Friday, September 27, 2013

The End Of The Week

An an effort to post more often I'm going to just randomly post and hope that some where along the line inspiration will hit. :D

So what has happened this past week? Well, I've been removed from the cheese room (yes, I know.  pull your jaws off the ground you'll catch flies that way!) So, where does that leave me? Well as soon as I can get out of vacation mood--Which will be hard since I leave in 10 days again. I am now the one cooking the meals, keeping the kitchen clean, washing and drying the laundry, help teaching the kids.

Cooking I love to do (which is one reason I love the cheese room).  So, that's going to be a piece of cake, esp since I've got wonderful market food to cook with and creating new dishes and learning how to cook new food items & old items new ways has been a favorite pastime of mine since I was 12.  Now, the cleaning is a whole 'nother problem to deal with.  I guess that's one thing I can use my spare time with....Cleaning the kitchen, instead of having my younger siblings do it all the time for me. lol

Laundry not every one's favorite thing to do, but hey someone has to do it right?  As long as I don't have to put it away (I am forever mixing up the girls clothing much to their frustration.) I'm good.  I can wash, dry, and fold laundry all day long without a problem.  And with the extensive clothes line that we have I don't have to wait for the dryer to finish before I start the next load of laundry.  I can  wash and hang 7 loads of laundry without having to worry about waiting to start the next load of laundry. :D

Lastly--Teaching the children.  I LOVE teaching I've been teaching (either all the time or as I can squeeze it in around cheese making) for the past 8 years.  It's something I love doing more then cheese making.  So, way younger brothers & sisters you better watch out, school starts tomorrow!  (O.K. I'll wait until Monday.)

So, all that being said where does it really leave me?  Well, extra time on my hands.  Here I sit on a Friday night instead of packing or worrying how long it's going to take to pack I'm typing out this post about to head to bed as soon as I show Emma our new toy (a heating gun for shrink wrapping soaps.).  Also it gives me more time to run errands for the family without stressing over when I'm going to run errands and make cheese.  Add more soap making, maybe a more in person and online social life, more time for me & most defiantly a less stress full life for me now and in the long run.

So, that being said.  Night one and all, see those of your that I do at market tomorrow morning.  Those that I don't see have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Support Your Farmer's Dreams & Education!

Grace's Story: 
Grace's experience in the family dairy has developed into a passion for the animal side of the business.  While she considered a goal of becoming a veterinarian, she was unwilling to take the time away from the family business.  She insatiably adds to her knowledge base everywhere that she can, from text books to workshops, all to further her goal of maintaining an animal-based business.  As her love of animals has grown over the years, she has become the family's go-to person for animal health--and her willingness to share her experience with others has caused her to be called upon by other goat people in the area.

Katie's Story: 
From the first time Katie stepped into a show ring she was been hooked. Whether showing her own animals or helping run the show, there was no where that she wouild rather be--with the exception of the cheese room!  As the dairy grew and began to take precedence, and the Swede Farm goats became less beauty queens and more working girls, Katie turned to the other side of the show ring to "get her fix".  After years of daydreaming, Katie has decided that ther time is right and this is the year that she will pursue her dream of becoming a judge with the American Dairy Goat Association.

Where Does This Land Us? 
The logical way for both girls to further their dreams is for them to travel to this year's  American Dairy Goat Association Convention.  At the convention Grace will be able to  take animal health workshops on subjects such as "Management Practices to Prevent Pregnancy Toxemia" while Katie takes the qualifying test for a judges' license.   Always interested in seeing where Swede Farm may improve, they are also planning to use the time on the road to visit other artrisanal goat dairies across the country.  Evreryone else at home is looking forward to stepping in to cover for Grace and Katie to allow them to make a trip that will further their dreams--it is the least that they can do after these two girls kept the farm running while others in the family went to Cannes for the film festival!

