I found a you tube video that demonstrated how to make chevre. I really like this method of making cheese. It is less actual work than mozzarella by far, and farmers cheese. You let the milk come to room temp and add the culture, stir, and let it sit. Lazy woman's cheese. The way she demonstrated how to do it in the video just made it so easy. I used my big stainless stockpot and three purchased molds. The molds made me not have to fight with the cheese cloth/ butter muslin cloth and hanging the cheese. The ingredients are as follows for the fancy Chevre:
1 gallon milk used goat milk (Yea!)
1 packet direct set mesophilic culture
1 drop rennet
1/64th of a teaspoon Geotrichum Candidum
(most of my stuff came from Cheesemaking .com)
After waiting nearly 22 hours I scooped up the curd and dished it up into the molds. No messy draining in cheesecloth. I used the plastic molds that are like little strainers. They went in a plastic container I had with a rack in it and I left for work took 5 minutes. This time I am going to age the cheese. putting I sprinkled ash (activated charcoal) on the little wheels to form the rind she talks about. I've got a good friend with a new wine cellar and I carried them over for their aging. By adding the Geotrichum Candidum my yield seems greater than with farmers cheese simply judging by the amount of whey that was left in the pan. It does taste better as well I was told by tasters that it was creamier and tastier.
Bennie has been feasting on them. I think the most successful plants were the Black Krim. We did have some Cherokee Purple but they are and have always been thin as far as harvest goes. No one bothered to tell the Black Krims that they were gourmet tomatoes and they just keep on producing. The irrigation was, and still is, great. Arkansas just gets too dry in July and August.
We have had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year. I grew a variety from Johnny's seeds called maxpac that is supposed to be resistant to all the cucumber vine diseases that I had last year and they have produced wonderfully. I put up at least a dozen quarts of pickles. Plus a gallon of fresh pack cucumbers. I will do another dozen and then call it done. The only complaint I might have about the Maxpac would be that they are a fatter cucumber than I would like.
I did not do any green beans and will have to try some fall beans. I don't know if the neem seed meal trick will work on whatever eats my bean type crops. I think it's leaf hoppers and they might require a row cover for pretty beans.
I made chevre cheese for the first time and am in love with the cheese. I think it tastes way better than the cheese I bought at Sams. I've made it three times now and two times it was perfect, once I forgot the rennet. Major fail, The chickens were happy because they got the whole vat. Thank God for chickens. More on the chevre later.
All the chicken are finally in their forever coop and run after restocking my flock this year. I tried a few other breeds Bielefelders, Columbian Wyandotts, and Bress. I really like the Bielfelders and the Wyandotts. I can't say I've been impressed with the Bress chickens they seem to die more easily. Sometimes after I storm I might find one that just fell off the perch. It is unusual to have a high chicken mortality for me but this year I have had a lot of chicken deaths. The babies that were sent were just not that resilient. All were not purchased form the same hatchery either. I don't know.
Melinda and Bennie Pepper
We work in technology but are homesteaders at heart. We're trying to set up our homestead with productive systems that are sustainable. We have Nigerian Dwarf goats and chickens and are trying to garden and raise fruit trees.