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Midwest Nice

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 12 Jan 2023...

Hey Y'all!!

Good morning from the farm! All is well this morning and we got to experience that precipitation that may be large sleet or may be small hail, not sure, during rounds. Makaylah accompanied me to feed the hogs this morning, the top pic. The bottom pic is of the lambs enjoying their morning hay. We have one ewe in with them. She didn't recover her condition well after nursing and having her in with the lambs allows us to keep a closer eye on her and it gives the lambs a bit of 'adult' supervision. We made things with milk yesterday, a gallon of yogurt, a couple pounds of paneer (flavored with our canned mix of the world's hottest peppers we grew a while back), and a pound of ricotta. We are limited to making cheeses that use heat and acid (vinegar) to form the curds until the citric acid gets here. The higher heat required to make these cheeses cause the curds to retain most of the protein and thus these cheeses don't melt but can be sliced and pan fried or crumbled and browned. We also made a pound or so of sweet cream butter. We are continually impressed with how well things taste, like the byproduct of making butter...buttermilk. Who knew that the stuff in the store may say it is buttermilk but it isn't? It is typically made from powdered skim milk and vinegar. I used to think my Grandma was crazy when she talked about drinking buttermilk. Now I know she wasn't, she was simply referring to a completely different thing. Our breakfast this morning was our ricotta crumbles browned in our butter with our eggs beaten with our buttermilk to make some amazing scrambled eggs and a bowl of our yogurt. Awesome! We put our new milking machine together yesterday and plan to wash it and get it out to the milk barn today. We also have to make things with milk.

Yesterday I discussed Free Missouri and toward the end I summarized by saying that it is a situation of you do your thing and I'll do mine. I thought a bit more about that statement and I would like to qualify it if I may. While true that folks truly respect your privacy, they are the nicest people I have ever met. As a whole, everyone here is shockingly nice. It is such a drastic contrast to the East Coast, especially the DC area, that we honestly could not believe it. We were discussing our surprise to some friends and they said "haven't you ever heard of 'midwest-nice'?" Well, we had not, but after a bit of research, we conclude it is absolutely a thing and the Ozarks of Missouri must be the origin. While showing the utmost respect for our personal privacy, all of our neighbors are genuinely concerned for our wellbeing and will do anything they can to help. Makaylah has basically become a family member to multiple neighbor families and even has her own cup (a big deal at our house). Everyone from the electric company representative to store clerks to the random person in the parking lot is polite, smiling, and generally the nicest person you have ever met. We make a concerted effort to respond in kind and are relieved to be able to interact with neighbors and even strangers with mutual respect and kindness.

Local Farm Report for 11 Jan 2023


28 Chicken eggs

14 Duck eggs

3 1/2 Gallons of milk



Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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