Author Topic: Hello from Southwest Michigan!  (Read 1124 times)

Offline fastweedpuller

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Southwest Michigan
  • Posts: 4
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
    • fast grow the weeds
Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« on: July 09, 2010, 03:16:15 PM »
Greetings!  I am finally de-lurking and am really looking forward to directly learning from all of you!

I am a new cheesemaker...we purchased an Alpine goat in late December, she freshened (three bucklings, boo) in late February, and I have been in "white gold" ever since.  It's been a fun ride.  I can't say I have a lot of total disasters under my belt yet but I am sure they're coming...because of course one of the first cheeses I made was a cheddar (hah!).  So far I have blues, cambozola, St. Maure, cheddar, derby, brie, camembert and of course all forms of chevre coming out my ears here.  And yes I make kefir, yogurt, buttermilk etc. in heavy rotation. 

Has anybody experienced this?  I can't look at any vessel or kitchen/farm item now without thinking "can I use that for cheesemaking?"

I'm a huge gardener (have greenhouses for year-round production) and we have, basically, become fairly self-sufficient with food.  Here's my website about it all:  http://fastgrowtheweeds.com/

I would love to hear especially from fellow goat-tenders, but really, "all cheese is good."

Cheers!
El
url=http://fastgrowtheweeds.com/][/url]

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 205
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 03:38:47 PM »
Hi El. Welcome! I love your site :)

If you think that's bad, I can't go to any store without thinking about ways to use their wares for cheesemaking. I was at a mattress store earlier in the year, and I saw a foam topper, and I thought it would make a good insulator for my vat. It's a fun affliction money pit activity.

I raise mini-lamanchas to get higher butterfat in the milk for cheesemaking. I love Alpines, too, such great milkers.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,803
  • Cheeses: 97
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 03:45:25 PM »
Hello el and welcome. I don't have goats unfortunately I am a deweller of a small city and I can't even convince them a pot bellied pig is not a farm animal. I am an advid cheesemaker and all round DIYer though a I was raised on a small farm and hope to return when I retire in a few years.

Yes I can relate to seeing everything as potential tools for the various trades to which I spend my "fre time". If it won't work for cheese it might work for sausage or pickling or smoking or brewing or one of the other DIY addictions I have. Yard sales and dollar stores beware I am looking for nothing and everything!

Great blog! I love you writing style.

Online Sailor Con Queso

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 2,763
  • Cheeses: 134
    • Boone Creek Creamery
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 07:39:38 PM »
I love my hoop house (greenhouse). We grow broccoli, lettuce, etc all winter long.

Nice blog.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Doha, Qatar
  • Posts: 4,070
  • Cheeses: 61
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2010, 06:46:55 AM »
Hi El, welcome, great blog and cute kid, FYI in the FAQ Board there is a how to link your Blog to your signature, if want, great looking Camembert! 

Offline FarmerJD

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Alabama
  • Posts: 839
  • Cheeses: 34
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 08:47:58 AM »
Welcome aboard, El. I too loved your blog and can really identify with the desire to change the pace of life. I really loved the rocket stove.
I think your comment about seeing cheese equipment everywhere must be a common trait among DIY of every stripe. I literally get a headache as I am driving from looking at everything on both sides of the road wondering which project it would fit with best. Nice to know there are other scavengers out there. Good luck with your adventure.

Offline fastweedpuller

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Southwest Michigan
  • Posts: 4
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
    • fast grow the weeds
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 06:58:55 AM »
Hah, Linuxboy, I am trying to keep the moneypit thing a bit of a secret from my husband, but when he calls from the store asking "is there anything you need," and I say, "a bigger refrigerator," I guess it's no longer much of a secret.  (So:  did you buy the foam topper?)  But affliction:  yes.  At least this one I can share! 

DeejayDebi, tell me:  where in the list did making cheese fit in to your DIY activities?  Was it, like, a gateway to doing everything else or was it a later obsession?  With me it's a later one...though I appear to always try a whole bunch of things at once and wonder why I have no time to do the laundry.  But as you said it makes shopping a lot easier if you're looking for nothing and everything!  How true.

Hello Sailor.  Yeah, I call them greenhouses even though they're technically hoophouses or high tunnels...unheated.  Seems easier when I am talking to the unconverted!  I am glad to hear there are others who grow veg to go with their own cheese  :D

John, thanks so much for the tip!  It's a learning process, figuring out how a forum works.  I'll learn though: the cheese makes me pretty motivated.  And the camembert:  so far my most favorite of all my favorites (as in, they're all my favorites I am so greedy).  It was so funny.  I brought one to a party and made sure EVERYONE knew that I MADE it.  That is so not me!  So cheesemaking is obviously taking over my personality too.  Ah well.

Hey FarmerJd, I have a solution for you:  get someone else to drive, someone who preferably won't mind pulling over!!  Yeah, the scavenging thing is part of a piece I think.  I forage too, which is also loads of fun (free food!).  I think you would love a rocket stove.  They're such simple technology but really easy to cook things on quickly (always quickly).  And one can fry cheese on top...



url=http://fastgrowtheweeds.com/][/url]

Offline Gina

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
  • Cheeses: 10
  • Was that the frig door?
Re: Hello from Southwest Michigan!
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 01:20:21 PM »
Welcome to the board. You'll find lots of good information and friendly people here.

I also veg garden and live in an area of essentially no frost so can grow some things year round. The garden is smaller this year however because making cheese seems to have eaten into yard time. There are only so many hours in the day. Fortunately it's all good. :)

Quote
Nice to know there are other scavengers out there.
I guess I qualify too, LOL.  I just found a nice 2-gallon ice chest yesterday in someone's curb-side recycling.
A watched cheese never ages...