins (see below) (24).

All fats cause our stomach lining to secrete a hormone (cholecystokinin or CCK) which, aside from boosting production and secretion of digestive enzymes, let's us know we've eaten enough (25)(26). With that trigger removed, non-fat dairy products and other fat-free foods can potentially help contribute to over-eating.

Consider that, for thousands of years before the introduction of the hydrogenation process (pumping hydrogen gas through oils to make them solids) (27) and the use of canola oil (from genetically modified rapeseed) (28), corn, cottonseed, safflower and soy oils, dietary fats were somewhat more often saturated and frequently animal-based. (Prior to about 1850, animals in the U.S. were not so heavily fed corn or grain). Use of butter, lard, tallows, poultry fats, fish oils, tropical oils such as coconut and palm, and cold pressed olive oil were also higher than levels seen today. (29)(30)

Now consider that prior to 1900, very few people died from heart disease. The introduction of hydrogenated cottonseed oil in 1911 (as trans-fat laden Crisco) (31)(32) helped begin the move away from healthy animal fats, and toward the slow, downward trend in cardiovascular health from which millions continue to suffer today.

CLA, short for conjugated linoleic acid and abundant in milk from grass-fed cows, is a heavily studied, polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid with promising health benefits (33). It certainly does wonders for rodents, judging by the hundreds of journal articles I've come across! (34) There's serious money behind CLA, so it's a sure bet there's something to it.

Among CLA's many potential benefits: it raises metabolic rate, helps remove abdominal fat, boosts muscle growth, reduces resistance to insulin, strengthens the immune system and lowers food allergy reactions. As luck would have it, grass-fed raw milk has from 3-5 times the amount found in the milk from feed lot cows (35)(36)
See my Fat Primer for a better understanding of saturated fats and fatty acids and their impact on our health.



Vitamins

Volumes have been written about the two groups of vitamins, water and fat soluble, and their contribution to health. Whole raw milk has them all, and they're completely available for your body to use. (37) Whether regulating your metabolism or helping the biochemical reactions that free energy from the food you eat, they're all present and ready to go to work for you.

Just to repeat, nothing needs to be added to raw milk, especially that from grass-fed cows, to make it whole or better. No vitamins. No minerals. No enriching. It's a complete food.

Minerals

Our bodies, each with a biochemistry as unique as our fingerprints (38), are incredibly complex, so discussions of minerals, or any nutrients for that matter, must deal with ranges rather than specific amounts. Raw milk contains a broad selection of completely available minerals ranging from the familiar calcium and phosphorus on down to trace elements, the function of some, as yet, still rather unclear.

A sampling of the health benefits of calcium, an important element abundant in raw milk includes: reduction in cancers, particularly of the colon: (39) higher bone mineral density in people of every age, lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures in older adults; lowered risk of kidney stones; formation of strong teeth and reduction of dental cavities, to name a few. (40)(41)(42)

An interesting feature of minerals as nutrients is the delicate balance they require with other minerals to function properly. For instance, calcium needs a proper ratio of two other macronutrients, phosphorus and magnesium, to be properly utilized by our bodies. Guess what? Nature codes for the entire array of minerals in raw milk (from cows on properly maintained pasture) to be in proper balance to one another (43) thus optimizing their benefit to us.

Enzymes

The 60 plus (known) fully intact and functional enzymes in raw milk (44)(45) have an amazing array of tasks to perform, each one of them essential in facilitating one key reaction or another. Some of them are native to milk, and others come from beneficial bacteria growing in the milk. Just keeping track of them would require a post-doctoral degree!

To me, the most significant health benefit derived from food enzymes is the burden they take off our body. When we eat a food that contains enzymes devoted to its own digestion, it's that much less work for our pancreas. (46) Given the choice, I'll bet that busy organ would rather occupy itself with making metabolic enzymes and insulin, letting food digest itself.

