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My sister and I chatted long distance on Christmas Day. They were expecting a blizzard that night, and was anxious to get to the store for bread and milk, and few other things.

Got me thinking.

We have goats for milk.

We have chickens for eggs.

We have feed and hay for chickens and goats.

I have 23 pounds of flour (because my baking business is taking off) plus yeast, baking powder, canola oil and other things to do baking.

In our dining room window and on the tiny storefront shelves by the front door, we have pots of these growing: string beans, tomatoes, lettuces, radishes, and herbs like rosemary and parsley.

I have jars of things I've dehydrated and put away, like zucchini, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, etc.  And canned goods like premade soups, tomato paste, fruits, etc. A freezer full of chickens.

We have a fireplace and plenty of wood.

We have water.

We have enough to last a minimum of a month. Probably closer to a year.

What about YOU?


I realize it's been a while since I've written here, but so much has happened.

My Tween has turned into a 16 year old with autism and epilepsy. He has some neurons that didn't form correctly in his brain (in utero) and some lesions and a small tumor.

We live out in the boonies, on a tiny 2 acres. Goats: 2 girls, 1 baby girl, 1 buck and 1 wether. Chickens: about 50 ranging from 3 days old to 2 years old, bantams and standards. Chicken varieties: silkies, cuckoo marans, black australorps, red stars, eggers (standard size and bantam), and all kinds of crosses that we hatched ourselves.

We grow as much of our food as possible but it'll be years before nut trees and some of our fruit trees bear. Loved the red raspberries and blueberries we ate this summer; we're adding even more plus yellow raspberries, purple raspberries, blackberries and currants in 2013.

Started a goat milk cheese share program in 2012 to help pay for my kid's expenses. Going well and have gotten egg and produce customers from it too.

We still have a LOT more to do but yes, we consider ourselves homesteaders. Do we believe the world will end on Dec 21 2012? Nope, but we still prep and could be considered survivalists.  We get powerful snowstorms and windstorms and microbursts (mini-tornadoes) out here a lot so we often are without power. We adjust.

= = = = = = =

Check out our farm's website we just started: Rosemary Ridge


I have a yogurt maker. Hubby bought it for me when we first moved out here on the farm and the goats started producing milk. (Hubby is lactose intolerant and my Kid would eat a $3.00 bought goat yogurt a day). I used it a couple of times but never could get it to come out good enough.

Trying again, but this time, without the yogurt maker. I'm using my crockpot. I tried it last weekend, without looking up a recipe at all, so naturally, it didn't work. Did make a very nice cheese tho!

Then I googled "how to make yogurt without a yogurt maker" and came across a wonderful blog of a person who cooked 365 in her crockpot. Yogurt was just one of those days.

Here's the condensed version but reduced to fit my 3 quart crockpot and using my ingredients:

Suggestion: Start in early or mid morning to get best results.

6 cups of fresh whole goat milk (qt and a half) (I pour mine directly from filterer)
1/3 cup plain yogurt (if Dannon, use a bit more)
 (Someday I will try 1/4 tsp probiotic instead ,as suggested elsewhere)

-Pour milk into crockpot and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
-Turn off crockpot and let sit for 3 hours.
-Take out about 2 cups of the milk in a glass measuring cup.
-Whisk in yogurt or probiotic to the measuring cup.
-Pour back to crockpot. Lightly stir to combine. Cover with heavy towel to keep warmth in.
-Let sit overnight.

To make it thicker, stir in a couple pinches of tapioca starch or unflavored gelatin to the yogurt starter (mix well then add).

Serve with a drizzle of pureed fruit or honey or agave nectar or maple syrup.  I'm gonna portion some out and add some powdered dehydrated fruit and either refrigerate or pour into popsicle molds for a frozen treat later.

Keep some of the plain to the side (in the fridge) to use as a starter next time.

And to keep it super healthy, pour your finished yogurt into 4 or 8 oz jelly jars, top with lid, screw on the ring and refrigerate. Good to add to your loved ones' lunch boxes without adding more waste to the trash can. The current batch I have going ... I'll add some pureed raspberry to the bottom of one, pureed peach to another, homemade blackberry jam to another. Gives us variety even tho it doesn't last long.



Update March 2014: You need everything to be exactly perfect for this to work. Have you tried it? Were you successful, or did you end up with warm milk? For those of you who were successful, please please please give us your tips here!