I must tell you about a Christmas surprise that had me speechless - this wonderful new Diamond S Delights Sign!!
You have probably seen our milk barn going up this winter at our place. Well, the name of our milk barn venture is Diamond S Delights! Our little milk barn is where we are milking, aging cheeses, creating yogurt and other dairy treats, and delivering all of your milk orders.
But........ (yes there is always a "but" when you work on long range goals - we set our priorities and work toward them and we are never sure when they will come to fruition. It's all in Gods timing. Yes, sometimes the checkbook tells us hold on, patience is a virtue!) ... we continue to finish the front part of the barn. Soon, you will be able to pick up your milk and other Diamond S Delights.
Behind the store will be a cheese making room with a cheese vat that holds more than 3 gallons of milk, and a press that can press more than 2 pounds of cheese at a time! It will also serve as an aging room that will hold lots more than the small wine cooler now in our dining room. Behind that will be where we bottle the milk and wash all the equipment. And in the very back is the little milking parlor - come have a peek inside!
Working into a new business, (or as my best friend, business partner, ”husband” says “a place to keep me off the roads”) takes a lot of time and patience at our “young” age!! Who knows - maybe someday we’ll have 25 flavors of ice cream to taste when you stop by. Ok, that may be a little ambitious, maybe 3 or 4 is more like it! Or hard cheeses aging 365 days a year! Maybe butter, cheese spread and several drink options… oh, the possibilities!
Thank you to all of you who have guided, inspired and helped us on the journey of turning Miss Daisy and Miss Hannah’s milk into Smiles.
and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!
We hope all our friends have had a wonderful Christmas this year, sharing a good meal with good friends and family!
Speaking of Family, you may remember that the talented photographer Kirk Shepherd visits Wyoming in the summer, and he specializes in portraiture in natural settings using natural light. You can visit his website to see examples of his photography: Kirk Shepherd Photography.
If you did a photo session with Kirk this summer, you can still order prints from those sessions. If you didn't have that opportunity this year, but would like to next year, think about booking some of his time during his 2015 trip to create a wonderful family memory to last for years to come! We'll be sure to post an update about his 2015 dates and how to book time with Kirk as summer draws near. These photos would make wonderful Christmas gifts for 2015!
Here are some of the portraits Kirk created of family and friends over the summer this year. Enjoy!
I do love creating something wonderful with Miss Daisy and Miss Hannah's milk. One day you have fresh sweet milk the next you might have a special cheese, sweet cream or cultured cream butter, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, or so many other products. But the difference between "Raw" milk and the stuff you buy at the grocery is if you leave raw milk on the counter you create another even more healthy product; if you leave the grocery milk on the counter you just have rotten yuk!
You know we milked cows for lots of years while we raised our kids in Jackson. We also ate sour dough hot cakes every morning for at least 20 years. Didn't know at that time either of them were what we'd be doing again 20+ years later.
Gene's mom gave me a fresh start of sour dough at least once a week for the first year we were married as I couldn't seem to remember to save what was needed for the next day, or I'd use whole grain that I'd just ground and for some reason when you are feeding the start you just can't use those better-for-you flours. Learning all about the wonders of sourdough will be next on my list after getting a few more kinds of cheeses figured out. Yes indeed I want to sprout the flour, dry it and then grind it. That sounds daunting but think very doable. All of these traditional foods just take time. Some of you are yards ahead of me on so many of these healthy things we can do for ourselves, but here again all we can do is learn to take those baby steps again...
Let's talk a little bit about the girls. Miss Daisy is the brown swiss, who is dry now and due to calve in April. Miss Hannah is who I am milking at the moment. Can you believe how much cream is on top of her milk? She is Brown Swiss and Holstein we were told... Anyway she is a wonderful nurse cow, raising three calves, and now since Gene has weaned his babies, she has come to love the sound of the milk machine. When it is plugged in just wait a couple seconds and the milk starts running out. You have to hurry or some gets wasted!!
What I woke up last night thinking about (okay with a little prompting from my cousin) is creating a part time share holder agreement for all of you that only get product from us once in a while, maybe stopping into our cheese shop (2016??) and ordering a frozen yogurt or ice cream or picking up some aged cheddar, or having me send you a case of Marinated Feta for Christmas gifts for your brothers and sisters! Whatever the case we'll be working on that real soon and I'll send you a link when it is ready for you to down load and print off and sign and send to me. That way if anyone ever questions either of us the paperwork will be in the office close to your cow, and we are all legal for raw milk sales in Wyoming as long as you own part of the cow!
So what we have here at the Diamond S Ranch this week is:
Been making Kefir by the gallon for some of the dairy share folks, so have extra this week: 16 oz for $1.50 ea.
Also just finished another batch of Marinated Feta - we have
8- 8 oz jars for $8 ea,
1- 16 oz for $12 and
1- 32 oz $20 this week.
Coming soon, we want to have a little group gathering at the HCC and have a little You Tube meeting then share ideas that we are working on. I've been thinking about this for months, but waiting for the HCC to be signed off on to get started. If that darn project doesn't come to an end soon I may not have enough of a mind left to do anything else... Patience is a virtue, my mother used to tell me!!
I know I've missed some folks that have shown interest in our product, if you know someone please just share if you like or send me their e-mail address.
