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I would also suggest checking out your local homebrew shop to see if they rent presses. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my local shop have some for rent and purchase. They also have loads of other handy equipment and supplies for getting into the cider / hard cider side of things. Lots of knowledge to pull from as well.
Great to hear you had a successful event. Maybe I can trade with you some elderberry wine for some Cider. 🙂
We use a local company and one of the best things I like about them is that they can work with you on the amount to be delivered to fit your budget and that they keep a running log of the per gallon price on their website. Goes back all the way to 2004. Very handy to see the seasonal adjustments in price and year to year changes.
http://www.acepropane.net/ (click on the "check our prices" on the left side)
I came across the following article that highlights how a power company in Arizona is going to implement a monthly fee for having the abililty to sell power back to the grid.
Does anyone have info about what happened to SDBs during the Cyprus bank holiday and shut down of the banking system there? Were boxes accessible?
sugraham75 – I will try to snap some pictures of our DIY cheese press. It is very simple to set it up and it costs about 1/3 the price of a normal presses. Good luck with your first cheese making adventure. It is really fun and rewarding.
We are currently making 3 kinds of cheese and will be moving to aged cheeses shortly once we get our mini fridge converted over to a cheese cave.
We are milk three goats and get about a gallon and a half a day.
We are making Chev, Feta, and goat riccotta. Yogurt, Kefir.
We have also recently started using our hand crank cream seperator to mak heavy cream and we have not made 2 batches of 100% local honey ice cream. Summer is feeling pretty good on the food production front.
Next is to make some goat butter and then goat ghee for high temp cooking.
What type of milk are you using?
After living in my new location for over a year and a half, I would like to recommend my community as a possible relocation spot. Yes – it is in California and you will still have to deal with the problems of California. But as an overall spot (and we researched and investigated the whole country), we are very pleased and continually surprised by how well this place fits into our long term goals of resilient living and community engagement.
Our location is situated in the Sierra Foothills and the main towns are Grass Valley and Nevada City.
The Quick Summary: Moderate Climate (can grow just about anything), plentiful rainfall (ave 45-53"/yr, large amount of agricultural heritage and every expanding sustainable farms and young people taking up farming. It has a great school system (both public and support for homeschooling) and a huge variety of arts and community activities throughout the year. There is a vibrant and growing community of folks concerned about the 3Es and meeting people who are concerned about what the future has in store for us is easy. Population is not too huge and properties don't seem to be out of reach for building a nice homestead (we are renting a home with a shared 10 acre piece of land where we are building our temporary homestead). Another plus is that we are just over an hour away from the Sacramento Airport – which is a Southwest airlines hub. Easy for all our family to catch a flight from San Diego to visit. And only a 8.5 hour drive by car. There have been many more visits from family to this new location than when we lived in Colorado. So staying connected is very much possible to family in southern California.
That is the quick and dirty description of our community. So far it is living up to expectations but as with anything – things can change and morph and one needs to be adaptable. In selecting the Grass Valley area we tried to analyze and include variations and morphing (climate change (water is key), reduction of goods and services, quality of life issues) and still found that if things move in a negative direction, we would still be OK. It would still be a livable location.
Hope this long message is helpful to everyone reading and I welcome you to come visit the area if you get a chance. I am open to answer any questions folks might have.
FreeNL – I can totally understand your desire to have a different regional climate, but I would caution against being optimistic about those changes. A primary example is how glorious it was having warmer winters and springs and a longer growing season when we lived in Colorado and we thought it was great. Then the unforseen issues of Pine Beetle infestations and snow pack levels being dangerously low showed themselves. A cascade of concerns then followed. Huge areas of dead trees, increased fire danger and massive fires and then add on drought conditions and water restrictions and we start wishing for the good old days of cold winters and lots of snow. Hard to find balance when so many things are out of wack. Time to go plant some more tomatoes.
This weekend will be full of transplanting seed starts to bigger pots, double digging a new salad bed, and extending the goat shelter to accommodate the new babies that should be arriving in a few weeks. Will also be looking to setup some trash cans and buckets for some impromptu rainwater harvesting for the coming storm on Sun/Mon. Will then distribute that water to the garden over a few days to avoid mosquitos and other fun things growing. Hope to get a new water catchment system in place in the couple months. Lots to do – always wear a smile while doing it.
I just want to throw it out there – this is the start of a new marketing campaign for "Diet Chocolate Milk". The only reason the milk industry wants to put aspartame in milk is to sweeten flavored milk (chocolate & strawberry) while reducing the sugar content that they have received so much negative press about and trying to make flavored milk "healthier". So now they will make skim diet chocolate milk. Just 1 calorie! Milk Zero!
This irks me to no end. Can't we just drink milk. So much energy put into changing a simple, wholesome product. What about a nice glass of water? My rant for the day.