Farm Updates, Herd Share Pickups, Farmer’s Market Info: 10-22-2020

Hello beautiful peeps,

I’m back from Oklahoma. It was a beautiful wedding. I got to see family that I hadn’t seen in years. Fall weddings are the best. This week’s podcast is on that topic.

At the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday we will have ground beef $7 per package (approx 1 lb). We also have ground goat $12 per package (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb $10 per package (approx 1 lb). There is still a little bit of Lamb Kabob/Stew $12 per package (approx 1 lb). Quail packages are available 1 lb – $20.00, and pickled peppers $5.00. 

If you are a Herd Share member, let me know if you want to add anything to your regular product pickup. To get to that section, you can jump down the page here

Quail

The quail are doing great. In another week we are going to pick out the best hens to keep over the winter. We currently have 15 laying hens but are only getting 6 eggs a day. They need more light. Scott will be setting that up in the next little bit of time. Both the current group of laying hens as well as the new ones we decide to keep will have extra daylight.   

Cows 

I’m ready to wean the calves. We will need to have them weaned before we can include them in the herd of milking girls. We will also have to make sure that the milking girls are completely dried up before we put the calves in there. We tried to put Luna in with them earlier in the season. She immediately began nursing her mother, Cloud. Luna had been separated from Cloud for months and months. It didn’t matter. Once she found there was milk available, she was on it. After a few weeks of not being milk, there will be no milk available, no matter how much they want it. Once they are trained that it is not available, they will not even try once the big girls come into milk again. At least we hope that is what happens. Fingers crossed. 

Creamery

Scott is still filling in those open spaces in the walls. He underestimated the time it would take. It’s not that his calculations were off by so much. It’s that he is making it beautiful. He is giving it a rough finish that is amazing! Once it is painted, the walls are going to look awesome! 

Garden 

The last really big task of cleaning up all the old plants and the weeds growing in the paths is still ahead of us. We have not had that first frost yet so the peppers, lima beans, parsley and basil are still going strong. We know its coming. We just don’t know when. Leaving the potatoes as long as possible is important. Maybe we will actually have a second harvest. We shall see.

That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

Farmer’s Market

I will be at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 am to noon. 

We have all of our meats back in stock for you!! 

We have ground lamb and kabob/stew lamb as well as rib chops and loin chops.

We have ground beef and ground goat. 

Herd Shares

Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location. Let me know if you want something added on to your regular choice. Fresh milk and yogurt is available through the end of this month. Yogurt will still be available through the end of November. And as always, cheese and butter. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

I still have new herd shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares and get on our waiting list. 


 News This Week 


 Products Available to Herd Share Owners  

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Raw Milk 1/2 gallon 1 gallon
Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Clau d’ville Cheddar 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public  

Beef Price / Pound
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Lamb Price / Pound
Lamb Loin Chops $18
Lamb Rib Chops $18
Lamb Kabobs $12
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12

Let’s Get Together

As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. Special procedures are in place for your health and safety. Masks are recommended but not required as far as I know. 

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

In this week’s podcast, “Fall Weddings,” is a recap of my wonderful visit to Oklahoma and my grandson’s wedding. I love fall weddings. It’s a beautiful time of year and weddings are always an affirmation of continuation of life.  


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Fall Weddings

Fall weddings are really beautiful. June weddings are quite popular, but I prefer fall weddings. I just prefer the fall. The colors are awesome. Earth tones everywhere. Yellow, orange, brown, rusty red. Some of my favorite colors. Today I’m going to talk about what makes weddings special no matter the season.

But first, I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast for every episode. I say it every time and I mean it every time. I appreciate you all so much.

Our Virginia Homestead Life Updates

What’s going on at the homestead right now? Well, it turns out a lot.

Creamery

Today, I’m starting with the creamery. It’s so exciting to see it evolving day by day. Scott has worked so hard on this project and continues to work hard every day to get it done. Even when I’m sick or traveling or whatever and he has to step in and take on my work load, he is right there picking up my slack and getting his tasks done as well. He is so amazing.

