It has been raining, raining, raining, and I think that it is starting to turn into a rain forest around here. When you think that it is finally going to dry out, it rains again! Lush green is everywhere between the mud and everything outdoors- flowers, greens, vegetables, grass, has exploded and changed beautifully since I last posted. I have so many pictures to share from the last month that I abandoned the blog that I don’t know where to start! I’ll start with animals. You can’t go wrong starting with animals, can you?
Eleven Muscovy ducklings hatched recently, much to the excitement of 2 year old twins who have been impatiently watching the mama on her nest and waiting for the day when “My baby ducks come.” Unfortunately, Mama Duck does not appreciate the snuggles that Ola and William want to give to her babies, and so we watch from outside her territory most of the time.The chickens and ducks are back to being moved throughout the pasture, eating bugs and grass, and their winter spot has been plowed up and is ready for planting.
We were able to revive a tiny, weak little lamb that came to us a few weeks ago. He’s chunky and spunky now and has figured out nursing, but here he is teeny when we were still bottle feeding him.
One big spring project was fencing our main pasture that was partly rickety barbed-wire fencing broken in places and risky for the animals. Due to the hard work of the fencing crew, the field is now completely fenced in woven wire. Here are some pictures of the fencing and the clearing of a road through and around our woods. Papa was the photographer, so he’s not in any of the pictures. I’ll have to take more pictures of our new walking trail and the beautiful fence.
The goats are not so happy about all this rain, but whenever it is dry, they are out gorging on the lush greens in their newly fenced pasture. The kids are growing, growing and the seven milkers are filling our fridges with milk, cheese, and yogurt. And the freezer with ice cream, some all goat milk, some with local cream.
Here is a Chocolate Mint Mousse also using local Jersey cow cream.
Ola and William have become quite the goat milkers. They know the names of each doe and the order they are milked in. They know the personalities of each goat and which ones kick and will need them to hold their legs, and which ones are the easiest to milk. And they can milk, actually really milk, fast!
I’m proud of my helpers!
We have been having some problems with too much Chèvre. Isn’t that an awful predicament? I tried to find something to do with it all after we had made lots of cheesy pesto and the fridge was still full. I made two chevre pound cakes and a chèvre cheesecake with strawberry, lemon, lavender, honey jam on top. YUM! But, somehow, there were still cups of Chevre in the fridge! When I perfect my Arcadia Farm Goat Cheese Cheesecake recipe I’ll share it on here.
I’ve also been experimenting with some new types of cheeses,. St. Maure de Touraine and Ash Cheese, both recipes from New England Cheese Making. St. Maure is a log shaped, melt in your mouth cheese with a grayish white bloomy rind activated with ash. This is my first time making it, but it is definitaly going to become a regular! Two gallons of goat milk made four logs. We have already eaten two at different aging times and it has been fun to taste the difference of a week. We ate the first at 6 days of aging and even two days later it was stronger. We’ll try the next log at two weeks of aging in a few days.
The Ash Cheese looks a lot like Brie with a beautiful white bloomy rind and a layer of ash in the middle. We haven’t opened this cheese yet, because I’m waiting till it has aged for two weeks. The longer both of these cheeses age, the stronger and smoother they will get as they age from the rind inward.
As a result of all this rain, a mysterious terra cotta pipe has been bubbling out of hole in the bottom of our pasture and forming our own mini creek through the tall grass and even a little waterfall over the roots of a tree! This is the third or fourth time that this has happened after the big spring rains and it is great to have running water on our land, even if it isn’t permanent. Arcadia Spring Creek is just the right size for Ola and William and a great favorite of the duck flock.
Our lunches are looking like this these June days. Queso Blanco, St. Maure, purple carrots, garlic scape pesto, tomatoes, peas, kefir bread and yogurt strawberry smoothies. Everything except for ingredients such as salt and flour comes fro Arcadia Farm.
An upcoming post will feature the gardens, but here are some pictures of the green Arcadia Farm.