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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!


Ask the Expert: Andrew Mefferd

Before writing The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture, Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. Andrew has graciously agreed to offer up his expertise to our […] Read More

Top 10 favorite goat facts (with gifs)

New this month from author Gianaclis Caldwell, Holistic Goat Care is the essential resource on caring for your herd. Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter […] Read More

New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More
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