What he thought would be a rather quick task of a day or two is turning out to be days and days and days. That’s because he is doing such a magnificent job of it. I’m talking about filling in those spaces between the blocks that has been on his radar for weeks. It needs to be completed before the weather gets too cold and the mortar wouldn’t set up as well.

He has been at it for quite a few days and it looks wonderful. Not only is he filling in the spaces between the blocks, he is also giving it a wonderful rough finish. It’s going to be truly stunning once completed and painted. He always goes that extra mile to make his work durable and beautiful.

Cows

The cows and bulls got shuffled around. Only two bulls with a few sheep are in one animal group. The larger group of our milking girls, the main flock of sheep and all of the goats are getting ready for the rotation through the back fields.

Stock Rotation

We rotate our stock for several reasons. The biggest reason I think is for parasite control. They never eat the grass down so low they are re-ingesting parasites they just eliminated. Fresh, tall grass makes that impossible. Another huge reason for rotating stock is managing the grass. Just like any other animal, they eat all the really tasty stuff first and leave the undesirable stuff behind. Well, if you let that continue, all of the really tasty stuff eventually gets eliminated and only the less nutritious and less desirable grass is left.

Keeping them confined in a small area until they must eat the second and third desirable grass maintains a variety of grasses in the pasture. No one grass is left to take over. All are grazed and that maintains a balance. It is a delicate dance to get them to eat everything without eating it too far to the ground.

Standing Hay

The fields in the back have been left to grow without being grazed for many months now. We have been working towards a goal of having enough grass for the livestock to graze throughout the winter without feeding hay. I’m thinking we are not quite there yet, but we get closer every year. The longer we can go without having to put out hay, the better. Leaving these fields to grow throughout most of the summer without being grazed makes a kind of hay in the field that we don’t have to buy.

Sheep

It’s getting closer and closer to the time when the sheep will begin their breeding cycle. This task is so much easier to handle that getting the cows bred. We simply put the breeding ram in with the girls – the ones we pick out for breeding – and that’s all there is to it. We do not have to keep such a close check on exactly when the lambs are born. They can be born over two or even three months if necessary and our plans will still come out all right. Not like the cows when we need the calves to be born within a specific window because of our milking schedule.

The lambs grow out over a year or even a little longer. We process them as needed for ourselves and for our customers.

Garden

There isn’t much to say about the garden. We still have a lot of clean up to complete and I still have some peppers growing out there. The first frost hasn’t happened yet. We will go as long as possible before clearing out everything that will be killed off by the frost. That includes the lima beans, the basil, parsley, and the potatoes as well as the peppers. The other herbs need to be moved to containers for planting in a more permanent location in the spring. I suppose I could just leave them where they are until spring, then create the herb garden of my dreams. We shall see.

Fall Weddings

Now I’m on to fall weddings. I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma where my grandson was married and is now off on his honeymoon. It was as beautiful service. I got to see family that I haven’t seen in years. It had been four years since I had been to Oklahoma to see my children and grandchildren. Some of them have visited me here in Virginia in between but it’s always nice to get to visit them. I hadn’t seen my sister and her daughter and grandchildren in longer still. It was wonderful to see them.

Oklahoma

I lived in Oklahoma for four years and loved every minute of it. The seasons are similar to ours here in Virginia. It does get a little hotter in the summer and a bit colder in the winter – and those scary tornadoes – but overall, the USDA growing season is about the same.

Weddings are wonderful no matter the time of year. When two people come together and pledge to love one another through thick and thin, the bad and the good, it’s a beautiful thing. Life will bring them many challenges and with God’s help they will meet those challenges together. I didn’t get the chance to ask about their plans for my great-grandchildren. We shall see.

The Marriage Relationship

One of the unique things about a marriage relationship is that we choose it. We do not choose our mother, father, brothers, sisters, or other relatives. Marriage is the only one we choose on purpose. It is where you spend most of your life. As a child you spend 18 to 20 or 22 or so years with your parents. But those parents will spend that time and much more together as a couple. As a married couple you share all sorts of physical, mental and emotional challenges.

And marriage is only the first step. Having children and a family is the next logical step for most married couples. In fact, it may be the reason they came together. They wanted to raise a family. In raising a family, the solid base of humanity is maintained. It is the raising of children that then have children who also have children that maintains the human species.

