Friday, November 14, 2008

the last cheese

Caraway swiss

Mom and kids

My Mom has been visiting for the past few days. It's been great to spend time with her and do the farm chores together. Here she is feeding some pine branches to the baby goats.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

High View 2

Spent another great afternoon at High View Farm yesterday. Darcy and I made some fresh mozzarella cheese, and I took home some of their magical Guernsey milk to make these wheels of farmstead cheddar. The orange cow’s name is Bessie, and her baby is the black cow, whose name is Heifer. If the spot on Heifer's cheek was on her eye instead, she would look even more like Paul Stanley.


Bessie

Heifer

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

who you callin' turkey?

This is the ingenious pen for the turkeys here at the farm. Every day, it gets moved one length forward across the lawn. To move it, I push down on those long wooden levers, and it becomes a kind of wheel barrow. This moves the birds off of their patch from the day before, giving them a clean piece of grass to eat and hang out on. There are three beautiful turkeys here, they make really gentle cooing sounds and are friendly and regal.

the circle of poop

The goats poop in the barn and in the fields. The turkeys poop in their pen, which I move daily to a fresh piece of field, where they start all over. The fields are cut for hay, which the goats eat. The goat barns are cleaned out and composted, which is eventually spread in the vegetable garden and greenhouse. The chickens poop everywhere, fertilizing everything from the garden to the fields. All of this goes back into the soil, which in turn goes into the animals, which then goes into us. In organic farming it’s one big interconnected cycle with no waste; even what you think of as waste. Another weird thing is for all that poop, nothing smells bad – it’s all rich and earthy and fresh. We eat poop!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Making jalapeno jack twins

Here are couple of photos to show some of the steps in cheese making. Little Falls Farm has a great dairy room, with a beautiful hand carved wooden cheese press, and temperature controlled vat with an automatic curd stirrer.

The curd being stirred in the vat

Pressing the curd

The finished wheels

I hate hanging my laundry on a line

You hang it out there and then it rains, or it's still wet in the morning because of the mist and finally even when it is dry, it's all crispy and wrinkly. I know it's not very "green" of me, but I miss my dryer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

anadama bread


misty morning

“Go! And stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.” – An American Werewolf in London

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cheese + Cheese Jr.

Montasio with crushed mustard seed. Montasio was traditionally made in monasteries and is a hard cheese aged for about 3+ months.

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finding treasure

The very last chore I do every night is collect the eggs from the nesting boxes. It is my favorite thing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pearls before swine!

Here I am in an ensemble from the John Belding collection. He is one of the owners of the farm, whose clothes I have been wearing exclusively. Exclusive is the word when it comes to these hot fashions. The line will be featured in the January ’09 issue of Vogue, with a few limited pieces available at Barney’s. Don’t hate the playa, hate the Maine fashion game!

Provolone

I made these little 1-pound provolones, which are traditionally aged hanging on twine. Please note my junior high school macrame skills on the middle one. I was going to do this on all of them, but it looked like a noose, so I went with plain knots instead.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Billies and Bullies

Meet Norman, Bucko, Number Seven and Number Ten. Norman and Bucko are our male billy goats. Norman is small, yet has the largest horns in the whole herd, which the ladies seem to love. He is affectionate and funny. Bucko is an enormous goat with a single deformed horn that grips his head. He kind of resembles Satan. The very distinctive smell of Billy goats "in season" is a combination of urine, molasses and burning rubber. Not entirely unpleasant, if you can believe it, or maybe I've been on the farm too long!

Norman



Bucko


There are two alpha female goats in the herd who are so aggressive and dominant, I have to tether them up after they are milked, or else they will bully all of the other goats as they come out of the milking room. They are very sweet to me (don't bite the hand that feeds!) but I have witnessed these two in full-on mountain goat style head butting matches, and goring the other goats with their horns. Exactly like bullies at school, the other goats avoid these two as much as they can. As you can see, Number 10 is fat, as she is so good at dominating the food and getting what she wants.

Number Seven



Number Ten

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Piggin' out on Red Lobster

Neighbors Maureen + Jim invited us to a fabulous Maine lobster dinner, and sent us home with the shells, which the pigs devoured. A lot of people have asked me if goats eat anything. No, they don't - the pigs do.
video

the greenhouse

This is the beautiful greenhouse that is built against one side of the house. The whole thing is planted with delicious salad greens.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amy amongst the armillaria mellea

Super friend Amy, her sister Teressa and boyfriend Dan were here this weekend and we went foraging for delicious honey cap mushrooms. We were a little late to find the best ones, but had a fun afternoon anyway. Here is Amy, the beautiful mushroom nymph. Look closely, those are some of the elusive honey caps to the left of her.



Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The kids came up with some really cute Halloween costumes for trick or treating tonight

Daniel Boone



Lady Guinevere


Amish guy


Pocohontas


My Jack O Lantern


The beautiful variety of pumpkins and squash from the garden

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the hay loft

The first thing I do at the beginning of chores is climb up into the hay loft above the paddocks and pitch hay down the chute. It smells amazing up there, sweet and grassy, and it's some of the hardest physical work I do here, like shoveling snow. It takes about 15 minutes to pitch down enough to fill the 9 mangers that feed our 19 goats.

Spain in Maine

Manchego rubbed with smoked paprika

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

High View Farm

I spent this morning with Darcy + Bill Winslow at their beautiful High View Farm up the road in Harrison, Maine. Darcey + Bill raise Belgian draft horses that are used for field work as well as winter sleigh rides, and also have a small herd of Guernsey dairy cows. They produce and sell their own raw milk and butter, which is the richest, most delicious milk ever. The color of the butter is naturally that yellow. I showed them how to make feta cheese, here is Darcy stirring the curd. Bill has helped me out more than once with livestock advice since I've been here - they are the most charming, happy people you'll ever meet.




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

mummy cheese

I made a "bandaged" Cheddar, which resembles a mummy, for Halloween. Instead of air-drying, you grease and wrap the cheese in muslin, producing a drier, flakier Cheddar. The "larding" technique is a traditional English method of storing cheese for long periods of time.

the sky this morning