Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Milk Goat Breeds for Pets

7:52 PM
Looking for Milk Goat Breeds? Check Out These Popular Ones.

Milk goats have often been described as the "poor man's cow." Now they're considered more sustainable than cows and more environment-friendly; they cost less to keep, and produce between a quart to a gallon of milk a day, depending on the breed. What's more, they make great pets, as they're friendly and outgoing. Here are some of the breeds to consider if you're looking for dairy goats.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm a Mother Earth News Blogger!

3:28 PM
Great news!  I'm now officially a Mother Earth News Blogger!  That means I'll be blogging a lot more and you'll hear more about my goat adventures.  So without further ado, here is my current blog on Mother Earth News:

The phone rang at 10:00pm.

Small Dairy Goat
“You still want that goat?” the voice said.

“Uh, yeah,” I said, wondering why the person had called me so late. “I’m really not interested in buying the kid.”

“That’s okay,” she said. “I’ll trade you the nanny for some chickens.”

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Drying Herbs and a Lost Summer

2:37 PM
With the accident, I found that my summer was pretty much lost.  Despite this, my zucchini still grew, my cucumbers didn't grow, and a bunch of stuff didn't survive the heat.

Sigh.

One thing that did take off were my herbs.  With autumn here, I had to make a decision what to do with them all.  Luckily, a store around here helped me make that decision.  I got the  Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker for half price because the packaging was damaged, but nothing else was.

I had wanted to dry herbs using a dehydrator after doing it by various means, including hanging the herbs and letting the airflow dry them.  But a dehydrator is so much easier, quicker, and convenient.  An added bonus is that the herbs don't lose their color from drying the way that hanging them does.

For years I resisted buying a dehydrator because of the cost.  Paying $75 or more for something that basically does what air drying and a stove can do seemed extravagant.  Now that I see what the dehydrator will do, I'm sold.

One thing I must do is mark what is being dried.  Herbs look all the same when dried, so I had to taste them to tell the difference between mint and oregano.  Next time, I'll be more clever.  I dried oregano, mint, marjoram, thyme, parsley, rosemary and tarragon.  I'm going to see if the basil in my fridge is any good and dry that.

Most herbs require being dried somewhere between 12 and 24 hours, with the exception of thyme and marjoram which supposedly need only 1 to 3 hours.  According to the dehydrator, they needed to be at 105F, which the dehydrator does handily.  I pulled them out this morning and tested the herbs for doneness.  Some, like the cilantro, needed more time.  Others were dry and ready to be put up in airtight containers.  They claim they do best in cool, dark places, so I'm going to have to put them away someplace that meets that requirement.

If it all works out, I've just discovered a way to avoid buying certain herbs.  While they aren't as expensive as they used to be, it gives me a greater value when I can just dry my own.

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