New Farm, New Friends, New Beginnings

 

View from the field at Dancing Dog Farm

It’s time for a new chapter to begin for Dancing Dog Farm! Peter and I have settled in Ridgefield, CT, at one of the state’s original biodynamic farms. Although not farmed for many, many years, it has been lovingly cared for by family members over the years, and comes with really, really good energy :) So good, that we’ve found a “brother from another mother” (!) in our new house mate, Wilson Chang! Wilson is an organic farmer at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights and is full of great energy and ideas – we are grateful beyond measure that he will be staying here at the house with us and helping us care for the land. For good or for ill, there are now THREE Aquarians living under one roof!

 

Tilled Soil at Dancing Dog Farm

Wilson Chang with the BCS tiller at Dancing Dog FarmWilson Chang tilling the new gardens with the BCS

Peter cutting black locust for posts at Dancing Dog FarmPeter cutting Black Locust for poles for the garden

Summit the new dancing dog at Dancing Dog Farm

Wilson’s dog Summit is the new dog here at Dancing Dog Farm! Summit is a 2 year old rescue from the Briarcliff SPCA a Catahoula Aussie mix. He’s adjusting well to farm life!

 

 

Farm Sabbatical

My husband and I have made the difficult decision to rent our lovely little farm for the next year or so. We have moved to Westchester County in NY, in order to be closer to the home office of Peter’s business, http://www.compostwerks.com. I am currently consulting for a private, sustainable farm in CT, so I can at least still get my hands in the dirt! I have also been accepted into the Pfeiffer Center’s year-long biodynamic training program, and am looking forward to sharing what I learn here on this website. I will be blogging about my monthly classes, so stay tuned if you’d like to stay updated!

Warmly,

American farmer Carol

Traditional Hog Processing Workshop

 

 

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Of interest to farmers, chefs and homesteaders, this three part workshop will highlight traditional hog processing techniques familiar to farmers generations ago, but lost to many of us in these modern times.

 

Dates for the workshop are:

December 10th, slaughter and processing, 9 – 4, in Dublin NH at Dancing Dog Farm.

December 18th, butchery, 9 – 4,  in Salisbury, NH at Henwyn Farm and

December 20th,  curing and preserving, in Dublin once again at Dancing Dog Farm.

 

Workshop Fee is $150 for all three days, or $60 per day. Workshop participants will be actively involved in all three days.

 

Contact Carol Lake, Dancing Dog Farm, 603.563-8122 or email at carol@dancingdogfarm.com

 

Humane Slaughter & Processing

Students will learn how to slaughter pigs humanely, with elegance and utility. Edward Epsen  of Henwynn Farm will demonstrate specialized organ extraction, blood harvest, and preservation of the extreme parts to maximize value. Ed uses the technique of scalding and scraping so that you get a carcass with skin on. Other custom cutters will skin the animal, losing much of the value in the process. In addition to the overall loss of edible skin and hyperdermic fat, you would lose the value of the fatback, the head (including the jowls), and the feet.

 

 

Traditional Butchery

On Butchery day workshop participants will learn how to break down a whole side of pork into primal and secondary cuts with nothing more than four hand tools. This also increases the value of your cuts because they are made cleanly with a knife, which reduces oxidation and nutrient loss. Our approach will emphasize porcine physiology, identifying different muscular, skeletal, and connective tissue groups. You will learn how to render the carcass into an assortment of cuts that are most useful for your kitchen, how to minimize bone dust, oxidation, and waste, and how to wrap meat for maximum storage life in the freezer. Finally, we wrap the meat using clinging plastic and butcher paper, not vacuum-sealed packs, which can lose their seal when handled or shifted around in the freezer.


Preserving Pork without Refrigeration

For the third session we will cover a combination of curing, cooking, and sausage making. Students will learn the traditional art of preserving pork without refrigeration, which generally involves three categories of technique: wet-curing, dry-curing, and confitting. Possible special topics and fees include the following.

Fromage de tete (head cheese)
Black pudding / blood sausage
Pate de campagne (rustic pork liver pate)
Rillette (a kind of pulled pork confit that will last indefinitely in the fridge or cellar)
Fresh linked sausages

Things we start together and you finish:

Dry Curing

Guanciale
Pancetta
Prosciutto

Wet Curing

 

 

Dancing Dog Farm is a family homestead farm in Dublin NH that emphasizes biodynamic agriculture and permaculture.  Henwyn Farm is a small-scale certified natural farm featuring rare heritage breed hogs raised on pasture and woodland, located in the Merrimack Valley of central New Hampshire.

 

 

New Soft Cheesemaking Kits Available!

English: Homemade cottage cheese from milk and...