The amylase (47), bacterially-produced lactase (48), lipases (49) and phosphatases (50) in raw milk, break down starch, lactose (milk sugar), fat (triglycerides) and phosphate compounds respectively, making milk more digestible and freeing up key minerals. Other enzymes, like catalase, (51) lysozyme (52) and lactoperoxidase (53) help to protect milk from unwanted bacterial infection, making it safer for us to drink.

Cholesterol

Milk contains about 3mg of cholesterol per gram (54) - a decent amount. Our bodies make most of what we need, that amount fluctuating by what we get from our food. (55) Eat more, make less. Either way, we need it. Why not let raw milk be one source?

Cholesterol is a protective/repair substance. A waxy plant steroid (often lumped in with the fats), our body uses it as a form of water-proofing, and as a building block for a number of key hormones.

It's natural, normal and essential to find it in our brain, liver, nerves, blood, bile, indeed, every cell membrane. (56) The best analogy I've heard regarding cholesterol's supposed causative effects on the clogging of our arteries is that blaming it is like blaming crime on the police because they're always at the scene.

Seriously consider educating yourself fully on this critical food issue. It could, quite literally, save your life. See my Cholesterol Primer to learn the truth.



Beneficial Bacteria
Through the process of fermentation, several strains of bacteria naturally present or added later (Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc and Pediococcus, to name a few) can transform milk into an even more digestible food. (57)

With high levels of lactic acid, numerous enzymes and increased vitamin content, 'soured' or fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir (made with bacteria and yeast, actually) provide a plethora of health benefits for the savvy people who eat them. (58) Being acid lovers, these helpful little critters make it safely through the stomach's acid environment to reach the intestines where they really begin to work their magic (59) (Above right, Lactobacillus casei).

Down there in the pitch black, some of them make enzymes that help break proteins apart- a real benefit for people with weakened digestion whether it be from age, pharmaceutical side-effects or illness. (60)

Other strains get to work on fats by making lipases that chop triglycerides into useable chunks. (61) Still others take on the milk sugar, lactose, and, using fancy sounding enzymes like beta-galactosidase, glycolase and lactic dehydrogenase (take notes, there'll be a quiz later!), make lactic acid out of it. (62)

As I mentioned way up yonder in the Carbohydrate section, having lactic acid working for you in your nether regions can be a good thing. Remember? It boosts absorption of calcium, iron and phosphorus, breaks up casein into smaller chunks and helps eliminate bad bugs. (I told you there'd be a quiz!)

Raw milk is a living food with remarkable self-protective properties, but here's the kick: most foods tend to go south as they age, raw milk just keeps getting better.

Not to keep harping on this, but what the heck: through helpful bacterial fermentation, you can expect an increase in enzymes, vitamins, mineral availability and overall digestibility. Not bad for old age!

A Word About Diet In General

Use common sense and stick with whole, unprocessed foods, free from genetic tweaking (there's still just too much conflicting information out there on that topic), and you'll likely be ahead of the game.

Cook your foods minimally, and you'll be even better off. Learn about sprouting and fermentation. Question everything before letting it past your lips.

Explore what worked for countless generations before ours, and put it to work for yourself today. You can achieve great health by diet alone. I've done it, and so can you!



References

(1) http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/darkside.html
(2) http://editor.nourishedmagazine.com.au/articles/vonderplanitz-and-campbell-douglasss-testimony-on-raw-milk
(3) http://www.realmilk.com/milkcure.html
(4) Crewe, J., 1929. Raw milk cures many diseases. Certified Milk Magazine, January:3-6.
(5) Fat and Blood, BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2007. Mitchell, S.W., (pp. 119-154) (Available on Google Book Search)
(6) The Miracle of Milk- How to Use the Milk Diet Scientifically at Home, Read Books, 2008. McFadden, B. (Available on Google Book Search)
(7) Mattick, E., Golding, J., 1936. Relative value of raw and heated milk in nutrition. Lancet 2:703-6.
(8) http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/32/7/671.pdf
(9) http://www.msstate.edu/org/fsfa/Vol1/2-Pihlanto.htm
(10) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120048318/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
(11) http://www.foodsci.uoguelph.ca/dairyedu/chem.html
(12) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119167856/abstract
(13) http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18414121
(14) http://pubs.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/rp/rppdf/o01-230.pdf
(15) http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=128229 (16) Ammendolla, M., Pietrantoni, A., et al, 2007. Bovine lactoferrin inhibits echovirus endocytic pathway by interactingwith viral structural peptides. Antiviral Res 73:151-160
(17) http://www.dairyscience.info/lp-system.htm
(18) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-399520/Untreated-milk-cuts-childrens-allergies.html
(19) http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=887004
(20) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/333/1/1
(21) http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/66/5/2001
(22) http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/70/1/1
(23) http://www.springerlink.com/content/u221412268137476/
(24) http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/129/11/2094
(25) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119043936/abstract
(26) Lieverse, R.J., et al, 2006. Role of cholecystokinin in the regulation of satiation and satiety in humans. Ann. New York Acad Sci 713:268-272
(27) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogenation
(28) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola
(29) http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/foodsupply/foodsupply1909-2000.pdf
(30) http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/81/2/341
(31) http://www.crisco.com/About_Crisco/History.aspx
(32) http://www.motherlindas.com/crisco.htm (33) http://www.cababstractsplus.org/abstracts/Abstract.aspx?AcNo=20043160746
(34) http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/CLARefs_T3.html
(35) Dhiman, T. R., et al, 1999. Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets. J Dairy Sci 82:2146-56.
(36) http://www.eatwild.com/references.html#fattyacids
(37) http://www.foodsci.uoguelph.ca/dairyedu/chem.html#vitamin
(38) Biochemical Individuality, Keats Publishing, 1998. Williams, R. J.
(39) http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD003548/frame.html
(40) Power, M.L., et al, 1999. The role of calcium in health and disease. Am J Obst & Gyn 181:1560-1569
(41) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/328/12/833
(42) Nishida, M., et al, 2000. Calcium and the risk for periodontal disease. J Periodontology 71(7):1057-1066
(43) Stevenson, M.A., et al, 2003. Nutrient balance in the diet of spring calving, pasture-fed dairy cows, N Z Vet J 51(2):81-88
(44) http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/56/5/531
(45) Blanc, B., 1982. Les protéines du lait à activité enzymatique et hormonale. Le Lait 62:350-395
(46 ) Enzyme Nutrition: the food enzyme concept, Avery, 1985. Howell, E. (pp. 4-7)
(47) Farkye, N.Y., 'Amylases' In: Advanced Dairy Chemistry Vol. 1: Proteins 3rd Ed., Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003. Fox, P.F., McSweeny, P., Eds. (pp. 580-581)
(48) http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/34/2/185.pdf
49) Olivecrona, T., et al, 'Lipases in Milk' In: Advanced Dairy Chemistry Vol. 1: Proteins 3rd Ed., (pp. 473-488)
(50) Shakel-Ur-Rehman, et al, "Indigenous Phosphatases in Milk' In: Advanced Dairy Chemistry Vol. 1: Proteins 3rd Ed., (pp.523-533)
(51) Farkye, 572-574
(52) Farkye, 581-583
(53) Pruitt, K., 'Lactoperoxidase' In: Advanced Dairy Chemistry Vol. 1: Proteins 3rd Ed., (pp. 563-568)
(54) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/77004022/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0.
(55) Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, 3rd Ed., Prentice Hall, Inc., 1995. Martini, F.H. (p. 948)
(56) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol
(57) http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/79/6/971
(58) Gilliland, S.E., 2006. Health and nutritional benefits from lactic acid bacteria. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 87:175-188
(59) Goldin, B.R., et al, 1992. Survival of Lactobacillus species (strain GG) in human gastrointestinal tract. Digestive Diseases and Sci 37:121-128
(60) http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/129/7/1492S
(61) Rogalska, E., et al, 2004. Stereoselective hydrolysis of triglycerides by animal and microbial lipases. Chirality 5:24-30
(62) de Vrese, M. et al, 2001. Probiotics- compensation for lactase insufficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 73:421S-429s

Four Years Ago Today...........

