We had a wonderful time yesterday. Well. That’s easy for me to say. I got to sit in the front seat. I’m afraid my passengers were a bit squished in the back as we packed 7 adults in my van for the 3 hour trip. We’re an interesting bunch and the conversation never slowed down. Little did we know that the world economy was correcting as we discussed philosophy, charity, gardening, precious metals, food and politics.

I learned a good deal at the raw milk class. The presenter was very knowledgeable although she used commercial starters. I was hoping for some information on using native herbs to inoculate milk. That seems to be a lost art. I will say that her finished product was terrific. The yogurt was the thickest I’ve ever seen, her cheeses tart and beautiful, the butter an amazing yellow. I got to drink the buttermilk and found it delicious. It was salty and creamy and made me think of the thick potato soups and chowders I could make with it. The discouraging thing is the vloume. It takes a LOT of milk to get a quart of cream and a quart of cream only gives a cup of butter. We eat 4 pounds of butter a week, even more if I’m doing a lot of baking. Cheese making leaves a lot of whey behind. I have had no luck in making whey cheese. The volume is just not worth the effort to me. I make bread with the whey and feed some to the chickens but I do wish I had more use for it.

Was the 6 hours on the road worth it? It depends on one’s perspective. In an energy depleted world, that is a lot of gas for information that is avaiable locally. It was cool to see an off-grid farm with all the animals and gardens. I find that a lot of trainings are better for inspiration than anything else and I do need a good dose of inspiration. I had dropped off in my cheese making and now I can’t wait to get back to it. We’re expecting some rain later in the week and cheese maing is a good rainy day activity.

Will I be seeing any of you at NOFA? I’m presenting at 8:00AM. I suspect the early hour will keep the numbers dwon for me. I may stick around for the rest of the morning and see what else is going on that might be interesting. I should leave my wallet at home so I don’t get tempted by the books. I have a pile to read now and more is just extravagant. The economy is not showing any signs of improvement and I need to be mindfull of where my dollars are going.