Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Its a HOT HOT Mess on the Homestead!

Is it ever hot &  HUMID here in Tennessee these last few weeks! Just yuk!  
Thankfully I've had plenty to keep me busy on the inside! Like lots of orders (Thank You Customers!!!!) and my Sewing room/Crazy Goat Lady room becoming 2 different rooms! I am so so Thankful for that!
 Its been alot of work to move ALL my sewing machines and fabrics, etc. to the new 'sewing/office building' but I know its going to be great once its all in order.
The Crazy Goat Lady/sewing room getting all cleaned out!
 The sewing building is actually a building my husband (The Bald Man) bought for his 'office' and then offered me half of it because my Crazy Goat Lady skin care business has taking over my current sewing room,,, which leaves me NO space to sew! Of course my 'half' has become more like my 3/4 and his corner office! Bless his heart!
To much stuff for a small space makes me un-organized!
 The Crazy Goat Lady business stuff takes alot of space... storage for bottle and jars.. oils and butters... products... labels... and of course dried herbs I use for the infusions also!
Working on organizing bottle/jar storage and herb closet... this used to be the fabric closet
 Being unorganized and crowded makes me crazy!!!
Below is a pic of the HOT HOT mess that is to be my new sewing space!!!
Its coming together now and doesn't look as bad as it does in this pic I took last week!
I'm so so excited to have a new sewing space AND a room all for my goat milk skin care business!!

Also keeping me busy inside is Spinning!!! My mom brought over her spinning wheel and I am loving it like crazy... must have a spinning wheel now!
With having fleece and getting into fiber arts.. already loving yarn and crocheting... I will probably need a "fiber studio" someday soon... Oh, won't the Bald Man be thrilled to hear that! lol!!!

I'll post more on my spinning project later... its really really been wonderful and so much fun. My first spool is wonky... second looks way better! oh well.. more later!  ;-)
And more on the yarn my mom spun from MY OWN SHEEP!! Its ready to crochet into something fabulous! But what I can't decide!

Have a very very blessed day y'all!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fiber , Crochet & my Naked Sheep

Naked Sheep, Bo Peep, Curds & Chablis
Yep, the girls have been stripped of their woolie coats! I was panicked about finding some one to shear them but thankfully my mothers friend Barb, whos had sheep & been shearing for years was available to come and shear for me. She was great and did a great job!! and I learned alot.. hoping to someday be able to shear them myself. 

So I was left with a big pile of East Friesian super soft wool from my big ewe lambs...
Which my mother washed, carded, dyed and added some cream colored bamboo fibers to create the cotton candy you see below!!! I am anxiously waiting for her to spin it into yarn!! 
I would try myself but since I've only tried spinning one time I would rather her do it... seeing as how its the first fleece from my girls I want it to actually look nice!
Fiber from my own sheep!!
 Now this pile of fluff below is from an East Friesian fleece I got from the sheep dairy I bought my girls from. I have ALOT of fleeces from them... The Bald Man bought me a giant bag of them! Dirty and not skirted they are alot of work,, but I'm happy with the first one I trimmed and picked through :-)
I'm going to try washing it and processing it some myself... maybe try spinning it too!
East Friesian fleece from a local sheep dairy

This little shrug was crocheted from fiber my mom spun up! I love it! I also made a belt and a winter cap... its a silk blend... can't remember what blend exactly, but its really nice!
I am a future fiber junkie... I can feel it!

Its just to fun!!! Plus will give me some extra nice yarns to crochet!!

Y'all have a Great Weekend...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sheep Dairy Impossible!

I never thought I would have sheep... let alone DAIRY sheep! But here I am... with 3 East Friesian ewes and 1 Ram... Its a long story how I got here with them and I won't go into that.
I mean there was a couple of times when I thought I might get some hair sheep ram lambs to raise for meat.. but I wanted nothing to do with the woolie breeds, even though I love yarn. I am a crocheter and my mother is a weaver & spinner, so it would make sense to have wool.... I just really thought having wool sheep would be a pain in my behind! 
But thats for another post... this is about Sheep Milk & Cheese !!!
Bo Peep, East Friesian Ewe
I admit... I am obsessed with cheese and making cheese. And I admit, I am getting obsessed with sheep cheese and sheep milk . The yields are just unbelievable! And the taste... oh! the taste!!!
And if that wasn't good enough reasons to want dairy sheep... The amount of Ricotta you can make from the left over sheep whey!! Its amazing.
I have never had real Ricotta, until last month... Sheeps Milk Ricotta taste NOTHING like cow or goat milk ricotta...Its so good I don't even know how to describe it!
 I get a pound of sheeps milk Ricotta after making a wheel of cheese... thats just from the whey, adding no extra milk!
Just check out all the sheep cheese and blended cheese we've been eating and that are aging in my cheese cave in the below pictures!! We really eat very well on our little modest homestead here... theres no way I could afford to eat all this fancy sheep cheese if I had to buy it.. if I could even find it to buy!

Now my dairy ewes are babies (even though they are huge!) and haven't been bred. 
I am lucky enough to live close enough to the dairy they came from to buy sheeps milk in bulk so I can go ahead experiment and enjoy this incredible dairy product from sheep.
If you live close to New Market , TN or anywhere near a sheep dairy... treat yourself... go get some sheep milk! But I'm warning you, you will like it and want more!

Sheeps Milk Ricotta from the whey

A beautiful sheep milk cheese wheel.. over 3 lbs!

Sheep & Goat milk Monterrey Jack

Houloumi Cheese. A non melting sheep milk Greek cheese. Being fried...and then set on fire!

Houloumi Cheese all brown and crispy on the outside... melty on the inside! Just like the cheese I used to get in ATL at the Greek restaurants.

Fresh Garden Tomatoes with Sheep & Goat Milk cheese

More garden fresh tomatoes with Sheep Milk ricotta, herbs and some oil.. perfect summer dinner!
Adding a dairy animal to your homestead adds so much variety to your menu!

I also make yogurts... and have to say... sheep milk yogurt is the best I've made. Extra thick, more like Greek yogurt without having to strain it!
Sheep milk is so creamy, its really more like half and half only better! Because its also high in protein... tastes so sweet!!! Perfect in coffee... I think to rich to drink on its own though. My husband doesn't feel this way and would turn it up if I let him!

There are pros and cons to both dairy sheep and dairy goats . 
Both are a huge challange compared to other livestock though.

The ever changing new homestead... 

Blessings to all... Have a lovely day :-)