After the Sunday morning service when all of the worshipers left, just our immediate family gathered at the front of the church. Mike and I quietly, without music, walked hand in hand behind the pastor to the front of the church and stood in front of the communion table. The pastor spoke briefly of our Heavenly Father and of our love for each other. We exchanged vows and exchanged rings and kissed. I cried. I believe some of the family members did as well.

We then went to a little country restaurant where the owner had graciously agreed to feed us a "homestyle" meal and the "kids" all kept asking for jelly to go with their rolls.

The past four years have brought us a lot of pain with so many losses. They have also brought us tremendous amounts of joy. I feel so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man and to be part of such a wonderful family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!






Happy birthday to the most awesome husband, father, and farmer in the world! You have made my life complete. There is no doubt that you are God's gift to me through good times and bad.

I love you!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hi-Tech Farming

From what I hear there are farmers around the US and Canada and maybe even the world who are using today's technology to promote their business and keep in touch with other farmers. No longer does the farmer labor alone all day without contact with the outside world. Instead, he has his I-phone and can check public forums, make and check updates on Twitter and even update his Facebook page while on the go. The world is a different place than it was a hundred years ago and while sometimes we would like to be able to stop all the technological advances and go back to simpler time, the truth is technology is here to stay. Those folks who are able and willing to use the resources available have access to information that we only dreamed about when I was a kid.

So, I have gone and done it! I have joined the ranks of those who use Facebook to promote their business or organization. My plan is to introduce my followers on Facebook to all the animals that so many of you have met here on my blog. I then hope to use the Facebook page as an informative and interesting tool to help educate and encourage folks to support their local farmers as well as give the followers information on the various animals and farming practices that we employ. My goal is to make it interesting and family friendly. I am open to ideas and suggestions.

If you would like to follow us on Facebook you can do so by clicking on the Facebook Icon at the right of this blog page. Hope to see you there!

T. Cupp's Own Little Farmville

Promote Your Page Too

Spencer

Zoie Under The Blanket

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Think I will try the following recipe for supper tonight:

Chicken Soup
Recipe Ingredients:

6 – Boneless Chicken Breast
12 – Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 – Onion, Diced
3 – Carrots, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
3 – Celery Sticks, Finely Chopped
3 – Parsnips, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
1/2 – Cup Chopped Parsley
2 – 8 Ounces Egg Noodles
2 – Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste


Cookware and Utensils:

1 – Dutch Oven or Large Soup Pot
1 – Stirring spoon
1 – Soup bowl


Recipe Instructions:

As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and to use quality ingredients.

Start by preparing your vegetables. Dice your onions, finely chop your celery and parsley and thinly slice your carrots and parsnips.

Remove the skin from the chicken breast and place them in a Dutch oven. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Skim away any foam that appears. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook chicken thoroughly. Once chicken is done remove from broth and allow to cool before cutting. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

Skim the fat from the broth once the chicken is removed. Bring your broth back to a boil and add onions, carrots, celery, parsnips and bouillon cubes. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Once vegetables are tender, add egg noodles and cook until they are done. Finally, add your bite sized pieces of chicken and parsley and allow to simmer enough to heat the meat. Your finally step is to season your soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in warm soup bowls with cheese toast.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess!!!!






One year ago today my sweet, little Princess was born!

She is the sweetest thing and visitors comment that she is more like a dog than a cow. Even those people afraid of cows can't help but love Princess.

I feel very blessed to be her caretaker. We told her "Happy Birthday" as we tossed her an extra flake of hay and told her that was her birthday cake!

In these pictures (taken not quite two months ago) she is with a Butter ( a standard 50 inch cow), Mayfield (mid-mini in size at 44 inches) and Edy (a mini at 42 inches). You can see that she is a lot shorter than Edy. I have not measured her recently but last time I did so she was around 35-36 inches at the hip. She is a percentage miniature with her momma (Maya) being a standard that measures 47 inches at the hip.

