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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PST

Making Buttermilk

Written by Gianaclis Caldwell, The Small-Scale Dairy provides knowledge on every aspect of milk and milk production, from start to finish. Below are some excerpts and photographs from the book. Enjoy!

On Animal Suitability:
What kind of milk animal would best suit your needs? For barnyard matchmaking to be a success, you need to address several concerns. The volume and components; innate flavor and aesthetics of the milk; your land, including available feed, topography, weather, size, facilities, and neighbors; your personal disposition, market issues regarding not just the milk but also surplus animals, and the availability of good starter stock.

Milking

On Milking Parlor Cleanliness:
The milking parlor is the first time that the otherwise sterile milk in the udder will be exposed to the environment- through open-air milking or through air that enters the milking equipment during machine milking. It is your first opportunity to either keep the milk as the animal created it or allow airborne bacteria, yeasts, molds, and microscopic debris to contaminate the pristine liquid. Even if you follow all the procedures for clean udders and teats, the air in the parlor must be clean as well.

Milking Parlor

On Buttermilk:
If you are lucky enough to have access to farm-fresh raw cream, you are in for a treat when you make cultured butter. Most commercially available butters are made without the addition of any starter cultures, although some brands such as Organic Valley and Vermont Creamery make lovely pasteurized cultured butters. Butters can be cultured naturally by allowing the raw cream to ripen for a period of time- allowing the natural bacteria to develop- or through the addition of ripening starter cultures, or both! Raw-milk butters can be made with or without culturing. Cultured butters have a more complex flavor and aroma, thanks to the development of a small amount of acid, as well as flavor and aroma compounds produced by the bacteria, but they are also more prone to rancidity.

Making Buttermilk

On Cream:
If you have access to fresh cow’s milk, then you know the beauty of bovine milk’s ability to “cream.” Large fat globules easily clump and rise in cow’s milk, thanks in part to the presence of a protein type called “cryoglobulin” that attracts fat globules. Think of the fat globules as little balloons rising to the top of the milk. As the cryoglobulin collects the little balloons, they form large groups of balloons that rise even more quickly. Goat’s milk not only has smaller, less dense milk fat globules, but it also lacks the clumping protein. Goat’s milk will eventually separate, but it takes much longer and never will be as complete as what happens with cow’s milk.

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

Building a Community, Building a Barn

Building a Community, Building a Barn

by:
from issue:

One of the most striking aspects of this development is the strength and confidence that comes from this communal way of living. While it is impressive to build a barn in a day it seems even more impressive to imagine building four barns or six, and all the rest of the needs of a community. For these young Amish families the vision of a shared agricultural community is strong, and clear.

"Work Horse Handbook, 2nd Edition" by Lynn Miller

Draft Collars and How To Size Them

It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found.

How to Grow an Acre of Potatoes

How to Grow an Acre of Potatoes

by:
from issue:

Heretofore potato production in this country has been conducted along extensive rather than intensive lines. In other words, we have been satisfied to plant twice as many acres as should have been necessary to produce a sufficient quantity of potatoes for our food requirements. Present economic conditions compel the grower to consider more seriously the desirability of reducing the cost of production by increasing the yield per acre.

Farm Drum 32 Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil

Farm Drum #32: Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil – Finishing the Hook

Pete Cecil demonstrates basic blacksmithing techniques through crafting a hook in the forge.

The Woodfired Bottom-heated Greenhouse Bench

Cultivating Questions: The Woodfired Bottom-heated Greenhouse Bench

It took several incarnations to come up with a satisfactory design for the bottom heated greenhouse bench. In the final version we used two 55 gallon drums welded end-to-end for the firebox and a salvaged piece of 12” stainless steel chimney for the horizontal flue. We learned the hard way that a large firebox and flue are necessary to dissipate the intense heat into the surrounding air chamber and to minimize heat stress on these components.

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

by:
from issue:

To select a Model 8, 10 or 10A for rebuilding, if you have a few to choose from – All New Idea spreaders have the raised words New Idea, Coldwater, Ohio on the bull gear. The No. 8 is being rebuilt in many areas due to the shortage of 10A’s and because they are still very popular. The 10A is the most recent of the spreaders and all three can be rebuilt. The 10 and 10A are the most popular for rebuilding as parts are available for putting these spreaders back into use.

Barn Door Plans

Barn Door Plans

Good barn doors, ones that will last a lifetime of opening, sliding and swinging in the wind, require careful design and construction. In 1946 the Starline Co., a barn building firm from the midwestern US, compiled a book of barn plans. These two diagrams were in that book and presented excellent information.

Planting Calendar and Other Diagrams

From Dusty Shelves: A 1943 calendar for seeding your vegetable garden.

Choosing a Gas or Coal Forge for the Small Farm Shop

Choosing a Gas or Coal Forge for the Small Farm Shop

by:
from issue:

After you’ve built a small farm blacksmith shop, one of the first decisions that you’ll need to make is which type of fuel you’ll be using. Most people choose either gas (propane) or coal, however, wood fired forges are also an option. All three fuel types have pros and cons. The final decision will likely be based on the type of forging that you plan to do and the local availability of the fuel.

Book Review Butchering

Two New Butchering Volumes

Danforth’s BUTCHERING is an unqualified MASTERPIECE! One which actually gives me hope for the furtherance of human kind and the ripening of good farming everywhere because, in no small part, of this young author’s sensitive comprehension of the modern disconnect with food, feeding ourselves, and farming.

Harvesting Rainwater

Harvesting Rainwater

by:
from issue:

Collecting rainwater for use during dry months is an ancient practice that has never lost its value. Today, simple water collection systems made from recycled food barrels can mean a free source of non-potable water for plants, gardens, bird baths, and many other uses. Rainwater is ideal for all plants because it doesn’t contain dissolved minerals or added chemicals. One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof yields approximately 600 gallons of water.

A Pony-Powered Garden Cart

A Pony-Powered Garden Cart

by:
from issue:

One of the challenges I constantly face using draft ponies is finding appropriately sized equipment. Mya is a Shetland-Welsh cross, standing at 11.2 hands. Most manure spreaders are big and heavy and require a team of horses. I needed something small and light and preferably wheeled to minimize impact to the land. My husband and I looked around our budding small farm for something light, wheeled, cheap, and available, and we quickly noticed our Vermont-style garden cart.

Moving Bees

Moving Bees

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from issue:

Moving beehives from one location to another is often a necessary step in apiary management. Commercial beekeepers routinely move large numbers of hives often during a season, to pollinate crops, avoid pesticide applications or to utilize specific honey flows. Beekeeping hobbyists may also move bees to distant honey flows or pollination sites, or to bring home a newly purchased hive.

McCormick Deering/International No 7 vs no 9

McCormick Deering/International: No. 7 versus No. 9

McCormick Deering/International’s first enclosed gear model was the No. 7, an extremely successful and highly popular mower of excellent design.

Disc Harrow Requirements

Disc Harrow Requirements

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from issue:

One of the most important requirements is disc blade concavity, that is, correct concavity. Further along we set forth the purposes of disc concavity. We feel it is important enough to devote the extra time and words in a discussion of the subject, because seldom is disc concavity talked about, and very few know that there is difference enough to cause good and bad work.

Starting Seeds

From Dusty Shelves: A WWII era article from Farming For Security

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT