Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Run over by the egg truck

The chickens, who a short time ago were on stew-pot row facing a short trip to rejoin the resource pool, have really kicked in the egg laying. I went out to put the days five dozen eggs in the egg refrigerator only to discover that there were already 15 dozen from the previous few days still sitting there. I don't like to have them sitting around more than a week, and business has been slow. It's pretty easy to use up the odd extra dozen making pasta or baking something, but 15 dozen with 5 dozen more being added daily was a bit much to deal with. (One of those cases where you worry about failure, and forget to plan for success.) After an hour of phone calling I finally found someone who would take them as a donation. (It amazes me how reluctant food pantries are to take perishable food.) The local Salvation Army food pantry agreed to take them, but when I got there to deliver them they were not really thrilled. Still, I hope someone got some use out of them. In the mean time, I have ramped up the marketing effort, and am preparing to add some other garden items to the list of things that are available now. Salad greens are still a week away, but if someone really wanted some I could probably put something together.

Made out second attempt at Chevre last night. It turned out much better than the first go, but it's still isn't up to what I can get at the store. Apparently, I had two problems with the first batch; too much rennet (which I suspected) and temperature. Apparently room temperature is somewhere in the 72 deg F range (both the starter and the cheese needed to spend half a day or more at 'room temperature'). This time of year my kitchen temp tops out at maybe 65 (on baking day, 62 is more like it), so the mini cheese makers were too cold to do their work. We kept everything nice and warm in a water bath this time with better results. Since we are getting more than 1/2 a gallon of milk a day right now and still have 4 more goats to freshen, three which are not first fresheners, we should have plenty of milk for the learning process. We also made Feta which seems to have worked brilliantly. Still don't know for sure, it needs to age until next week before it is ready to eat.

Feta waiting for brine

I thumbed my nose at the establishment in some previous posts and comments, and have since (on advice of counsel) stepped back a wee bit. I have now got a very well written (and legally sound) sample of a goat share agreement to work from, thanks to the lovely folks at Blue Moon

I also got my taxes in on time. Death seemed preferable, but...one must pay the piper even when you don't like the song.

Hatching day is the 18th, can't wait!
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