I wanted to get a picture of her today on her birthday, but we are getting the remnants of Ida and the weather is not cooperating.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Homemade Tater Chips





First I take one of our homegrown Kennebec potatoes and slice it very, very thin. I then place the sliced potatoes in a bowl of very cold water and let them sit for at least 30 minutes (this helps them to brown nicely). Then, I heat the oil up to where it is as hot as it can be without smoking and place the thinly sliced potatoes in the hot oil. I let them cook until they start to turn a nice golden brown. I then drain and salt. Delicious!

Love That Raw Jersey Milk!!!

Upside Down Berry Cobbler







A friend of mine posted a link to a fabulous, slow cooker recipe for berry cobbler made by Paula Dean.

Since I did not want to use my slow cooker and did not have any prepared mix for the dough, I used an old standby recipe that I have and made my own version without the raspberries. I had orchard strawberries and blueberries in the freezer.

Upside Down Berry Cobbler

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

I throw all of this in my Kitchenaide mixer and blend it together. Pour mixture in the bottom of pyrex dish.

I mixed about three cups of berries with enough sugar to sweeten. Pour berries on top of sweet dough mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until crust is done on top.

I like to use real butter and real vanilla. I think it makes the difference between "good" and "great" in recipes. Tastes best with some fresh Jersey cream,milk or ice cream on top!

Yum!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jersey Weight and Height Chart

Below is as height/weight chart for Standard Jerseys, it's based more on the modern Isle & Danish Jersey and stated that American Jerseys may be larger than the chart.


Age (Months)---------Weight (Pounds)--------Height (Inches)
1......................................................93 - 108..............................22 - 29
2....................................................122 - 146..............................30 - 33
3....................................................155 - 177..............................32 - 34
4....................................................183 - 217..............................34 - 36
5....................................................233 - 278............................35 - 38
6....................................................259 - 321.............................36 - 38.5
7....................................................303 - 362............................38 - 40
8....................................................335 - 412.............................39 - 41
9....................................................373 - 436............................39.5 - 41.5
10...................................................391 - 483............................40 - 42
11....................................................428- 499.............................41 - 43
12...................................................471 - 548............................42 - 44
13...................................................500 - 571............................42.5 - 44.5
14...................................................535 - 602...........................44 - 45
15...................................................565 - 640...........................44.3 - 46
16...................................................583 - 661............................44.6 - 46.3
17...................................................609 - 696...........................45 - 46.6
18...................................................639 - 753...........................45.3 - 47
19...................................................651 - 769............................45.6 - 47.3
20..................................................698 - 813.............................46 - 47.6
21...................................................719 - 827............................46.5 - 48
22..................................................758 - 860............................47 - 49
23..................................................760 - 878............................47.5 - 49.3
24..................................................790 - 893............................48 - 49.6

Flow Chart for Raw Milk from Mother Earth News




Someone posted this flow chart on one of the forums I frequent. I thought it gave a pretty good idea of what someone does with "all that milk"!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ricki Carroll's Recipe for 30 Minute Mozzarella

I posted a recipe for Mozzarella some time ago and while it is a good recipe, I believe I like Ricki Caroll's recipe much better. The recipe is taken from her Home Cheesemaking book. You might want to check out the company founded by Ms. Carroll, The New England Cheese Making Supply Company.

1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon milk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water (un-chlorinated)
1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)

1. Add citric acid solution to 55 degree milk.
2. Heat milk to 90 degrees over medium/low heat. (The milk may start to curdle.)
3. Gently stir in diluted rennet with up and down motion while heating the milk to 100 to 105 degrees. Turn off heat. The curds should be pulling away from the sides of the pot and ready to scoop out (approximately 3-5 minutes).
4. The curds should look likethick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them. The whey will be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes.
5. Scoop or pour out curds and drain.
6. Put curds in microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Fold the cheese over and over with your hand or spoon. Add cheese.
7. Continue to microwave and knead and stretch until cheese becomes elastic and stretches like taffy. If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
8. When finished, place in a bowl of ice water for 1/2 hour to bring the inside temp down rapidly. This will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese.

