First time Gwen and Butters on Pasture

Definitely a milestone getting Gwen and her daughter Butters out on the pasture for the first time.

The pasture most likely has never had a cow in it for the last hundred years possibly…it was seeded this spring but not enough of the seed took. Quite a few raspberries growing in it, Gwen is not eating them.

They need fresh air and sunshine and it’s nice to see them on the grass having fun.

Butters loves her new freedom and is running all over the place, going to be interesting trying to get them in at night with little Miss Butters running amok.

Butters on a tear

Making Cheese

One thing about having a milking cow is you need a method to store the milk when you have an over abundance.

This is why our ancestors created cheese

Raw milk cheese is some of the most delicious variety, it has many “flavor notes’ and is a composite of deliciousness.

Here’s or first farmhouse cheddar so we’re hoping it’s going to be a good one, this one took about 2 gallons of milk and should be ready to eat in about 4 to 6 weeks.

Extract water from curd
Cheese press
Drying ..takes 4 days
Protective netting

Milk flows once more

It’s been many years since we’ve milked a cow, the days of raw milk cheeses, butter, yogurt, raw milk, sour cream..etc are back.

We were steered to China Maine by Maine Organic Farmers Association and purchased a beautiful cow named Gwen from Two Loons Farm.

Gwen had her calf about five days ago and we named her “Butters”. Gwen and calf are doing great and hanging out together.

Milking Gwen was difficult the first time because she was not used to our arrangement and we needed to come up with a solution that was safe for both Gwen and us.

Searching for an economically sound milking stand we decided to try something we found online, we ended up making modifications to make the stand stronger and more worker friendly, we’ll have to make more mods on it as we go along but this fits our needs right now, costed about $150 in lumber and approximately $ 135 in hardware.

Here’s Gwen getting milked.

Pizza Night 2020

First time using “00” flour, prepared the dough and let it sit overnight. This is also called Italian flour” since it’s super finely ground.

I used this recipe:

https://www.ditalia.com/blogs/the-secret-sauce/caputo-00-flour-pizza-dough-recipe

PREP TIME
2 HRS PLUS 24 HRS FOR RESTING

 

COOK TIME
20-25 MIN

SERVES

MAKES TWO 10″ – 12″  IN DIAMETER PIZZAS

INGREDIENTS

250 grams King Arthur “Italian Style Flour’  (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup cool water

1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1 tsp Fine Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar

It was very easy to work with and you could literally roll it twice and then pick it up and spin it ,,done.

Next time I will use more dough for each pizza to make it thicker.

Used corn meal under the pizza so it would slide off nicely off the paddle into 500 degree oven with pizza stone.

This my first attempt at hand rolled bagels…they were delicious need work on the rolling and shaping technique.

Used this recipe :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrJtpCTZk38&feature=share

New Beef is in for 2020

There’s nothing like a good steak on a cold winters night to bring your mood up.

This is our ribeye done beautifully by a local butcher.

The Filet Magnon was outstanding, can’t wait to dig into this delicious grass fed steak, nothing but grass and a little grain, beautiful marbling.

Truth is you can’t get this kind of meat anywhere, we took great care of these animals and the end product speaks for itself. Knowing what is in your food is key these days.



New Year ….New Location…New Farm

We moved the last of the livestock up to Caribou so now the old farm in Madison is on the market. Moving an entire farm is no small task, especially when the trip is 4 hours one way.

We had to take the animal trailer to be welded before attempting to take the cows from Madison to the butcher. The old trailer was swaying back and forth down the highway, every time the cows would move the trailer felt like it would take me off the road….took 6 hours..2 hours longer than usual.

We starting all over again in a new place, everything must be done again from scratch, there’s an old barn where we will be using for lambing this year.

Caribou Maine is a magical place the other night I watched the northern lights dancing in the midnight sky, it looked like when sunlight is refracted through water. The beautifulness of the land here has captured our hearts as well and we’ve started planning the layout of the new farm.

Blessed Thistle Farmstead is the name due to the fact that we immediately felt blessed that we were able come across such a gem of a place. Thistle because of the many beautiful blue Thistles that grow wild here.

The land is rolling and we’ve got many acres of pasture here that can be used for growing crops, grain, flowers, herbs, and perfect for grazing animals. The land has been not been fertilized or utilized for 30 + years so we must bring back the vitality and create an environment for us to flourish.