Cat on Catwalk

Just a dumb play on words, but here’s a cat proudly using the catwalk in our milk greenhouse.  The temperature in the building was a balmy 33 degrees while it was zero outside, so I found several cats sprawled out sunning themselves in here. Most people try to keep their milk cool so it doesn’t curdle and begin to transform itself into cheese.  The dairy we feed the pigs is already curdled, but our challenge this time of year is keeping the pigs’ milk and whey warm enough to avoid freezing, so… Read More

Bale Grazing, Finally

Blog posts have been infrequent recently, but not for lack of material.  I’m just far behind on many projects, so bear with me.  I’ll post some catchup farm photos in blog posts over the next few days. This year I was especially late getting the bales set for this winter’s bale grazing.  I managed to finish on Christmas as the snow was whipping, carving and drifting around each bale.  It wasn’t especially cold early this week, but with the freezing rain and then the snow, the twine was frozen onto each bale so… Read More

Brain Food

I’ve been adding a few chicken heads to our soup recently, but I wanted to see what would happen if I made a batch of broth using heads alone.  So I placed thirty heads in a pot and cooked them down overnight.  After straining and cooling the broth, here are the results: This is as gelled as I’ve seen chicken broth, but the flavor isn’t well-rounded.  Adding salt helps, but there is still a general blandness that doesn’t satisfy me. I think I’ll continue to add a head or two to every… Read More

Right Place, Right Time

I found one persistent dandelion blooming this morning.  The farm was covered in a heavy freezing fog, the rocks and plants were white with wispy frost, and the soil was crunchy underfoot.  But in one clump of trees the frost was light.  And this dandelion was almost entirely frost free, probably owing to the shelter of the piece of limestone above it. Microclimates are curious things.  Creating microclimates is a staple of permaculture discussions, but I’ve never found them to behave consistently.  The means are varied:  creating wind breaks, building solar sinks,… Read More