Attention: If you don't want to use a microwave, you can heat the whey to at least 175 degrees. Form the curds into a ball and dip in the whey for several seconds until you are able to knead and stretch. Continue to dip curds in the hot whey until the consistency of the cheese is smooth and will stretch like taffy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Loss


The losses have come in waves this past year and today has been another one of those losses. How strange that I would lose two of my beloved dogs to birthing difficulties in a matter of only four months. I am very much feeling like Job but also know that the God who was there for Job is also there for me. Today, I lost Sadie, my female Corgi. She gave birth to one dead pup and then in a few moments began pushing again, looked at me, laid her head back and took her last breath. We were unable to save any of the unborn pups. It sure is hard to understand sometimes.

I only have two dogs that are not fixed and I plan on having them both fixed ASAP. I am not going to breed any more dogs ever!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We Are Featured the Keeping A Family Cow Caldendar for October 2010



This calendar is comprised of photos of backyard milk cows from all over the world. Our Jersey/Dutch Belted cross cow Cookie and her red, belted bull calf as well as one of our miniature Jersey calves is featured for October 2010.



To Order Calendars click here.

Women of the Harvest




My baby sister is visiting and brought me the book Women of the Harvest. Elizabeth worked with one of the authors, Holly L. Bollinger for a while when she was going to college at the University of Missouri.

Online Review:

Up with the rooster, to bed with the sun, and if the farmer’s a woman, it’s a good bet there’s always more work waiting. Holding household and family together, women farmers daily, quietly perform heroic labors just to eke a livelihood out of the land. Women have always farmed, when death or war left them to fend for themselves, but today they might choose to farm, and, in a time when farming is a shrinking occupation, their choices have expanded.

Some women are only at home on the range; others, more hearth-bound, see the farm as an extension of home and family life. Some farm to feed their families; others, running huge corporate operations, farm to feed nations. These are the farmers that Women of the Harvest celebrates. In twelve illustrated profiles, the book introduces readers to women who work the land, raising livestock and crops, and, in doing so, uphold and transform a tradition as old as agriculture itself. Their stories, drawn from farms across the country, are truly in the American grain.

A Letter From Ben~Graduation

Ben is a Miniature Dachshund Puppy here on the farm who now lives on Capitol Hill. We love it when he writes us letters. He has developed quite a fan club over the past few months. Here is his most recent letter:

This has been quite a week. I graduated from Puppy Head Start on Monday after Sandy, the trainer, checked to see if I had learned all my vocabulary. I have to admit I was a bit of a showoff, sitting at every corner (well, almost every corner) and getting down flat on the ground, stuff like that. You know me by now: anything for a treat.

I thought I’d get to graduate wearing one of those Mortar Board things with the tassle Nope, nosiree, not a big enough deal. And I was s-o-o-o-o looking forward to chewing on the tassle. Larry made up for it a bit; he bought me lots of chew toys. Next up: obedience classes starting on January 11. In the middle of winter! I think Larry and Sandy are crazy.

I’m still not too keen on riding in the car, and I hate being confined to the car seat. The seat puts me up high enough to see out easily. I do like that, and it’s a pretty plush place to nod off when I get bored. Anyway, I’d rather be in Larry’s lap.

We’ve had contractors here renovating the bathroom. I really, really like them. Not only do they make a fuss over me, they have lots of cool stuff to steal. Let’s see, so far I’ve snagged two pairs of gloves, a huge sponge (three times), a keyhole saw, a pair of safety glasses, and some electrical stuff. Quite a haul, doncha think? I’d like to be a contractor when I grow up just so I can play with cool tools all the time.