How Can You Help?
Being a dairy farmer has it's perks and is helping Grace and Katie reach their goals, but being a farmer is not always easy and money doesn't grow on trees.  Hard work has allowed them to save towards their trip, but it is not enough.  Your contributions can help the next generation of American farmers further their dreams of independence.  These young women have sarificed to grow a family business.  They work hard every day to bring a product to market.  They have seen lives changed through the goat milk that sustains life for many and enjoyment brought to those who value the quality of their cheese.   If they were headed to college in pursuit of dreams of degrees in education, marketing or business administration there would be scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, but when your dream is a busines in dairy goats your financial aid options are far more limited.  Your donations will help towards fees, transportation, lodging and food--but as business women, they understand the value of a dollar and want to show their appreciation by thanking supporters with the fruits of their own labor.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yes, I am Still Alive!

Yes, I know I've been lacking in the post department.  It's been bothering me, but other things in my life have taken over and it's left me with little to no computer social life.  :D  (Even to the point where people have commented that I don't post on FaceBook as much any more.) 

Give me a break!  If I had a choice between computer social life or live in person social life, I went with the live options (Sorry, to all of you out there who I can't have a live option & have to put up with the E-Social life.) But, hey if you had to chose which would you chose?

What's been keeping me so busy?  Well, if you read my mom's blog, then you might have been able to catch on to some of it.  But mainly it's just been life....Cheese making, markets, baseball, family interaction, etc. 

But, good news for you. Mom's moving me out of the dairy so that yet some more of my siblings can learn that side of the dairy. Which means less stress (please, don't ask my family about me in the cheese room!) more time in the house, & more computer social life. 

So, to round up the past 10 months....I've been making dairy products, selling dairy products, taking siblings to baseball practice & games, going to church, & running errands. 

What has happened in my life in the past ten months?  Well, I was contacted by the Ag office in Weslaco, TX asking if I would be interested in giving a cheese class & talk on marketing goat products.  So in the second week of July mom & I made the drive down there (7 hours) spent three days with just mom & I, helping other goat people. 

Last week Christin & I spent 2 days driving to Greensboro, NC where I spent three days at a goat conference & Christin spent three days sleeping in, sightseeing, sewing, & swimming. We then spent 2 & 1/2 days driving back & sight seeing.
The movie that was filmed at our place last year is making the rounds of world film festivals. The most noticeable one in our family was when it made it's world premiere at the Cannes film festival.  Mom, Dad, Christin, Sara, & Linnea went over to walk the red carpet, talk about it & of course sight see for 15 days.  Thus leaving Grace & I to watch Emma on down (for those trying to count that was 7 children 15 & younger).  Thankfully we had help watching children, going to little league, & markets.  But let me tell you it wasn't easy!

All the kids have turned one year older (except for Noah, his birthday is next month), Noah made it to the All-Stars again, No one has been added to the family, I was promoted to captain on the Sheep & Goat committee at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Goats have come & gone, ducks have been added to the farm. the house pig has finally started living outside, And I am still ALIVE!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HI and How Are you?

Again a quick post to say hi how you?

How was your Christmas?  Mine was great, laid back and enjoyable.  I decided on Sunday (little Christmas Eve) that I wasn't going to do any work on Christmas Eve & Christmas day. I was able to pull off no work on Christmas Day.  I had to do a little work on Christmas Eve, not a lot so not complaints.  :D

What's even better was I did not have to work any harder or do extra long days the days after Christmas and before Saturday's markets. Markets were slower then any other Saturday, but for a holiday weekend it was good.

Now, this New year's day I'm making cheese (pasteurizing and culturing it to let it sit.), relaxing, watching football, playing games, and enjoying my family and friends.

So, how was your Christmas and the week following to today?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Did You Know?

This is just a quick post to let you know....You can cause more harm to yourself stepping on soap, then if you were to step on a banana peel.

Yes, I learned this from personal experience.  (Plus the Mythybusters proved that it is VERY hard to slip on a banana peel.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 31st

Did you know
On This Date...
1861 – Union General Winfield Scott resigns as Commander of the United States Army.
1864 – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state. 
1917 – Battle of Beersheba. 
1940 – The Battle of Britain ends. 
1941 – The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland.  

These men were born   
1795 – John Keats
1835 – Adelbert Ames

And these men died 
1879 – Joseph Hooker
1926 – Harry Houdini  

October 31st is also commonly known as Halloween.  I'm sure there are many people out there who don't know why we call it Halloween or why 'celebrate' the day.

