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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!


Radical Ruminations of a Home Gardener

The editors here at Chelsea Green are constantly seeking out what’s new and important in the world of sustainable living. As part of an occasional blog series, our editors are sharing what they’ve been reading, researching, or just plain pondering. Below Senior Editor Fern Marshall Bradley daydreams about the coming growing season and reflects on some radical gardening ideas inspired by Maine farmer […] Read More

Not Level? No Problem. How to Build a Greenhouse on a Slope

Have you ever considered building a greenhouse on sloped terrain? It may not seem like the “perfect spot,” but as permaculture designer and farmer Shawn Jadrnicek points out, a sloped site for a greenhouse offers a bonus that a level site does not—the ability to use gravity to harvest rainwater.In his groundbreaking new book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, Jadrnicek offers in-depth information […] Read More

Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you. Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and […] Read More

Hands-On Learning: School of The New American Farmstead

This summer, twelve of our authors (plus Chelsea Green’s own President and Publisher) will be leading hands-on intensive courses at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont.These workshops, classes, and certifications will inspire you, equip you with marketable skills, and provide you with new perspectives on integrated, community-centered farming and food production.Engage your SensesThe hands-on courses will […] Read More

Q&A: Eric Toensmeier, author of The Carbon Farming Solution:

A Q&A with Eric Toensmeier, author of The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food SecurityQ: “Carbon farming” is a term that isn’t yet widely recognized in the mainstream. And even among people who are familiar with the term, not everyone agrees on what […] Read More
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