Last night I watched part of a basketball game on TV. Larry tells me the President was doing the same thing, only different teams. I think I’ll be a Wizards fan. I’m beginning to get into ball playing myself. I don’t like to just chase it. It’s just as much fun to bat it around with my nose and my paws. Sometimes I play keep-away from Larry. Two-for-one: have fun and annoy him. Perfect!

Now that it’s getting colder I found some cool places to hang out. The radiator in the kitchen is perfect. It’s really warm, and I can lay there and see almost everything. Well, I think that’s enough for now. Be well and stay warm.

Ben

I Drink Raw Milk

I drink raw milk, sold illegally on the underground black market. I grew up on raw milk from our own Guernsey cows that our family hand-milked twice a day. We made yogurt, ice cream, butter, and cottage cheese. All through high school in the early 1970s, I sold our homemade yogurt, butter, buttermilk, and cottage cheese at the Curb Market on Saturday mornings. This was a precursor to today’s farmer’s markets.

In those days, the Virginia Department of Agriculture had a memorandum of agreement with the Curb Market that as long as vendors belonged to an Agricultural Extension organization such as Extension Homemaker’s Clubs or 4-H, producers could bring value-added products to market without inspection and visits from the food police. The government agents assumed that anyone participating in the extension programs would be getting the latest, greatest food science and therefore conform to the most modern procedural protocols, which created its own protection.

As the Virginia Slims commercial says, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” These conciliatory overtures to maintain healthy and vibrant local food economies exist no more. Today I can’t sell any of those things at a farmer’s market, and even if I take eggs some bureaucrat will come along with a pocket thermometer and, without warrant or warning, reach over and poke it through my display eggs to see if they are at the proper temperature. If they aren’t, no amount of pleading that those are for display only can dissuade the petulant public servant from demanding that I dump those display eggs in a trash can on the spot. I don’t sell at farmer’s markets anymore.

In 1975, when I graduated from high school and began plotting my farming career, I figured out that I could hand-milk ten cows, sell the milk to neighbors at regular retail prices, and be a full-time farmer. This was before most people had ever heard the word organic. But selling milk was illegal. In those days, we didn’t know about herd shares or Community Supported Agriculture or even limited liability corporations.

As a result, I went to work for a local newspaper and became the proverbial part-time farmer-working in town to support the farming passion. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the fact that the government arbitrarily determined to make it very difficult for me to become a farmer. That seems un-American, doesn’t it?

Isn’t it curious that at this juncture in our culture’s evolution, we collectively believe Twinkies, Lucky Charms, and Coca-Cola are safe foods, but compost-grown tomatoes and raw milk are not. With legislation moving through Congress demanding that all agricultural practices be “science-based,” I believe our food system is at Wounded Knee. I do not believe that is an overstatement.

Make no mistake, as the local, heritage, humane, ecological, sustainable—call it what you will (anything but organic since the government now owns that word)—food system takes flight, the industrial food system is fighting back. With a vengeance. By demonizing, criminalizing, and marginalizing the integrity food movement, the entrenched powers that be hope to derail this revolution.

This industrial food experiment, historically speaking, is completely abnormal. It’s not normal to eat things you can’t spell or pronounce. It’s not normal to eat things you can’t make in your kitchen. Indeed, if everything in today’s science-based supermarket that was unavailable before 1900 were removed, hardly anything would be left. And as more people realize that this grand experiment in ingesting material totally foreign to our three-trillion-member internal community of intestinal microflora and -fauna is really biologically aberrant behavior, they are opting out of industrial fare. Indeed, to call it a food revolution is accurate.

But revolutions are always met with prejudice and entrenched paradigms from the about-to-be-unseated lords of the status quo. The realignment of power, trust, money, and commerce that the local heritage-based food movement represents inherently gives birth to a backlash. By the time of Wounded Knee, Native Americans no longer jeopardized the American reality.

But to many Americans, these Natives had to be crushed, extinguished, put on reservations. Would America have been stronger if European leaders had listened to wisdom about herbal remedies and consensus building? The answer is yes. But to Americans, the red man was just a barbarian because he didn’t govern by parliamentary procedure or ride in horse-drawn stagecoaches along cobblestone streets. In fact, he was considered a threat to America. Just like giving slaves their freedom in 1850. Just like imbibing alcohol in 1925. Just like homeschooling in 1980.