Due to my parents teaching I've looked up the reasons in the past, but then there are some bits of information that stays with you while there are others that won't stay with us.  In this case for me some stayed & some left.  But then I did some research for this post and surprise, surprise our pastor talked about it during this morning's service.  

For me I remembered that the day was on All Hallows' Eve and that it was the time when people believed that the spirits of the dead could returned to earth, while on earth these spirits would cast spells on people and cause general mayhem and trouble.

This belief of spirits returning to earth is where the tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween comes from.  People in "olden days" would wear them in the hopes that spirits would not know who that person was, thus leaving them alone without casting spells on that person.

The carving of pumpkins also comes from that belief, the hope with the carving of the pumpkins would be to keep the spirits from entering one's home again to keep the mayhem and bedlam down in that persons house.  

There are many other traditions and beliefs to go with this All Hallows' Eve.  But this day is also known to those in the reformed church commonly as Reformation Day.


Of course every one's first answer would be: "Because Martin Luther pinned  his 95 theses on the door of the Gutenberg church."

But, my question is...Do you know the importance of that act?  Do you know what Luther had to deal with pre & post pinning of the 95 thesis?  Do you know what his family, friends, and colleagues had to deal with?  Do you know how this affects YOU and your believes? and lastly do you know how it affected the world around Luther and us today?

All from what some people would think was a simple act of pinning some paper to the door of a church.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Do I Think I've Changed?

"How do you think you've changed most since switching to farm life?"

This was asked of me on a previous post.  As sit here I'm trying to figure it out.  It's not an easy question to answer.

Before I start anything I want to remind you that when we moved out to the farm I was 16, now I'm at the ripe old age of 24.  So, it's hard for me to say "I've changed here, here, and here because we are now living a farm life.".  I have a hard time saying that some of these changes come from being in the country vs. these changes coming from my being eight years older.

Its really not easy for me to see how I've changed, I'm sure that my parents, older sisters, And some close friends could point out the places that I've changed, but I'm having a hard time to pinpoint where I have changed.  The biggest way that comes to mind is how I look at food and the processes it takes to get to my plate.

When I was 16 I never thought about how my food got from a living in a cage or on a farm to my plate.  I was just happy to have it on my plate or to be able to cook a meal with it.  Now, I pay attention to where my food comes from, how was it raised, what did it eat, etc.  These things come into mind when I shop for food & how I cook the items I am given to cook with. 

Not only do I look at my food different but I've been able to raise or make a lot of foods that I never thought I'd be able to make. I can plant, grow, and harvest a garden.  Now I did do this a little bit when we lived in Houston.  But never as big as the one I did out here.  Also I've learned to not just go to the store and buy what ever veggie plants they have on hand. I plan the garden with what I know we will eat, what will grow in my part of Texas and what I can handle growing.  (Small note, that while I can do the garden I don't any more, that pleasure is all given to Linnea now that I'm busy making cheese.)

I can raise a chick from chick hood to an age where it is either able to be butchered or starts laying.  I can then either butcher out the chicken or continue to feed to the chicken and get eggs from said chicken.  Now, I will tell you that I am not keen on chickens and I tip my hat to those people that raise them so I can have eggs and chicken.  Now, while I was one to help with the first (and second) batch of chickens here on Swede Farm I am not the a chicken farmer and leave that honor to Emma.

Lastly (for now at least) I can deliver goats.  Oh, sure my mom was a midwife I had seen a number of my sisters born before I moved out to the farm and I had considered being my mom's assistant, but I never though I would deliver goats!!  Now I have and when I look at our animals I can normally say "I remember when you were born" or "Don't you EVER give me a kidding like you did this last year around!"  But then my favorite is "You can repeat this year's kidding if you want!".  lol

Then I can take these babies that I helped deliver and help raise them to an age where we milk them twice a day everyday & then turn around and make that milk into a product I can sell.  Either a pasteurized milk that can be sold at market or yogurt, cheese, flavored milk, cajeta, etc.  And enjoy ever minute of it.

Lastly (not food related) I help to keep my family clean by making soap with our goat's milk.  Not only something I enjoy, but something that brings me a little money and that I can do while still staying home and helping the family.  :-D