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Friday Photos from the Farm #5

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful week and learned a lot at school!

I had a fun week! I learned how to post videos for you to watch when you visit. Did you know adults like to learn new things, too! When you finish going to school, I hope you will keep learning for your whole life because it’s so much fun to learn new things. Your brain is like a muscle, too. If you keep learning, your brain will stay healthy. You’re teacher likes to learn new things, too!

Here are two videos that I took a few weeks ago. The first video shows the chicks following their mother. Chicks are smart because they follow their mother. They know that they might get hurt or lost if they don’t follow her.

At the very beginning of the video the mother hen is looking around checking to make sure it is safe. Listen for the other sounds you hear, too! I hope you hear one of the goats in the background.

In the next video you will see the mother hen scratching in the dirt. She’s looking for food for her chicks, and she’s teaching them where to eat. Listen for the goat in the background. The loud one is Penny, the quiet one is Izzy. At the top of the video you can see Stew’s black legs. Stew is our lamb. I’ll post more about Stew another time.

What things are the same on the mother hen and the chicks?

What things are different?

Did you remember that I was going to show you how I make cheese? I thought so. Your teacher told me you are all smart and very good at remembering the things she teaches you.

Watch what happens to the milk as it changes from milk to cheese.

This is two gallons of milk. I have to heat it up until it is about 90 degrees. That’s about as warm as a summer day.  

This is called starter. There isn’t very much. It’s a little bit like dried yogurt.

This is rennet. It is a little bit like gelatin. It makes the milk firm.

After I add the starter and a little bit of rennet, I have to wait for a whole hour! After an hour the milk looks like soft jello.

I use the long knife to cut it into small pieces. Now it’s called curds and whey. I heard you read all about Little Miss Muffett. I have to stir the pot and heat the curds and whey until everything in the pot gets a little bit warmer, about 95 degrees. 95 degrees feels like a hot summer day.

After a while, I have to drain the extra whey. This is what it looks like in the pot. Wow! Do you see how much less there is in the pot?

Two gallons of milk will make 2 pounds of cheese. Do you know what two pounds of butter look like? It’s about the same size, but the cheese turns out a different shape.

Next I pour the curds into a special bag and put the bag in the white cylinder. There are weights that hang off the press on the right side, but you can’t see them in the picture. The piece of wood presses down on the cheese inside the white cylinder. I press the cheese for about 6 hours to get more of the whey out, and to make the cheese firm.
6 hours is about the same amount of time you are in school for a regular day.

Yum! This is my cheese!

This kind of cheese is called Queso Fresco. We can eat it right away. Some kinds of cheese we eat as soon as it comes out of the press.

Some kinds of cheese we have to package and put away for a few months.

If I make Gouda I have to put it away for at least 3 months in a cool, moist place. That’s called ‘aging’. It makes the cheese taste wonderful!

Do you like cheese?

What is your favorite kind of cheese?

What color is your favorite kind of cheese?

Next week I’ll show you what the barn looks like. Your teacher told me that you are learning about maps right now. I’ll make a map of the barn so you can see which part of the barn each of the animals use. I’ll show you where the food is stored for the animals, too.

Pay attention to your teacher as she teaches you about maps. That will make it much easier to understand what our barn looks like.

Would you send me a picture of what you are doing today?

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