I am very proud to announce our new beginner soft  cheesemaking kits are available to pre-order for 10% off the regular price! The ONLY soft cheesemaking kits on the market with 100%, US made organic unbleached, hemmed muslin draining cloths, I’m thrilled to be able to offer this excellent product along to you at an exceptional value.

The kits contain :

100% organic unbleached, hemmed 20″ x 20″ draining cloth, vegetable based rennet (GMO FREE), cheese salt and food grade citric acid, as well as recipes for SIX easy soft artisinal cheeses anyone can make at home. The kits are sold in unbleached muslin bags that are handy fostoring the cheesemaking ingredients, and, after you are done making cheese, they make a handy storage bag for lots of other things!

Check out our link on the simplecheesemaking.com website  http://www.simplecheesemaking.com/buy-kits–more.html

 

New Cheese Class Website!

We’ve had such a wonderful response to our cheesemaking classes we’ve decided to set up a new website featuring just the classes. Registration will be much easier (all online!) with options to pay via google checkout, paypal or by snail mailed check.

 

Here’s our new site: www.SimpleCheesemaking.com

 

http://www.SimpleCheesemaking.com

Bring A Cheesemaking Class to Your Office (or farm, or party, or…anywhere)!

Carol Lake, founder, SimpleCheesemaking.com

Say Cheese!

Beginner Soft Cheese Making Workshop, suitable for 6 – 10 participants. 3 Hours in length. All supplies included.

Combine kitchen science with Yankee ingenuity and what do you get? Am empowering, tasty recipe for success (and fun) That’s what!

Bring your team together to learn the simple, super cool (and yummy!) science of soft cheese making. We’ll bring all the supplies to make Chevre, Fromage Blanc, Labneh, Ricotta, Lemon cheese and Queso Blanco, even Mozzarella!  Following an interactive discussion, participants will dive in and learn ingredient selection, proper stirring and draining techniques, temperature controls, culture and salt selection, which seasonings work well for each cheese, and best of all, TASTE all the cheeses!

The group will end up with 1/2 pound each of Chevre, Ricotta, Lemon cheese, Queso blanco, Labneh and a pound of Mozzarella to divide how they see fit at the end of class (if there’s any left at the end of the class!) All supplies are provided with the class fee.

**You Need*  A room to hold the class in (does not need to be large, a break room is often fine) running (potable) water, and, preferably, a stove top. Contact us for more information and details.

Our cheesemaking classes made Ricki Carol’s “Moosletter” !

We were excited to see our thank you letter featured in New England Cheese Making Supply’s “Moosletter” !

Our classes are held twice a month, and are about three hours long (though we usually go a smidge over!)  Our fee is $45, all supplies are included. We suggest you bring paper and pen, cus there will be lots to write down! We do have animals here (cats, a dog, goats, pony, chickens, geese, etc.) so do let us know if you have an allergy and we will do our best to prevent said allergen from interrupting the class. At this point in time we can’t allow small children (we are a working farm, and some things around here are just not quite suitable for little ones) or other pets to join you in your class.

We *do* however, offer a 10% discount to more than one participant.

We are considering adding several more classes, as they’ve been far more popular than we imagined (which is a good thing!). We’ve also had requests for an intermediate cheese making class, and a hard cheese making class. We’ll see if we can make that happen later in the year.

Here’s our advertisement in this month’s Monadnock Table magazine!

2012 Beginner soft cheesemaking classes

Join us at our new farm in Dublin, NH for our popular beginner soft cheesemaking classses!

At our hands on Soft Cheesemaking Workshop, you will learn to make plain and seasoned chevre, frommage blanc, lemon cheese, panir, yogurt cheese (labneh),  queso blanco and mozzerella, all of which can be easily replicated in your own home kitchen with simple supplies you may already have!  After you taste your first batch of fresh cheese, you’ll never feel the same way about store-bought. We use both goat and cow’s milk to make our cheeses, you’ll even have some to take home with you! Classes run approximately 3 hours, choose  from one of the dates below.

 

 

Jan. 18th  9:30 – 12:30

Feb. 24th 1 – 4

Feb. 15th  9:30 – 12:30

March 24th    1 – 3

March 14th  9:30 – 12:30

April 7, 9:30 – 12:30

April 18, 1 – 4

May 12, 9:30 – 12:30

May 16, 1 – 4

Cheesemaking Class at Sunflowers Cafe in Jaffrey!

We are taking our beginner soft cheesemaking class on the road! Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers Restaurant/Cafe in Jaffrey, has asked me to present a class on Tuesday evening, March 20, from 6pm to 9pm at their lovely restaurant on Main Street. Join us!  http://www.sunflowerscatering.com/classes.html

 

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