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Showing posts from February, 2019

First of March Garden

Our coldest months are finally behind us! At least I hope so. March can be so iffy for us. But spring flowers are blooming everywhere and that's always cheerful, no matter what the weather is like.






February went from frigid to mild and with a lot of rain, so my winter garden has been growing like crazy! We've been eating a lot of salads and sauteed greens from the garden.


To top our salads, I still have plenty of feta cheese stored in herbed olive oil. That plus black olives (Dan's favorite) make for delicious fresh winter eating.

Everything we're eating from the garden was planted last fall. Some things made it, others didn't. Here's what's there now ...






Southern Pea Taste Test

Southern peas, field peas, cowpeas; different names for the same thing. For human consumption, however, "southern peas" sounds nicer than either of the other two, don't you think? The most common of these are black-eyed peas, and I'm sure many folks have heard of crowder peas as well.

A number of years ago I started growing Ozark Razorback cowpeas. I really like them because they produce heavily with tall seed stalks growing multiple pods - very easy to pick. I chose them because they are a small pea, so I can feed them to our critters as well as eat them ourselves.

Last year I found a variety called "Southern Brown Sugar." How could I resist that? That's what I grew this past summer. The other night I decided to cook up three-quarters of a cup of each kind and have a taste test.


I cooked them the same way and served a spoonful of each with our meal.


You know what? There wasn't much difference in flavor at all! Both are heritage varieties, but all thing…

Triplets for Daisy

It's been miserably cold and pouring rain for the past week. Daisy's due date was quickly approaching and I worried about her kidding during a frigid night, because hypothermia this time of year is a concern. Thankfully she waited until a warm front poured in! Second bonus, she did the job in the afternoon so we didn't miss it. Triplets! They are about 18 hours old in these pictures.







Eight kids so far this year - three bucklings and five doelings. Ordinarily that's preferable, but this year I have more requests for boys than girls! One of the little bucks is a keeper, as will be one or two of the little does. I have two more does left to kid, one next month and one in April, so who knows how the numbers will turn out when all is said and done. 😀

Triplets for Daisy© February 2019 by Leighat http://www.5acresandadream.com/

Carport Repair: Extending the Roof

While I've been blogging about mushrooms, cheese, and baby goats, here's what Dan's been up to.


















Domiati

What in the world is domiati? It's an Egyptian brined cheese.


Also called "white cheese," it originated in the Mediterranean area where mountain caves don't exist. This is notable because most cheeses we're familiar with (cheddar, colby, Swiss, etc.) require curing in relatively cool temperatures, like those found in caves. Cheeses made in the warm Mediterranean climate must be cured and stored another way, usually brine. Feta, which is a Greek cheese, is a familiar example.

I have the same problem, i.e., a warm humid climate during cheese making season, and no (artificial) cheese cave. Hence I've been experimenting with cheeses that don't require environmentally controlled curing (see my blog post "Cheesemaking Challenges in a Hot Climate.") The suggestion to try domiati came from Toirdhealbheach Beucail, who blogs at The Forty-Five(thanks TB!)

There isn't a recipe for domiati in Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making (a book that I don't …

Mushrooms

Something I've eyed in seed catalogues over the years are mushroom kits. We love mushrooms, but the price for kit always held me back. Sow True Seed, however, sells both kits and plugs. The price of plugs is reasonable, and since we already have all the things we need to plant them, this was a good way to go. I bought two kinds - shiitake and white oyster.


The plugs are set into live logs, so we scheduled our planting session for February. This is the month Dan designated for a job on our pasture improvement goals - trim low branches overhanging the edges of the pasture.


That raised the canopy along the pasture fence line, plus gave us the logs we needed for the mushrooms! According to the excellent instructions provided with the plugs, white oak is recommended as the best. That's exactly what needed to be trimmed back.


Holes for the plugs are drilled 1 & 1/4 inch deep with a 5/16-inch drill bit. They are spaced six to eight inches apart in rows three to four inches apart.


The…