Make it a wonderful day and thanks so much-
A little ranch update: Well, the fall work begins on the ranch. We are in the process of moving cattle from summer pasture, up in the beautiful Big Horn mountains, back home. Gosh what a wonderful time of year. Fall is my favorite season. Gene and I headed to Battle Park last week morning to meet Dennis (who is new to us this summer and been helping us out on the mountain), pack up Molly (the mule), and gather the high country herd. We pushed everything we could find - meaning all our cows and calves, and some of the neighbor’s too - down the middle fork trail. We got Molly unpacked by 4ish, and the guys moved cattle down across the south fork while I worked on getting camp set up.
It looked like rain, so I covered the wood, set the, beds up and spread tarps out. Not quite your regular chuck wagon on this trip - we made coffee for breakfast while we ate cold pizza for supper. Rain did set in eventually overnight, and the tarps soaked through shortly after. Gene got up and built a fire at midnight. Dennis, who hadn’t yet fallen asleep when the bonfire started, and I stayed in the puddles in our bed rolls till we knew we had to be up and ready to ride. Daylight finally came, and we had all our wet gear packed back on Molly and were back riding the last pasture. We joked that the romance had gone out of this western adventure about 2 a.m.!! Later, back at home, I can tell you that hot showers felt good that evening, and the burger at Paintrock Inn was the best ever!!
Ranching gets in your blood, we guess. We feel so blessed to have those hill top churches and good friends to help on the days we need extra hands. Today we feel confident most of the ol’ girls and their calves will make it to the home place, where we’ll wean and pregnancy check later this week. Ranching in open country involves lots of counting and backriding till we have everything accounted for.
Enjoy this wonderful fall weather, spend some time with your animals - they make you smile!
Fresh Research Finds Organic Milk Packs In Omega-3s
by ALLISON AUBREY
December 10, 2013 11:08 AM
Cows graze in a pasture at the University of New Hampshire's organic dairy farm in Lee, N.H., Sept. 27, 2006.
While milk consumption continues to fall in the U.S., sales of organic milk are on the rise. And now organic milk accounts for about 4 percent of total fluid milk consumption.
For years, organic producers have claimed their milk is nutritionally superior to regular milk. Specifically, they say that because their cows spend a lot more time out on pasture, munching on grasses and legumes rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the animals' milk is higher in these healthy fats, which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
But the evidence for this has been scant, except for some small studies from Europe.
Now, a new study evaluating organic milk produced in the U.S. finds that organic milk has about 62 percent more omega-3s, compared to milk produced by cows on conventional dairy farms. Cows raised on conventional farms typically spend a lot more time in a barn or confined, and instead of grazing, they're fed a diet of animal feed that contains a lot of corn.
"We were surprised by the magnitude of the differences," lead author Charles Benbrook of Washington State University tells The Salt.
Benbrook and his colleague analyzed about 400 samples of organic and conventional milk over a period of about a year and a half. The samples were taken at processing facilities around the country.
The findings, published in the journal PLoS ONE, come at a time when we're being told to consume more omega-3 fatty acids. Most people hear this advice and think of fatty fish — which is, of course, an excellent source of the omega-3s DHA and EPA.
What's less well known is that plant-based foods, such as leafy greens and nuts, are rich in another omega-3 called ALA. Now, it's becoming clearer that organic milk is a good source of that, too.
Benbrook says that consuming ALA-rich milk is also a good way to change the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the consensus is that, for good health, we need to be eating more omega-3s and less omega-6s.
Omega-6s are found in corn and sunflower oil, and in foods fried in these oils. While some experts don't see a problem with omega-6s, many say that the typical American diet already contains too many. And averaged over 12 months, the study found, organic milk contained 25 percent less omega-6 fatty acids than conventional milk.
So, here's the rub: if you want all of the omega-3s found in organic milk, are you better off drinking whole milk rather than skim?
Yes. That's because skimming off the fat also reduces the omega-3 content. For example, if you choose 1 percent milk, it has about one-third the fat of whole milk. So you're left with a much lower level of omega-3s. Of course, you're also fewer calories, so it might be a hard choice for people who are watching their weight. If they choose whole milk, they may have to trim calories elsewhere.
And there seems to be a movement towards consuming whole milk. Sales of whole, organic milk are up 10 percent this year, making it the fastest-growing category of milk, according to a spokeswoman from Organic Valley. Skim sales, meanwhile, are down 7.0 percent, she says.
As I reported earlier this year, some studies have linked fattier milk to slimmer kids, despite the fact that pediatricians routinely recommend switching kids to low-fat dairy at the age of 2 to reduce their consumption of saturated fats. These fats, which are more abundant in whole milk than in reduced fat milk, are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
As falling sales figures show, lots of Americans have simply taken milk out of their diets — due to lactose intolerance or other reasons. Some have replaced dairy milk with alternatives such as almond milk, which many doctors say is fine, since there are plenty of other sources of calcium.
But for people who are still milk drinkers, this study suggests that yes, there is a benefit in choosing organic in terms of boosting omega-3 intake.
One thing to note: Dairy farmers of the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools, a group which markets through the Organic Valley brand, helped fund the study. But the groups had no role in its design or analysis. The analysis was funded by the Measure to Manage program at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.
Below is a notice from the Weston A Price Foundation about a program that has been shown on PBS several times this month. They share a new cheese recipe for us to try! So much to learn. Enjoy! At the bottom see sweet little Hyatt feeding his cow!
Program this Sunday
Raw milk, cow share and Sally Fallon Morell were on the Wyoming Public Broadcasting show - Farm to Fork last night. It will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 p.m.
The show is also available online at http://www.wyomingpbs.org/farmtofork/
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