Thursday, December 8, 2016

Our New Little Milker.

Introducing the newest addition to our homestead! Our New milk cow, Abigail, is a small jersey. She is still young( even though she has had one calf), and we are in the process of really getting her gentled down and trained to come in when she is called for milking. Dustin built her a milking stantion under the side shed on our old barn and she also has a nice, roomy stall to call her own :-) .

View from above.

Milking away. A nice, stainless steel bucket is a must. You can use plastic, but it is much harder to keep really clean, and aluminum and other metals can actually give the milk a bad taste. Is one place that carries them (Search "stainless steel milk pail").

Here is Abigail's bell. She wears it when she is out to pasture. It is really handy because she is not fully trained to come when she's called yet, and if she is up in the woods, it's nice to be able to hear her when you go to find her.
 And, anyway, if you own a cow, and you own a cowbell, who could resist?

It feels so good to have loft full to the rafters with hay from our own land. Bring on the cold weather - there's plenty for the stock to eat!

So, one of the benefits of having our own cow has been making our own butter. Butter, especially organic or natural options, is so expensive these days. And with the studies that have been done now show how bad margarine is for you, it's been nice to have a steady supply from an animal who's food source we know.

The girls have gotten a kick out of helping shake cream!

Daddy shows her how.

Ember, you little ham!

You can tell the butter has nearly "come" from the way the cream looks sort of clumpy on the sides of the jar. Once it looks like this it just needs another minute or so before it's butter.

Oh, now, here's the butter! Look at that big lump floating in the buttermilk. Sometimes it is yellow like from the store, and sometimes its very pale like the batch above. The color doesn't affect the flavor. And speaking of flavor, it has been amazing! I have eaten homemade butter that had a strong flavor, but I think that must be from something with a strong flavor that the cow is finding to forage on. Anyway, this has been really tasty.

The butter needs all the buttermilk rinsed out. This seems easiest if you stick the whole jar in the fridge for a little while and let the butter harden a bit. Then when you rinse its not so easy to loose some of the soft butter down the sink.

Last, you salt the butter to taste. A little goes a long way!
*The wooden spatula is one that Dustin carved. Go to to see our current selection of  hand carved kitchen utensils.

Well, that's it for this post, but we look forward to making cheese as well ! - HMH.


  1. Kenneth D. - NebraskaDecember 10, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    "And with the studies that have been done now show how bad margarine is for you..." How recent are these "studies?" Many modern margarines no longer have hydrogenated oil, and thus no trans fat. Butter might not be as healthy as you think. Getting kicked or stepped on by a cow is also bad for one's health. Let's look to the Lord for our health and stop fooling ourselves that we can be "independent" or "sustainable." It is the Lord Who sustains, and we had better acknowledge our dependence on Him.

    1. We certainly didn't mean for this to turn into a controversial post! Obviously everyone should do their own research on their own health decisions. And, of course, people will not always come to the same conclusions as to what is 'best'. Our family has determined that we are more comfortable eating butter than margarine , and if anyone is interested , We'd recommend this article: https:>//authority . There are plenty of others out there from both points of view as well. We readily admit that not all margarines are created equal,Just as all Butters (grass-fed vs.grain-fed,for instance)are not equal.
      As for insinuations about the quality of our faith determined from what you read on our blog:We might point out that, though we enjoy sharing truthfully about our lifestyle,you don't really know us.We do not live the way we do so that we can be 'independent' so much as to be able to spend more time together as a family .
      One more thing. Sarcasm online pared with references to the Lord is hardly a good testimony. Galations 5:15 "but if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." Let's not make a stumbling block out of something as trivial as margarine vs.butter.

  2. This is so nice! Love the pictures and how informative this post is.

    1. Thank you Rebecca! It was a pretty morning for pictures! Happy you enjoyed the post!

  3. Hi I am also from homestead, I have write multiple posts for homesteading but your post give me more ideas to write thanks .