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any experimenting?

 
Kevin Searcy
Posts: 27
Location: ST Albert AB Canada
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Welcome Adam, As you stated the dairy cattle weren't part of the original plan. Have you done any experimenting with your milk? feeding grass and animals / chickens milk/whey, made any cheese or yogurt? Why brown Swiss? As there are only so many hrs in the day, are you finding a balance with the dairy and your other permie development ideas.
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Experimenting is the only way to be a pioneer, so yes, I experiment constantly.

Feeding excess skim milk to young pigs is an excellent use of the surplus in early summer.
Feeding whey from cheese making to finishing pigs is similarly productive.
The reason for this relationship is that young pigs need the protein, and finishing pigs need the sugars.

I make a lot of yogurt, following a great technique for raw milk yogurt that I describe in detail in the book. Think of the combined benefits of raw milk and cultured yogurt, with less labor to make it.

I finally figured out a great mozzarella recipe. It allows me to make cheese and eat it that same day, or store it in brine in the refrigerator for four months. And it is a lot less complicated than pressed and aged cheeses like cheddar or parmesean.

I chose Brown Swiss because they have a large frame that produces great beef, they are excellent producers of high quality milk, and most importantly, they are a rugged breed that can withstand the nutritional demands of producing milk on pasture alone. Breed selection is a huge consideration, and I am very pro-dual purpose. I talk about this a lot in my chapter in my book on selecting a dairy cow. Much to the disappointment of many loyal fans, I do not think that Jersey cows are ideal for a permaculture dairy, in general.

Hours in the day is always the challenge. I have more dreams than days. I have to prioritize, and focus of excellence in execution. I will never be able to do everything I dream up on the farm, but that is okay, life is about a lot of things besides just farming from dark to dark.

Hope that helps!
 
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