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Jackie Clay

Goat breeding season is beginning on our homestead

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

It’s time we introduced our does to our new Boer buck, Thor. We breed two does the end of October or first of November, for late March or early April kids, and two a month or two later for May to late May babies. This gives two does to provide milk at the same time for both the kids and us. And there is no milk-less period when ALL the does are dried up, which happens two months before they are due to kid.

This year we will be breeding our new milker this year, Fawn, and one of the triplet does, Jewel, first. That way we’ll have an experienced doe and a new mom kidding around the same time and we won’t have to break in two new milkers at once. It goes smoother that way for everyone concerned. It’s an exciting time, as we are planning for those great spring babies!

We’ve got the breeding pen built and Will’s welding up a gate for it, so we’ll soon be moving Thor up out of the goat pasture. He’s such an awesome buck that it’ll be neat having him up where we can see him more.

Thor

Readers’ Questions:

Applesauce

I made 2 batches of applesauce last night, the second batch was fine but the first batch did something I have never seen before. I made 7 pints in regular mouth jars. Everything the same as I always do, they looked fine after processing but as they sat they seemed to separate leaving a layer of what looks like sugar syrup in the bottom of the jar and the applesauce on top. I only used about 1/3 cup sugar for the whole batch. 4 of the jars are sealed tight and the headspace is the same, but 3 of the jars the sauce is touching the underside of the lid. The seals seem tight but there is definitely applesauce inside the rims as when I tried to unscrew them they were sticky and tight. Any suggestions to prevent this happening again? Is this still OK to eat?

Michelle
Southwest Harbor, Maine

Is it possible that you processed that batch a little too long? Sometimes this causes “boil-out” of applesauce and could have resulted in the applesauce absorbing a little liquid from the kettle. That would be my guess here…and that’s all it is. But as long as the jars are sealed, the applesauce is fine to eat, but I would use it first, before the “normal” ones because the acid fruit could cause the underside of the lids to begin rusting after awhile. — Jackie

Cleaning water tanks

The water supply for my off grid home is an underground spring collected in two 2800 gallon tanks. I test the water a couple of times each year for bacteria and have never found any. My question is what is the best method for cleaning the tanks and how often do I need to do it?

Ken Bishop
Rancho Mirage, California

If your storage tanks are underground or otherwise out of the sunlight and there is no opening to the outside, save perhaps an overflow pipe, they shouldn’t need cleaning very often. If you can open one, use a flashlight and take a good look at the bottom and sides of the tank. As long as it looks clean and your tests come back negative, I wouldn’t worry about it. If you are getting sediment, algae, or a mineral coating on the tank sides, you can drain your tanks, one at a time. Open them up, use a new broom with a long handle and some diluted bleach in hot water (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water) to scrub out the tank. Then rinse it well, at least twice with clean water, pumping it out or otherwise keeping it from your house water lines, until the water and the tanks look and smell pristine. There are no “guidelines” for how often this should be done so we just have to rely on common sense on this one. — Jackie

Washing eggs

Should I wash my farm eggs before I put them in the fridge. Do you put your eggs in the fridge?

Pam
Bigfork, Montana

I wash my eggs only if they’re in need. Clean ones go right into the carton and into the fridge. I try not to use detergent unless they won’t come clean as it removes the protective coating naturally on eggs. But I want my eggs clean, too. So if they are soiled, I use a nylon scrubby pad and a bit of dish detergent, if necessary. If you keep clean shavings or straw in your nest boxes and clean bedding on the coop floor, you’ll have more clean eggs that don’t need washing. — Jackie

Canning Oscar Mayer wieners in tomato sauce

Years ago we had wonderful canned Oscar Mayer wieners with a tomato sauce. These were great for cub scout cook outs. I’ve checked and they don’t exist anymore. I’ve also looked for recipes for canning wieners and can’t find any. Is it possible to do at home?

Don Wood
College Station, Texas

Yes, you can home can your own wieners in tomato sauce. The only trouble I’ve had canning hot dogs is that they swell a lot during processing. The taste is okay, though and maybe they wouldn’t in sauce. Just make your tomato sauce and slice your wieners, adding them to it. Leave 1 inch of headspace and process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Be sure to take into consideration any altitude adjustment necessary if you live over 1,000 feet; consult your canning book. I’d use wide mouth jars for ease of dumping out the canned food. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Goat breeding season is beginning on our homestead”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I love oscar mayer hot dogs but never thought of canning them. I will have to try it.
    Did you like the almonds I sent? I will send more and want to send some to Backwoods Home offices.

  2. jackie clay Says:

    Nancy,

    I totally LOVED your flavored almonds!!! Wow did I ever! Again, thank you so very much for the lovely gift!

    Jackie

  3. Darrell Says:

    That’s a good looking Boer buck. I working on getting some goats back on the farm. I sure have enough multiflora rose, briers and brush. I just need the fence and the goats.

  4. Michelle Mays Says:

    Thanks for your answer about the applesauce, I have 3 little people who always need attention in the middle of canning so I probably did over process it but not realise. Second batch was done after they were in bed….
    I will try to eat one of those funny ones tonight and see how it is

    Love all your stories and suggestions, thanks, Michelle

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