Spring has arrived at Wensleydale Cottage, and this means:
1. Lots of planting – using mason jars, mugs, and anything you can find looks fun on a windowsill. Eggshells are also great for planting in: they are naturally biodegradable (give them a squeeze before you put them in the ground) and add nutrients. Aren’t bright spring colors wonderful?
Basil, Lettuce, and milk fresh from the cow
The boys working in grandma’s garden
We’ve been cleaning and saving our shells this winter for planting
Starting several varieties of cabbage, tomato, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and more
2. Spring is great because it can still be cool enough for a fire, which is great for rising my bagels, rolls, and bread loaves.
3. Baking lovely spring recipes, like this lemon curd cake. Make a chocolate bundt cake, but replace the chocolate with lemon curd. The icing is powered sugar with lemon juice and water.
4. Boosting chicken health after a long winter: occasional yogurt, and vinegar in the water, goes a long way to a healthy chicken digestive system
5. Chicks! We tend to rotate what breeds we get each year so I can tell how old they are, although I couldn’t help but order more Amberlinks. Those guys are friendly, easy to care for, and lay almost every day!
6. Our self-sufficient adventure begins in earnest: I made my first wheel of cheese to be waxed and aged ( I already make cheese weekly to be eaten immediately rather than aged). So far 2 weeks and no mold, so we’re looking good. The yield on this fresh-from-the-cow milk was incredible!
(Sharp Cheddar: heat milk to 90 degrees F, add your bacterial culture- I use a Mesophilic culture to achieve sharpness, keep at 90 for about 40 minutes. Add rennet to the milk and stir. Leave undisturbed and unheated to form a curd, which takes about an hour. Cut the curd and then bring the temperature back up to just over 100 degrees, as the curd separates from the whey. Drain and press excess moisture. Can be eaten straight away, or air dried for a week before waxing. )
7. Spring always means mud here! But since we are working on building a barn for our Dexter heifers, we’ve got mud like we’ve never had before. I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end…