The ultimate test of a tyrannical society or a free society is how it responds to its lunatic fringe. A strong, self-confident, free society tolerates and enjoys the fringe people who come up with zany notions. Indeed, most people later labeled geniuses were dubbed whacko by their contemporary mainstream society. So what does a culture do with weirdos who actually believe they have a right to choose what to feed their internal three-trillion-member community?

The only reason the right to food choice was not guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is because the Founders of America could not have envisioned a day when selling a glass of raw milk or homemade pickles to a neighbor would be outlawed. At the time, such a thought was as strange as levitation.

Indeed, what good is the freedom to own guns, worship, or assemble if we don’t have the freedom to eat the proper fuel to energize us to shoot, pray, and preach? Is not freedom to choose our food at least as fundamental a right as the freedom to worship?

How would we feel if we had to get a license from bureaucrats to start a church? After all, beliefs can be pretty damaging things. And charlatans certainly do exist. Better protect people from those charlatans—bad preachers and raw milk advocates.

But what does a society do when the charlatans are in charge? In charge of the regulating government agencies. In charge of the research institutions. In charge of the food system.

That is a real conundrum, because if health depends on opting out of what the charlatans think is safe, we are forced into civil disobedience. When the public no longer trusts its public servants, people begin taking charge of their own health and welfare. And that is exactly what is driving the local heritage food movement.

Lots of folks realize they don’t want industrialists fooling around with something as basic as food. People like me don’t trust Monsanto. We don’t trust the Food and Drug Administration. We don’t trust the Department of Agriculture. We don’t trust Tyson. And we don’t think it’s safe to be dependent on food that sits for a month in the belly of a Chinese merchant marine vessel.

This clash of choice versus prohibition brings us to today’s Wounded Knee of food. The local heritage-based food movement represents everything that is good and noble about farming and food culture. It is about decentralized farms. Pastoral livestock systems. Symbiotic multi-speciation. Companion planting. Earthworms. It is about community-appropriate techniques and scale. Aesthetically and aromatically sensual romantic farming. Re-embedding the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker in the village. And ultimately about health-giving food grown more productively on less land than industrial models.

Certainly some of this clash represents the difference between nurturing and dominating. The local heritage food movement—the raw milk movement—is all about respecting and honoring indigenous wisdom. The industrial mind-set worships techno-glitzy gadgetry and views heritage food advocates as simpletons and Luddites. Or dangerous criminals.

In this wonderful exposé The Raw Milk Revolution, David Gumpert employs the best journalistic investigative techniques to examine this clash from the raw milk battlefront. Be assured that the same mentality exists toward homemade pickles, home-cured meats, and cottage industry in general. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the food system, but it is harassed out of existence by capricious, malicious, and prejudiced government agents who really do believe they are doing society a favor by denying food choice to Americans.

The same curative properties espoused by raw milk advocates exist in a host of other food products, from homemade pound cake and potpies to pepperoni and pastured chicken. Real food is what developed our internal intestinal community. And it sure didn’t develop on food from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and genetically modified potatoes that are partly human and partly tomato. Long after human cleverness has run its course, compost piles will still grow the best tomatoes and grazing cows will still yield one of nature’s perfect foods: raw milk.

One of our former apprentices has just started a ten-cow herd-share arrangement with our customers. Here is a young, entrepreneurial, go-get-‘em farmer embarking on his dream, serving people who are enjoying their dream of acquiring unadulterated milk. Can any arrangement, any relationship-between farmer and cow, cow and pasture, customer and producer be more honorable, respectable, open, and trusting? Everything about this is righteous, including respecting the individual enough to let her decide what to eat and what to feed her children.

Let the revolution continue.

From Joel Salatin’s foreword to The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights by David Gumpert

Ben Taking a Ride