Fodder Webinar February 17, 2014 – Don’t Miss It!

There might be some confusion when you view the page the link takes you to. In order to register, you must click the “OK” button which is located toward the bottom right of the screen. February 17, 2014. 1:00 PM. Sprouting Fodder Webinar. Sprouting barley and other grains for dairy cows (and other livestock) is not a novel practice, but has gained more popularity in the past few years as grain prices rise and farmers … Continue reading

5 Acres & A Dream The Book Giveaway!

Our friend, Leigh, from the blog 5 Acres & A Dream, has finished a book by the same name detailing their goal of making practical homesteading a reality. This is 262 pages of inspiration for anyone who’s tackled this lifestyle or is still in the dreaming and planning phase. We’ll learn about their successes and failures, view pictures of their progress and get to look over their master plan. There are chapters on food, water and … Continue reading

Reusable Yogurt Cultures

One of my frustrations with homemade yogurt is that you can only use your yogurt a few times to start new batches. It seems to lose its ability to ferment the milk properly. Then it’s off to the store to buy fresh yogurt for starter or buy the freeze dried packages from a dairy supply. How did the people in ancient times replenish their supply? I wondered how authentic my yogurt really was.
Then I stumbled upon reusable yogurt cultures at Cultures for Health and learned there are different types of cultures. I’d been using direct set cultures that are good for a few times only. Reusable cultures can go on indefinitely. Now we’re talking. An heirloom culture is a third type that is reusable & has a distinctive flavor and consistency. Like an heirloom vegetable variety. I was intrigued.
I used their dandy chart to choose my culture. Bulgarian was my choice because it is reusable & the most popular culture in the world. I figured it must taste great.
It came with thorough instructions that even included some recipes. But, I failed to read the troubleshooting section that explained that temperatures above 112 could cause the culture to die. I was going to incubate the yogurt as I usually did on a heating pad inside a cooler. My programmable probe thermometer finally gave up the ghost after years of use, so I had no way to tell how warm it was inside the cooler. Seven hours later it appeared to have been too warm. I had a solid mass of yogurt in the middle of a lot of liquid.
I had to use my second packet of starter and begin again. This time I took a small styrofoam cooler & surrounded my starter jar with other jars filled with 110 degree water. I put the small cooler inside the larger cooler & filled the gaps with wool. Success!
вкусен кисело мляко! That’s Bulgarian for yummy yogurt. I might never have to buy another culture again to have the best tasting yogurt I’ve ever made. I should say I may never have to buy Bulgarian culture again. There are several others on that chart that I might want to try.
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Who Wants Free Books?

If you have a passion for reading, you’ll love this FREE Kindle book all about getting no cost books, magazines & newspapers. The name of this prize?

Kindle Buffet: Find and download the best free books, magazines and newspapers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad or Android

No Kindle? No problem! I don’t have one either, but use a free app that lets me read Kindle books on my computer. Not as cozy & convenient as the real thing, but FREE.

Kindle For PC

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How to Adjust a Spiral Tube Sock Pattern

Measure around the highest part of the leg where you want the sock to be. Subtract one half to one inch from that measurement. If the measurement is 14 inches, subtract an inch to make it 13. Test the gauge by knitting a swatch in the ribbing pattern with the yarn and needles you will be using. Measure the swatch to see how many stitches are in an inch. When you have determined the number of stitches per inch, multiply the stitches per inch by the measurement you took around the leg. For instance, if your gauge is 6 stitches/inch multiply by 13 inches to get 78 stitches. Since the pattern requires that the number of stitches be divisible by 3, check that. The example given is divisible by three and would give 26 stitches per needle. If the number isn’t divisible by 3, add or subtract a stitch or two until it works out.
Measure the bottom of the foot. Measure from the heel to the highest part of the leg you want to sock to come to. Add these together to get the length of the sock.
It isn’t a bad idea to check the fitting once the sock is about 6 inches long and make sure it slips over his foot okay.

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: I may receive commissions/revenue from affiliates or advertisers for endorsements, recommendations, and/or links to products or services from this blog. It doesn’t change the cost to you and helps offset expenses on this frugal homestead.