Tagged "2011-10"

Goudette - Cheddar Gets a Cave Mate

home, cheesemaking, gouda, brine, salt crystals, little seed farm

Meet the Stacked Goudette. She's no baby gouda! I didn't want to part with the many pennies it would take to get gouda or baby gouda molds so I formed the curd inside the same small sized hard cheese mold I used for my first farmhouse cheddar. Sometimes beautiful things happen when you have to improvise - I'm hoping my Goudette is one of those. Baby goudas (not the Laughing Cow Babybell kind, I'm talkin' about the real deal) weigh a little less than a pound, while a full sized gouda wheel can weigh up to 30lbs. The Goudette is weighing in at 2lbs after a swim in the brine this morning and a day drying out. Who knows what changes in flavor and texture the stacked shape will create... I guess we'll find out in 2-6 months!

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Understanding Your Soil - From a Distance

Soil Comparison courtesy of permaculture.org

Now that's a pretty presumptive title given how little I know about soil! How about this: Understanding Your Soil - From a Distance - for Beginners. Yeah, that's more like it.

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DUCK PROSCIUTTO! (that's right)

duck, prosciutto, bresaola, recipe

How does this heaping pile of deliciousness not deserve all caps and an exclamation point!? I felt truly rich when we unwrapped the butchers paper and unveiled the freshly sliced centerfold bounty above. This wasn't just any cured meat - this was "prosciutto" I'd cured in our refrigerator! Somehow, magically it seemed, we had transformed a raw duck breast into something amazingly tasty using only the power of time and a little cool air. Want to give it a try?

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Grass-fed Meat from Wal-Mart?

This is an article that I wrote for www.beginningfarmers.org

The other day I read a particularly thought-provoking post on the blog Honest Meat (Note: this post was removed by the author, I don't yet know why. Cached version here.). The post discussesed the entrance of a new competitor into the local and pasture-based foods market in Northern California. The new entrant, Belcampo Meat Co, is a 10,000 acre, vertically integrated farm focused on producing a wide variety of pastured meats. It also happens to be owned by Outpost International, which appears to be funded by at least one very wealthy individual (Todd Robinson). It’s not exactly Wal-Mart, but based on Wal-Mart’s recent moves it’s only a matter of time.

Small farms could never compete with the marketing prowess and enormous scale of such a competitor, right?

This article is not about whether Belcampo’s (or Wal-Mart’s) actions are right or wrong, it’s about how you, the small family farmer, can prepare your business for the realities of competing with large, well-funded businesses.

Continue reading... 

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Occupied Wall Street: So You Say You Want A Revolution?

Occupied Wall Street Journal published by the protesters in Zuccotti Park, NYC

Yesterday, before we embarked on a crowded-kitchen cheesemaking home-brewing bonanza, we decided to go check out this little protest you may have heard of: Occupy Wall Street. We're only two trains and a couple subways stops away, so why not see what it's all about firsthand?

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