Sunday Funday

Hello All,

Happy Sunday, again. Made it through another week, again, with a full moon, woo!

Updates from Mountain Hollow Farm:

The male goats are in “Rut” which to me means smell really bad and are feelin’ frisky. Apparently they do all sorts of gross stuff to make themselves “attractive” to the female goats, who are grazing in a separate pasture for the time being. One thing they do is pee on themselves. If thats not gross enough, they also pee in their own mouths and on their faces…goats are weird, man.

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That goat right there is my homie, he’s from California. He’s a cashmere goat. Pretty creepy looking but has valuable fur, so he’s alright. Yup.

Hm, what else? Well, I’ve been learning to knit, which is a perk of working on farm that raises Fiber Goats. The first week I got here, the farm sent out a batch of unprocessed Cashmere to be spun into yarn by an outside company. It looked like this when we sent it out:

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These are the goats which the fiber above came from:

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The lighter cashmere came from the white goats, and the darker cashmere came from the dark brown goats, which I thought was interesting since the goats are so much darker, but the cashmere comes from their undercoat, which is apparently lighter.

Ok.

So, my first project was to make felted coasters, which was pretty easy to master but I haven’t finished felting them yet, so I don’t have a picture to show you. My second project was a baby hat, which I made for my dear sailor friend Princess, since she’s having a baby in January. Here’s a picture of that project, which I have since completed an am now moving on to socks, my highest knitting goal while I’m here.

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Yay.

As far as work goes, I have been working on the garden, see below. First I weeded it, which was easy since the weeds weren’t very root-bound, thank stars.

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Today I worked on it some more, with the help of the farmers husband, who just got back from a delivery in Texas. (He’s a truck driver and is gone most of the time, much to the displeasure of my hostess).

This is what the garden looks like now, we’re working on the beds.

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Garden project, in progress

 

Other than the garden, I have been working on burning a woodpile, which doesn’t sound very interesting but does require a lot of work, and am almost done with that.

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Gotta go, taking advantage of the fire by having a few local homesteaders over and roasting hot-dogs and marshmellers.

Lots of love to everyone still reading this.

xo

Kelly

 

Ps. a good substitute for swearing: say “curses”…so good.

 

 

 

Sunday Funday, WWOOF Update

Hello Readers,

Happy Sunday. We’ve all survived another week. Woo hoo.

Today at Mountain Hollow Farm it was a cheese and goulash making sort of day.

It was a free day, and my farm host Beth and I had been talking about making cheese all week, so we started off by making cheese, Paneer cheese, a soft, simple-to-make kind of cheese.

Here’s the recipe we used

Panir Cheese

  • 1 gallon milk (we used goat milk, of course, fresh, unpasturized, unhomogonized)
  • 2 tsp citric acid (or 8tblsp lemon juice) dissolved in 3/4 cups water
  • cheese salt to taste
  • dried herbs de Provence to taste (1.5 teaspoons)

yeilds – A giant ball of delicious softish/stickyish/melt in your mouth mushyish farmers cheese. Will keep about 10 days in fridge if it lasts that long

Process

  1. Heat 1 gallon milk in big pot until it comes to a rolling boil, stirring to prevent burning
    • Note: a rolling boil means you cant stir away the boiling bubbles
    • Note: make sure the pot you’re using is the kind of metal that wont react adversely with the citric acid (cant remember which kind of metal that is, aluminum?)
  2. Once rolling boil is established, turn down heat to LOW and add the citric acid mixture before all the foam dissappears, stir for 15 seconds and then REMOVE from heat
    • Don’t get freaked out by the color change, that is the cheese separating from the whey, which you can feed to your dogs or use in cooking to make biscuits
  3. Gently stir the couldron, so the cheese curds bunch together
  4. wait 10 minutes
  5. ladel out the curds into a cheese cloth, do this over a colander so the whey can continue to drain. catch the whey if you want to use it for something else. apparently its nutritious.  If you cant scoop all the curds out, pour the rest over the cheese cloth,
    • Note: try not to pour the hot liquid over the cheese you already scooped out because you dont want to have it melt through the cloth…leaving you with less cheese to eat
  6. wring out the cheese
  7. add salt and herbs to taste
  8. let hang for an hour or so, or press to make hard cheese, or just eat it like that. Voilá, delicious!

**I miss you Snickers!**

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***

Also,

Goulash was also quite tasty, here’s that recipe:

…meh, I don’t feel like writing it, but follow this link for the delicious recipe. We used more carrots and some turnips and next time I would add some red wine to the broth. We had no caraway seeds but used marjoram and it was fine. YUM.

Ok, if you’re still reading, thank you, here are some other farm updates:

Things I’ve learned/observed:

  • Llamas have very small testicles compared to goats
  • A horses eyelid can get cut and make it look like the horses eye has fallen out of its socket. Then it can be stitched up, and look like new in just a few short weeks
  • Horses and goats eat a lot of hay and drink a lot of water
  • Giant dogs who chase cars can get hit by those cars, hurt their paw, and still chase more cars
  • Giant dogs are difficult to wash and it is difficult to communicate their largeness in photo
Franz

This was at a dog-washing station at a car wash

 

  • Ladies who knit make for lovely company

 

More to come.

 

All good things,

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

WWOOF – Mountain Hollow Farm

Hello All,

Today I’ve got some farm updates for you.

Woof, Wwoof!

No, I’m not a dog, I’m a WWOOFer.

For those of you who don’t know, theres this thing called WWOOF, which stands for “willing workers on organic farms.”  It is a world-wide network of farms that accept volunteers in exchange for room and board. It is a great way to live and travel affordably, meet people, experience culture, and learn things, many things!

I started WWOOFing after graduating college because I didn’t know what else to do, first in Hawaii, then Israel, Germany, and now Tennessee. Along the way I have met many interesting people and places, learned a lot about farming and handiwork, and experienced crazy things, like being chased by a camel and accidentally going to Palestine. WWOOF has been a very enriching aspect of my life and I encourage anyone who doesn’t mind working while they’re on vacation to give it a try.

Anywho, this time around I wanted to work on a farm with horses, because I wanted to get to know horses. After searching the WWOOF-USA database, which costs about $20 for a one year membership, I found Mountain Hollow Farm, which not only has horses but also cashmere goats. Since I am the spawn of my mother, who LOVES cashmere clothing, I have developed an affinity for cashmere and thought it would be interesting to visit this farm to satisfy multiple interests: horses, cashemere, and music.

So, here I am, WWOOFing in Tazewell, Tennessee, learning about goats, horses, chickens, guinea hens, giant dogs, a llama, yarn, and knitting. I am about an hour from Knoxville, which hopefully will provide some music connection…I did see there is a Johnny Cash museum in Knoxville and Dolly Parton land isn’t too far away either.

Well, that’s all for now. More about farm life to come.

Cheers and thank you for reading.

Feel free to make comments, suggestions, or ask questions below.