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Chelsea Green Blog

From the Farmstead Creamery Advisor, 10 Questions for Aspiring Cheesemakers

Gianaclis Caldwell, award-winning cheesemaker, goatherd, and author of The Farmstead Creamery Advisor, wanted to make sure her book brought the notion of small-scale dairy farming down to earth. Not because there’s no romance in a close relationship with animals and the earth, but because it takes a LOT of work to maintain a successful creamery. It can be frustrating, and Murphy’s Law (i.e. anything that can go wrong, will) exerts a force not unlike the Laws of Thermodynamics. Especially with animals as clever and willful as goats! They’ll always figure out if you left a gap in the fence, they’ll eat the wrong thing and get sick, they’ll eat your raspberry canes before you get any fruit, etc. Take this brief quiz to see if you’re up for the task.  The book looks at these questions in greater depth:
 Ten Questions to Test Your Suitability
  1. Do you like to get up early – every day of the year and for many years to come?
  2. Do you mind working late into the evening – and then getting up early the next day?
  3. Do you mind working hard between getting up early and going to bed late?
  4. Does your spouse or partner also enjoy these hours?
  5. Do you have a good head for business?
  6. Do you have an artistic or creative flair?
  7. Can you be satisfied with repetitive labor and a lot of dishwashing?
  8. Do you have a great love for working with animals, no matter how exhausted you are?
  9. Can you deal well with constantly changing challenges and problems, including animal deaths, equipment failure, product loss, possible lawsuits and product recalls, and rising insurance and power costs?
  10. Do you mind working for below minimum wage for several years, or do you have an independent source of income to help pay bills?
Get a copy of this essential guide during our Gardening & Agriculture sale, which ends next Wednesday! Thanks to the bloggers over at GoatLove for mentioning this!

We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form.That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals.In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, […] Read More

Who Produces More Eggs: Ducks or Chickens?

During our monthlong focus on homesteading in September, we received a number of great questions with several of them centered on … ducks and chickens.Here is one such question that came in via Facebook:“I have read that ducks produce more eggs over a longer lifetime of productivity than chickens, but recently talked with a farmer […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

Homesteading isn’t meant to be a solitary adventure, or done in isolation.Building and living on the independent farmstead takes at least one partner, if not several. That’s the advice of authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty. In their book The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food covers everything from […] Read More
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