Traditional Marriage and Parenting

Traditionally, the role of the parents was to raise other human beings that would contribute to society. These new adults would further society and continue the tradition that came before them. In this way, humanity was able to evolve over millennia and not become extinct like so many other species. It is the natural way of our world. It is how we came to be today.

But today sometimes it seems like that natural world is falling apart. In this world of computers, iPhones, iPads and social media, we have lost touch with each other. We have lost the physical touch. And in this day of covid19 it has gone even further. Many of us are afraid to hug another human being. We are afraid of dying from loving another. I find this heart wrenching.

Why We Survived as a Species

Over thousands of years we have survived many hardships. Many times, our population could have been wiped out. Many times, millions of people have died during these difficult periods of our history. Never before have we stopped living our lives. Why have we stopped living our lives this time? I do not have an answer. Likely there are many reasons.

At my grandson’s wedding, his grandparents on his father’s side did not attend the wedding. They were afraid of covid19. I cannot fault them on their choice. Especially since I have no idea their state of health. We all must make choices during this time. I am grateful that we live in this country where we can make those choices – well in most places in the country we can still make those choices. I realize some states have been stricter than others in this. I was pleased that the restrictions were few. The wedding was outside and there was no restriction there. Inside, the only restriction was wearing a mask while in the buffet food line.

Joyful Occasion

It was beautiful to see people interacting, talking dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves with no apparent fear or apprehension. I’m only now just thinking of this. People hugged. People danced closely with one another. People talked in groups of one, two, five or more and no masks. Many of you are listening to this now with horror, I know. But for me, it was a joyful experience as it should be at any wedding. Maybe some will get sick. Maybe some will get very sick. Maybe some will die. But all will live their lives knowing they enjoyed that moment in time. And it was worth every moment, no matter the outcome.

Fall marriages and indeed marriages at any time of year symbolize the starting of yet another journey into adulthood with good times and bad times, challenges, loves, and yes even fears. It is life.

The Grace of God

I feel so for those that now live in fear for their lives. They fear loving others in any physical way. It’s so sad. Yes, wear your mask as you feel the need. Wash your hands. But don’t stop hugging others. Open your heart to the grace of God and give up your fear. Heaven awaits the faithful. Death is not to be feared. Pray for those who are Godless that they may come to the understanding that there is no need to fear death when heaven is your next destination. You are free to love and live. You are free.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for today’s podcast. I know it was a little off the beaten path for me, but I felt the need to share some traditional faith, hope, and love. I trust all is well in your life and you can call on others when you need that extra boost. Call on me. I’ll be here.

Enjoy the fall weddings or winter weddings or whenever weddings. The union of two people starting out in life is glorious. Let’s celebrate new unions and new life.  

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts or whatever podcasting service you use, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. If you like this content and want to help out the show, the absolute best way you can do that is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content. Let them know about the Peaceful Heart Farmcast.

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

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Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 10-14-2020

Hello beautiful peeps,

The first thing is a reminder that Scott is covering the market this week. He will not be able to get there before 10 AM. It has been a while since he has been at the market. He is always milking the cows and doing all the cleanup, taking care of the quail and so on.

At the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday we will have ground beef $7 per package (approx 1 lb). We also have ground goat $12 per package (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb $10 per package (approx 1 lb). There is still a little bit of Lamb Kabob/Stew $12 per package (approx 1 lb). Quail packages are available 1 lb – $20.00, and pickled peppers $5.00. 

If you are a Herd Share member, let me know if you want to add anything to your regular product pickup. To get to that section, you can jump down the page here

Quail

The quail babies can no longer be thought of as “babies”. They are so big already. They have been getting a higher protein diet. The usual brand of game bird feed is no longer carried by Tractor Supply. They now have a wonderful 30% protein feed. It’s great for these little birds. They are thriving. Lots of roosters crowing now.   

Cows 

Our cows are so beautiful. It is such a pleasure to see them grazing in the fields. Cows are the most peaceful animals in the world IMO. And these Normande cows are gentler than any other breed I have worked with. That includes Jersey, Guernsey, and Holstein. I’m so glad we discovered them.

