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Showing posts from January, 2018

Sourdough Fail, it Happens

I am trying to get better about posting my blog every week, it does get difficult at times as I am still in DC for the next 9 weeks or so before returning for good to the homestead.   Some of you have noticed there is more posts lately about things like baking, particularly sour dough bread baking rather than farming/planting/livestock stuff.  That is because that is something I can work on in DC while I wait, and it is skills that will transfer.  I have been working on sourdough bread lately as it is a cultured food, similar to cheese’s and yogurts (which I want to also work on) so it allows me get some of the basics down to dealing with live cultures and further reduces the need for commercial yeasts. The plan for this weekend was to make a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread as well as a sour dough king cake.  I even bragged about doing it on Facebook before the fact.  Admittedly after last week’s success on the artesian sour dough bread I was probably a little too cocky with my s

Anyone Can Make Sour Dough Bread without Yeast

Making my first sourdough bread So, I have always been interested in trying to bake bread, but I have never had much luck with commercial yeast and getting my dough to rise.  Not sure if I would use water that was too hot or what, just never had much luck and it discouraged me from continuing on.  Then when surfing homesteading sites/blogs I kept on running into blogs about making a sourdough starter, it piqued my curiosity, so I started reading more on it.   Turns out there was a way to make bread without a commercial yeast!  As I am very much about self sufficiency and eventually want to culture my own yogurt and cottage cheese, this looked like an ideal place to start, learning to bake bread and gain some experience with cultured foods.  Making a sourdough starter is surprisingly easy but time consuming in that it takes about a week from start to finish.  While that sounds intimidating, the truth is it only takes a couple minutes a day.  A sour dough starter is basically m

Why Ducks are a Valuable Addition to the Northern Homestead

Why am I excited about adding ducks and duck eggs to the homestead? In last weeks post ( ) I promised a follow up post on the benefits/advantages of duck eggs.  I will also go into what the advantages of having ducks are to the small farm homesteader and how they add value to the farm. First let’s talk about the eggs, duck eggs are slightly larger then chicken eggs and as such will have higher nutrient content per eggs, however proportionally a duck egg’s yolk has more fat and the white has more protein then chicken eggs, even for their size.  This is important for a couple reasons.  It means when you use duck eggs to bake with you will get a fluffier and richer pastry or baked good.  This makes them prized by pastry chefs and home bakers alike.  The higher fat profile also makes them sought after by those on a Paleo and Ketogenic diet as these diets lean towards heathy fats and duc

Picking Poultry for 2018, Chickens, Ducks and Geese

Well, I just placed this year’s poultry order, hopefully it will be my last larger poultry order for a couple years as I will have most of what I wanted to raise on the farm!  This year I ordered 50 Black Austrolorp chicks to join our remaining 27 Barred Rocks whose numbers will increase the natural way!.  We chose the austrolorp due to its great foraging abilities,  known cold weather survivability and exceptional egg laying for a heritage breed.  Originally, I was thinking the Dominique but at the end I switched over to the Austolorp due to egg production.  At adulthood Austrolorp c ocks weigh up to 8.5 pounds and hens about 7 pounds. The coloration of the Australorp is an intense blue-black, and its blue-black feathers shimmer with beetle-green iridescence. The cocks have large bright red single combs and wattles and they have a black beak, while the dark slate-colored legs have pinkish white soles. Austrolorps lay eggs that are normally a light brown color .   Stock image of