My first step into the cheesemaking


Posted by kat | Posted in Our Goats, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 29-04-2012

I am one of those types of people that likes to learn new things.  One of those new things I wanted to try was making cheese.   I have goat’s, so I bred them, to a sannen buck that had excellent milking lines and started milking as soon as I was able.   For the first week after the babies were born you can’t use the milk because it has colostrum in it.  I saved the colostrum and froze it for emergencies and gave the cat’s the rest.   Once the week was up, I saved it in the freezer and kept adding to it.  I ended up with 5 containers of various sizes filled with milk.  After I defrosted them, I had 18 3/4 cups of milk, or just over 1 gallon of milk.  I then put this on the stove so that I could pasteurize the milk, at 145F for 30 mins and then your supposed to cool it to 40 degrees.   Tomorrow I will be making the Feta cheese.

From a Nuc to 8 frame hive


Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 19-04-2012

OK, So I went out about 2:30pm and tried to switch my bee’s from the Nuc to the 8 frame hive I got for Christmas.   I love it when I get what is on my wish list.

First I put on my veil and gloves.  I put rubber bands around my wrists to keep my long sleeved shirt closed better.  Then I went and got my smoker, which I couldn’t keep going.  So I then went into the house and got spray bottle and put in sugar water, I sprayed down the opening to the Nuc a few times, then unscrewed the top to the Nuc.   I carefully took off the top to the nuc and sprayed any bee’s that were stuck to the top and any that were on the frames.  I did have to carefully pry apart the frames, the bee’s had started to stick them together, I tried to pull out the frames but I couldn’t keep a good hold of it with the gloves on, so I took them off and had an easier time of pulling them out.   Because I have an 8 frame hive and the Nuc was a 5 frame, I put two empty frames on one side and one empty frame on the other for expansion, with the 5 frames from the nuc sandwiched in the middle.  I think I might have gotten stung, but it didn’t hurt so I am wondering if I might not have hit a dead bee as there were several SMOOSHED against the side of the nuc.  All it did to my finger was make it itch and swell a little, it turned red after I started scratching it.
All in all, I am rather proud of myself for having transfered 5 frames loaded with bees and stuff into the new hive by myself and with no one there watching telling me what to do.



Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 18-04-2012

Last month I signed up for a beginner’s bee keeping class, then at the end of the month we were going to be able to get a Nuc of bee’s.   I put my name on the list and yesterday at the bee keeping meeting, I found out that the bee’s were ready for pick up tonight.   One of the gentlemen in charge of putting the order’s together, was very nice and picked it up for me since I wasn’t able to get them at the set time as I had other obligations tonight.   So I picked them up from the gentleman and I am supposed to set them on top of the hive they will live in and then tomorrow transfer them into the big hive.    The thing I am worried about the most is making sure I have smoked them enough that they will be sleepy and be less likely to get mad and want to swarm and sting me.   The nuc I ordered has 5 frames of bee’s and my hive is an 8 frame, so I will have five extra     frames to either start a nuc with if my hive swarms or I can then add them to the hive eventually.  I really wish that I had been able to go through the class before I got the bee’s, but I am glad that I have a few people I can ask for help, if I need it.

Milking goats


Posted by kat | Posted in Our Goats, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 09-04-2012

So milking the goat’s hasn’t been as easy as I thought in some ways and in other’s it’s been easier.  It took me watching about 5 different you tube video’s, about ten times, before I figured it out.   The milking stand I built had some issues but it worked, until today when the goat’s broke it, I think I have figured away to still use it, but I am still annoyed.  I am looking for one already made, that I can get that will make it easier.  I think I have about 1 1/2 quarts of milk that has been saved up, today I even got 1 1/2 cups from the two goats.

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