The calves will be weaned soon. They are so fat. Each gets 1 1/2-gallons of milk per day. Virginia is a little over 4 months old now and Wendell is 6 months old! 

Creamery

Scott is filling in those open spaces in the walls. He estimates about four days of working on that. He is also looking for the next rainy day so he can sit down and figure out how much roofing metal he needs to finish the roof. There are changes in his previous estimates due to the change he made with the new covered area on the north side of the building. This afternoon we met up in the kitchen. Scott was refilling the humidifier that runs in the cheese room. The aging cheese needs nearly daily attention and Scott takes care of all of it! 

Garden 

The garden is winding down. Even though the tomatoes are growing strongly again, I’m going to go out there and cut them all down and compost them. We are not far away from the first frost and I’ve collected all the tomatoes I want for this season.

I finally brought in the rest of the dried beans. The small red beans and white canellini beans are now completed done. I pulled up the plants, picked the beans off of each plant and tossed them in a pile for composting. Five beds of 20 are now empty. Next will be the baby limas. I’m holding off on those right up until the first frost which will take those plants out. Just ahead of that, I will pick all the beans and bring them inside for shelling.

The last really big task will be cleaning up all the old plants and the weeds growing in the paths. Only a few weeds in the beds, but the pathways are growing lots of them.

That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

Farmer’s Market

Scott will be at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 10 am to noon. 

We have all of our meats back in stock for you!! 

We have ground lamb and kabob/stew lamb as well as rib chops and loin chops.

We have ground beef and ground goat. 

Herd Shares

Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location. Let me know if you want something added on to your regular choice. Fresh milk and yogurt is available through the end of this month. Yogurt will still be available through the end of November. And as always, cheese and butter. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

I still have new herd shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares and get on our waiting list. 


 News This Week 


 Products Available to Herd Share Owners  

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Raw Milk 1/2 gallon 1 gallon
Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Clau d’ville Cheddar 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public  

Beef Price / Pound
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Lamb Price / Pound
Lamb Loin Chops $18
Lamb Rib Chops $18
Lamb Kabobs $12
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12

Let’s Get Together

As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 10:00 am to Noon. Special procedures are in place for your health and safety. Masks are recommended but not required as far as I know. 

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

In this week’s podcast, “What You Can Do With Milk,” is a follow on to the previous podcast on types of cheese. We all know we can make cheese, but what other delicious, delectable treats can be created with milk and milk products? Listen and find out.  


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


What You Can Do With Milk

What you can do with milk is my topic for today. There are lots of ways to use milk. It is a very versatile food. There is so much more than just drinking milk out of a glass. I know you didn’t drink it out of the jug, right? 

As always, I want to take a minute and welcome all the new listeners and to say welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week.

Our Virginia Homestead Life Updates

New Farm Sign

Scott just came in and showed me a picture of the new mailbox and farm sign set up. It looks great. I ordered a sign online from an Etsy shop. I found a guy who makes really great signs for a very reasonable price. He had lots of samples to choose from and an interactive website. Choose a design, type in your farm name and voila, you could see how the sign would look when completed. I was really pleased with the work and the quickness of shipment. I’m doubly pleased with Scott’s work and how beautiful it looks in real life. Now people can tell when they have reached the farm. The GPS brings you right to it, but we are 1,000 feet off the road behind a bunch of trees. It can be a little spooky driving off into the wilderness without a sign indicating you are on the right track.

Garden

I took a stroll out into the garden this morning just to see how everything was going. I don’t go every day anymore. There just isn’t that much out there. And with the ground cloth, the weeds are almost non-existent. There are five beds that are completely empty now. All the beans are in except for the baby limas. I’ll wait until the first frost is forecast before pulling out all of those. I want to give them as much time as possible to mature.

Crowder Peas

Today I picked a few more crowder peas from the garden. I really love these. I’m already looking forward to growing even more of these next year. I’ve talked about these beauties before. They are so, so, so easy to grow. I’ve never had disease, knock on wood. The only pests I have are aphids and they don’t affect the development of the peas. Next year I’m going to try putting the plants on a trellis. In the past, I’ve just let them grow all over the place. However, I want to try a trellis because I think it will make picking them so much easier. They get so tangled up. The branches are like half runners. I have been letting them grow into a jungle. We shall see how it goes with the trellis next year.

Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes

The peppers just keep on going as well. I mentioned last week that I am working on creating pepper jam with the idea of selling it as Christmas gifts. They are going to be gorgeous. Red, green and yellow varieties. Hot, mild, and medium respectively.

More potatoes are sprouting out of the ground each day. But how long before the frost kills the plants? That’s an experiment in progress. I’ll get a really good idea of how late is too late for a fall planting of potatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming again. I’m just going to go out there and cut those down and put them on the compost pile. There is no way those tomatoes are going to make it to maturity.

Culinary Herbs

The culinary herbs are going to need to be transplanted into pots. Eventually, they are going to go into a permanent herb garden. Don’t know if that will happen next year. Having them in pots for the winter will be fine though. Well, the basil and parsley are annuals. I’ll probably plant those in the garden again next year. For the rest, I really need to get cracking on designing exactly how I want that perennial herb garden planted.

Cows

The cows got to try out their new loafing area. I talked about that in the last podcast when I was talking about the creamery. Scott completed the area with fencing and a very ingenious gate system. The girls spent some time in there getting to know the area. Cows are creatures of habit. They are very calm and peaceful animals – until you put something in front of them that they have never seen before. Scott is getting them used to being in this area. At some point we will even walk them through the milking stanchion area several times before using it regularly for milking. They need to be comfortable with it and that takes some time and training effort to accomplish.

The calves are getting fat with all the milk they are getting. At the end of this month I will begin to wean them off the milk. By that time, Virginia will have developed her rumen enough to be fully self-sufficient on grass. Wendell is already at that point but I can’t really wean him without weaning her. He would just push up under her neck and dislodge her mouth from the bottle. He already does that if he finishes his before she finishes hers. She does the same. They are quite greedy for that milk. 

Creamery

Not much has been happening here. There is another wall that has been completed, but most of Scott’s time went into completing the loafing area and tweaking it a bit here and there. He did get the attic wall up. There was some acrobatics involved in that job. He was working in and around other sections and obstacles like the stairway. But it’s done and he is injury-free. That is always a worry for me. I’m a worrier. I admit it. Prayer helps a lot.

Quail

Those quail in the penthouse are doing really, really well. They only escape occasionally now. It’s like they have learned to run to the back of the cage when I open the door. Previously they seemed to only run toward the door and ended up falling out. Literally, they would fall out. Now they will sometimes fly out, but before they would run and their little legs were still churning as they unexpectedly fell to the ground. In two more weeks we will sort them out and decide which ones to keep and which ones go to freezer camp. We will be keeping quite a few extra through the winter this year.

Fruit

I noticed the Muscatine grapes are disappearing. We have two grape vines, one gold and one kind of bronze. They both produced grapes this year. Last year only the gold one produced. Anyway, this morning most of the grapes were gone. Probably a raccoon.

What You Can Do With Milk

I want to talk a little bit about what you can do with milk. You’ve heard me talk about making cheese but there is so much more.

Nature’s Perfect Food

Milk is one of nature’s most perfect foods. Like all high-quality perishable foods, milk is best when it’s fresh. Homestead milk from your own cow varies in flavor due to the seasons and grasses being consumed by your animals but you can count on it being sweet, light, delicious and wholesome with a fresh taste. Commercial milk has a cooked flavor. Every once in a while I end up taking a sip of regular milk from the store and it never ceases to amaze me the difference in taste. It tastes cooked. I never noticed it until I started drinking milk straight from the cow. Now it stands out like a sore thumb. I love my fresh milk.

Knowing what you can do with milk is important when you have a lot of it coming in every day. It also gives some insight into how you can use your creativity to learn to make lots of great tasting milk treats. You don’t have to have your own cow to make most of this stuff. You can use milk you purchase in the grocery store. Except for ultra-pasteurized milk, all will work just fine. Ultra-pasteurized milk will not make cheese or yogurt or any other fermented milk product.

Cream

Let’s start with cream. You get cream by skimming milk after it has been left standing for at least 24-hours. A caveat on what I just said about making things with store-bought products, cream these days generally has alginate added to artificially thicken it. It is quite harmless but adds to the demise of the flavor. Of course it is pasteurized as well so has that cooked flavor. Real sweet cream drizzled over apple pie is a delicacy everyone should try at least once in their life.

Personally, I like it with fruit. Think peaches and cream, strawberries and cream, blueberries and cream and so on. Yum, yum. Pour the cream over the fruit, stir it well, let it sit for an hour or so and you have a treat like no other.

Other cream treats include whipped cream and ice cream which usually has some milk but is mostly cream. Another treat you will want to try is clotted cream. That is a cream dish that is cooked in the oven. I have plans to do a podcast on just that topic in the near future. I also use some cream to make ½ and ½ for Scott’s coffee. I fill a quart jar with two cups of cream and then top it off with whole milk. That equates to a little more than ½ and ½ but I have found it to be a great blend.

Cream can be processed in other ways such as with making crème fraiche which is a type of cream cheese. I have a recipe for crème fraiche on the website. There will be a link in the show notes. You can make sour cream as well, I’ve just never been really successful with that so I’ll stick with crème fraiche.

The last thing I will mention about cream is making butter and ghee or clarified butter. The skimmed cream is placed in a butter churn and processed until the butter fat separates from the milk. Now you have butter and buttermilk. I’ve talked about this butter milk before. It is unlike the cultured buttermilk purchased in the store. This is the traditional buttermilk.

If you are making this traditional buttermilk, generally you set out whole milk overnight and let is sour slightly before churning the butter out of it. The resulting buttermilk was a treat my dad loved with all his heart. He talked of buttermilk poured over cornbread all the time. It was probably his favorite treat of all time.

The butter can now be packaged and frozen for a long time or used as needed. I keep mine out on the counter so it is always soft. If you do this, you will need to use it quickly (as I do) or it will go rancid. You can add Vitamin E to help keep it from going rancid, but ours never lasts that long. There are also tools called butter bells that help keep butter fresh on the counter. The butter is put in the bell and then set upside down on a dish of cold water. That keeps the air from reaching the butter and oxidizing the fat causing it to go rancid.

Ghee is made by further processing the butter. I have a recipe for ghee on the website as well. Basically the butter is melted and cooked on the stovetop until the little bit of milk proteins still left in the butter is separated from the fat. Clarified butter is reached as soon as the separation occurs and ghee is made by continuing to cook the butter until the protein bits are browned. Ghee is very shelf stable without refrigeration. I have some in jars on my canned food shelves right now.

Fermented Milk Products

Let’s move on from cream to other milk products. All of these require some type of fermentation. The buttermilk and crème fraiche I talked about are also fermented products. However, cheese and yogurt are probably the most common fermented milk products.

Yogurt

I love making yogurt with our milk. It is so easy and so yummy. I get so many compliments on it. “It’s so creamy”, they say. That’s because it is not made from powdered milk like the stuff you buy in the store. Not only is that product made from powdered milk, but they also add stuff to thicken it.

I make mine by heating the milk to a just below boiling, around 180 to 190 degrees, then quickly cooling it. This destabilizes the proteins. Once a temp of 117 or so is reached, I add in yogurt with active cultures at a rate of one tablespoon per ½ gallon of whole milk. I use my Cosori multi-function pressure cooker to complete the process. In eight hours I have delicious and nutritious yogurt. I have that yogurt recipe on the website as well.

Kefir

The last idea for what you can do with milk I am going to talk about today is kefir.

Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. My kefir recipe can be found on our website. All of these recipes will have links in the show notes.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for today’s podcast. We always have something going on at the homestead and I love sharing with all of you. Things will be winding down for the winter soon. Topics for winter conversation will be varied. I look forward to it.

I hope you enjoyed the information on various ideas for what you can do with milk. I didn’t talk about cheese because the previous podcast was about types of cheese. Refer to that one for ideas on using milk for cheese making. Check out all of my recipes on our website. All of my recipes are printable. Let me know how they work for you.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts or whatever podcasting service you use, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. If you like this content and want to help out the show, the absolute best way you can do that is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content. Let them know about the Peaceful Heart Farmcast.

