Goat vaccine and snip

i gave all the goats 1 ml of Glanvac 6 today. They will need a booster in 4 weeks as I don’t think they had this before.


Also, Bakr and Rubik have been sold to a lovely home but prior to going Bakr had to be gelded. It got done 2 days ago. Lost a lot of blood and took nearly 3.5 hours to wake up. Seems happy enough now but has a huge prolapse. Vet came back to check him and it is just tissue not intestine. He’ll need an extra 10 ml of penicillin tomorrow and again 3 days later.

Also took VLly for a walk and it seems we may have resolved our dominance issues… We’ll see.


Cheese at last!

i went to a cheese making workshop on the weekend and I made a hard cheese that's still curing, but inspired by the workshop and thanks to the recipe I got there I made feta and it's great!! 

only issue it's very salty so might need to experiment with different concentrations of brine.

Here's what I did:


I used a sprinkle of hard cheese mesophilic culture instead of the pre-cultured buttermilk.



  Apparently you can use an 8% bribe instead so it won't be too salty to eat. Will try that next time!  










Study trip

we gave just finished our 2 weeks in Queensland and we’ve picked up a bunch of ideas for expanding the farm visit business.

The main ideas that have emerged from this trip are:

1. Educational bee hives

2. Overnight farm experience

3. Berry patch

1. In order to safely have the kids interact with the bees we may need to have a hive with a clear side and adjoin it to a window. This could be done by cutting out a viewing window in the craft shed or by using the sunroom. Placing walls made of fly screen strategically can then help make sure the bees stay away from kids. 


viewing hives. bit high tech but great.
Must also workout what kind of hive, currently leaning towards a foundationless langstroth where the bees have 2 bottom boxes to themselves which I never open. The top box can then be a Flow hive light with 3-4 flow frames in the middle and foundationless frames on either side to get comb and wax.

2. For this we need to fit 4 beds in the blue room. This can be done with a loft bed, or a queen and bunk. A cool idea would be to build a platform above the current queen for 2 kids mattresses to be.  We would also need a decent veggie patch

The experience would be a summer only to start with so that meals can be served outside or in the sunroom. 

People would arrive around 4-5 pm and be served one of Damian’s berry and mint mockstails on arrival. Then we’d go and pick some veggies for the pizza. While that’s being made we can collect eggs. 

After dinner we’d go for a spotlight wildlife tour.

In the morning we’d milk the goat then have the milk with pancakes made from our eggs and berries and honey and yoghurt. 

After brekkie we’d feed everyone then finish with…. Need a final activity. (Maybe cheese making it honey collection. Take home a small jar). They leave at 11 am.

3. Would be nice to have a mixed berry patch where people can pick their own. This would be on top of our house berries  

strawberry field

The last Palm?

made another batch to use up the last of my palm oil… Still debating if I should order more or go totally palm oil free. 

This is the recipe I used, adding honey and oatmeal at trace. 

I used the same procedure to keep things white with the frozen mold,  and soaping really cold ( 20C for the lye and milk and 32C for the oils. But this time I only froze the soap for 1 hr.

To my horror, when I started cutting it the following day, it was also brittle, but thankfully after the first 2 bars broke the rest were fine. And the colour is pretty good! 

 BUT I think all this freezing is still a bit too much. In the future u think I will freeze me mold but then take it out a bit before pouring, and NOT put the soap in the freezer, especially if it is winter.

Was my best seller at markets. Total packaged cost 1.30/ bar

Cold is white then re-batch

After having issues with gel rings lately I decided to try a few adjustments to my process to prevent the soap from undergoing gel phase. Interestingly, the shampoo bar I had erupt on me a while back, has no ring. I now know that is probably because it went through a full gel phase.

I read that wooden miles retain the heat so I lined the mild and put it in the freeze for many hours before using it. 

I used frozen milk as always and the recipe below as a palm free alternative to the milk and honey. 


lovely and white with soecks but too crumbly to cut
also added 2 eggs in the pot at trace

I soaped very cool with the lye solution at 19C and the oils at 35, everything stayed white. I mixed some soap with egg and swirled it around but it just gave the soap specks. Still, very attractive. 
The I put it in the freezer overnight and in a cold room for a day but when I tried cutting it it was brittle. Will leave it to cure further.

After a few days it was still brittle and impossible to cut, so sadly I couldn’t use my perfectly white soap. A bit of researched showed that loss of heat, too severe and too fast after soaping was the likely issue.

The only solution : re-batch. So I made my first re-batch soap. I broke the brittle soap into pieces and put it in a double boiler with a couple of tablespoons of water. Later I added some honey. It took a while but eventually got pretty liquid so I poured it back in my wooden mold. A few hours later it was ready to cut. Certainly no longer white but sellable. 

melting the soap in the double boiler


NOTE: this recipe sold well at the Captain’s flat markets. Also, I had a piece that I didn’t re/batch and when I tried cutting it 5 weeks after making it, it wasn’t brittle any more.