Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fromage Blanc

Fancy French for white cheese.
This soft cheese is very easy but everyone will think you are 
tres magnifique when you serve it! 

Since getting Cocoa, our family cow, I've been attempting to make cheese and other dairy items from raw milk.  It can be tricky.  I must admit I have had a few failures ~ rubbery mozzarella, sour cream that didn't thicken.  

But this Fromage Blanc was a huge success and 
will certainly be a "go to" recipe at the Red Farmhouse.

First you start by warming the milk.

Then add cultured buttermilk and lemon juice.

Let it set for a few minutes until tiny curds form.

Pour into cheesecloth and hang to drain.

Salt and season to taste.
I added Italian seasoning to mine.
Pack into a dish.

Serve with crackers, veggies,
on a sandwich,
or just dig in with a spoon.
It's rich & creamy.

Homemade Fromage Blanc from raw milk ~ delicieux!

Recipes for cheese can be found in 
Mary Jane Toth's, A Cheesemaker's Journey.
Cheese making supplies can be found here too.

Numbers 15:27
They gave Moses this account: 
"We went into the land to which you sent us, 
and it does flow with milk and honey! 
Here is its fruit.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Few New Ewes

Many of our sheep came from St. Jude's Farm in Texas where they have bred a beautiful flock of Jacob Sheep.  Soon after we got Jacobs we sought them out because we loved the look of their sheep.  Fred and Joan Horak of St. Jude's have become sheep mentors to us and sweet friends.

Six of our ewes and one ram came from their farm last year.  Now with their flock closing, we decided to bring a few more home. 

St. Jude's Audelia, Duchess, & Alexa

It was interesting to watch them greet each other after not being together for a year. For the most part the three new ewes are sticking together but they are seen hanging out with their old friends and making new ones too.  It was so obvious that some recognized each other and immediately started grazing together.

Duchess is leader of the new girls.  She acts like royalty living up to her name. I bet she will be second in command after Precious, our flock matron.

Audelia is one I really liked in the beginning. She seems sweet but shy.

Alexa is cute and has amazing fleece.

Our flock number now is 22 ~
14 ewes
& 8 rams.

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

Monday, July 15, 2013

Milking Parlour Tour

Welcome to the milking parlour.
I'm really happy with how it has turned out.
It's proven to be functional and efficient.

This is the main work area.  The stainless table and shelving from Sam's Club made the perfect work surfaces.  That way I can keep them clean.  All the necessary milking equipment and cleaners are here along with milk pails for milk too.

We chose an E-Zee NuPulse mini milker mainly because the pulsator is not on the lid of the bucket which makes it easier to clean.  It has a 4 gallon pail that is the perfect size for a family cow.
The Gast 3/4 horse power vacuum pump regulates the flow at just the right pressure.

We also opted for the in-line filter.  It easily unclamps for a fresh filter to fit inside at each milking.  This way the milk is filtered before it even hits the pail. 

This is the machine that cleans the machine.  If you invest in a milking machine, you should also get the Clean-in-Place (CIP) Bucket Washer.  It makes clean up quick and easy!  Honestly, this is the best part of the machine.  I'd be spending hours cleaning if I didn't have it.  All of our equipment we purchased from Giles Dairy Service.

You attach the teat cups to the washer and turn the machine on just like for milking.
Instead of taking milk from the cow, it pumps dairy detergent/rinse water from buckets underneath, through the machine and into the pail.  This keeps me from having to disassemble it all and drag it in the house to wash. Love it!  Thanks Honey for recommending I get it.  You're so smart!

Next to the machine, on the shelves, we keep teat wipes, teat dip, filters, udder balm, and dairy detergents & towels.  Then we have the trash can and a stool to unfold and use but not trip over when not in use.

The stanchion. (Built by all my guys)
Cocoa eats while she's milked and is so eager to come in, we don't have to lead her on the halter now.  I have a couple of empty protein tubs stacked up for her meals.

The feed is stored to the right of that.  Opened feed is stored in the Rubbermaid barrels.
And of course, we have a fan.  It's summer in Oklahoma, after all.

The stanchion plans can be found here.  
It's proved to be sturdy and functional.  Heavy duty velcro is what we use to close the head gate and for the tail holder.  That's just so she doesn't swat me, unintentionally. ;)

A few improvements are planned for the future.  Rubber mats are covering the floor now but soon will be replaced with concrete and a floor drain.  An industrial sink would be helpful but the hose outside works fine for now.  I'm dreaming of white walls, a pink chair, and maybe a chandelier.
It's a girl place after all ~
It's a parlour!

Rain, Gentle, Rain

Our summer rains generally come with high winds 
and crashing thunder.  Occasionally, tornados.

But today,
 I only hear the pitter patter on the metal roof 
as I watch small droplets widen the puddles outside.  
It rained yesterday and might tomorrow too.

Our pastures need it badly.
I'm rejoicing in the rain
right down to my toes.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.
Psalm 25:10

Thursday, July 11, 2013


a few new pages have been added to the blog.

our newest adventure

 gives you quick access to our most asked about features in the farmhouse

answers why we do what we do

Check them out~

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blackberry Picking

It's blackberry season on the farm
and the vines are loaded.

This morning while I watered the flower garden 
and watched Cocoa finish her breakfast, 
I picked blackberries.

Today, I think there is enough for a cobbler.
 Maybe with a little fresh cream. ;)

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you,
You will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Seven S-Squared Lambs

All of our lambs have arrived
and are growing like crazy.

We chose names associated with their sire or dam.
This year they have our farm name too.

I thought you might like to meet them~

 Rocky is a lilac ram that belongs to Jared.  
He picked the name.  Cute!
S-Squared Rocky Road
(Never Winter Haagen Dazs x St. Jude's Ralene)

Copper has amazing dark black fleece like his dam 
and crimpy fleece like his sire.
S-Squared Copper
(St. Jude's Auburn x Rockhaven Flora)

 Flash just has a few flashes of black but fleece that I can't wait to dye and spin.  I've never seen such wide horns on a lamb.
S-Squared Flash
(Moose Mtn. Hawthorn x St. Jude's Twinkle)

 Tinsel is really cute.  She will be going to her 
new home in Texas this weekend.
S-Squared Tinsel
(Moose Mtn. Hawthorn x St. Jude's Twinkle)

Calico is very friendly and always comes up to me 
when I'm in the pasture except when I have my camera.
S-Squared Calico
(Never Winter Haagen Dazs x St. Jude's Callie)

 MacArthur is just nice.  Perfect face markings.
S-Squared  MacArthur
(Never Winter Haagen Dazs x St. Jude's McCarthy)

And last but never least, Zip.  He lives up to his name 
and zips around the pasture.
S-Squared Zip
(Never Winter Haagen Dazs x Moose Mtn. Ziggy)

 He's my favorite
especially when I see him from behind. ;)

Psalm 114:4
The mountains skipped like rams, 
and the little hills like lambs.


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