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

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Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 10/9/2020

Hello beautiful peeps,

The celery is coming. The garden is winding down and the celery is ready.

At the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday we will have ground beef $7 per package (approx 1 lb). We also have ground goat $12 per package (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb $10 per package (approx 1 lb). There is still a little bit of Lamb Kabob/Stew $12 per package (approx 1 lb). Quail packages are available 1 lb – $20.00, pickled peppers $5.00 and celery $5.00 per bunch. 

If you are a Herd Share member, let me know if you want to add anything to your regular product pickup. To get to that section, you can jump down the page here

Quail

We have 58 quail in the penthouse. They are doing so well. This batch looks like they are really growing bigger than the previous birds. It could be the higher protein feed they are getting right now. The eggs are diminished some but still coming. Hopefully, we will have some lights on timers in a week or so. It depends on Scott’s schedule but it is definitely in the plan.    

Cows 

The cows are doing really well. They still make a lovely parade walk up to the milking shed twice a day. Yesterday they got their first taste of the new “loafing area” that Scott built. It’s a complex organization of gates and fences that will give us the freedom to move them, separate them, work with them and so on as needed.

The vet doing the preg checks was delayed until later this month. We want to make sure they are all far enough along for the pregnancy to be detected. Still have fingers crossed! 

Creamery

Check out our Facebook page to see the latest changes to the creamery. There are two new sections that Scott created that I did not know were in the plan. They both look great. I mentioned one just now with the cows. There is also another area along most of the North wall that is now completely under cover. It’s like a long pole barn attached to the north side of the creamery. Lots and lots of equipment and supplies are now stored under there and safe from the elements. 

Garden 

The sunflowers have been deseeded. I now have the seeds inside on shelves completing the drying process. The birds in our area are going to be so happy this winter with these treats. I got the seeds out of the heads and they are now on the compost pile. In the garden the big stalks left behind still need to be taken down and added to the compost pile. There is a lot of greenery out there that needs to be cut back and added to the compost. The only thing still growing out there are the peppers, culinary herbs and a few potatoes.

The dried beans are ready to be brought in and shelled out. Lima beans, red beans and white beans are ready for harvest. After getting all that out, the beds will be prepared for winter. 

That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

Farmer’s Market

We will be at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 am to noon. 

We have all of our meats back in stock for you!! And come take a look at that CELERY! 

We have ground lamb and kabob/stew lamb as well as rib chops and loin chops. We have ground beef and ground goat. 

Herd Shares

Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location. Let me know if you want something added on to your regular choice. Fresh milk and yogurt is available through the end of this month. Yogurt will still be available through the end of November. And as always, cheese and butter. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

I still have new herd shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares and get on our waiting list. 


 News This Week 


 Products Available to Herd Share Owners  

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Raw Milk 1/2 gallon 1 gallon
Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Clau d’ville Cheddar 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public  

Beef Price / Pound
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Lamb Price / Pound
Lamb Loin Chops $18
Lamb Rib Chops $18
Lamb Kabobs $12
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12

Let’s Get Together

As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. Special procedures are in place for your health and safety. Masks are recommended but not required as far as I know. 

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

In this week’s podcast, “Types of Cheese,” is a very brief overview of some of the many types of cheese. Fresh, aged, hard, semi-soft and so on. There are many more types than I talk about in this brief podcast, but this will give you a general idea of some of the most common.  


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


You found our farm!

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FARM STORE Hours:

Tuesday:  10am – 12pm
Saturdays:  3 – 5pm

Peaceful Heart Farm

224 Cox Ridge Road, Claudville, VA 24076

Can you find our products?

We'd like to make sure we have cheese available where you can get it. Whether it be at the Farmers Market or a specialty food store.

Let us know where you'd like to see us and we'll try to make it happen. We'll notify you via email when we get our products to your favorite shopping destination.

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FARM STORE Hours:

Tuesday:  10am – 12pm
Saturdays:  3 – 5pm

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Wytheville Farmers Market:

Saturdays:  8am – 12pm

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