Chelsea Green Publishing

The Importance of Monitoring Somatic Cell Counts

Recently the FDA raised the maximum number of somatic cells that Grade A goat milk can contain from the former limit of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 (while at the same time lowering the number allowed in cow milk from 750,000 to 500,000).  Our state (Oregon) followed suit and adopted the new limit. While I applaud the cow levels, I am concerned about the goat levels. I have read and heard somatic cells in milk referred to as “pus”. This is not correct! Somatic cells (SC), by simple definition, are “body” cells.  In milk, these can be normal skin cells (epithelial) shed by the milk ducts (more on that in a bit), portions of the cells (cytoplasmic particles),  or white blood cells (leukocytes) that are present in order to fight off an udder infection (white blood cells are also present in “pus”). So let’s talk about why a healthy udder matters and the difference between the epithelial and white blood cells. First, udder health correlates with the animal’s health and we
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Using 3M Quick Swabs to Build a Food Safety Program for the Farmstead Creamery

Environmental testing of food contact surfaces and other surfaces that workers might easily touch and then cross contaminate a product can help you quickly find gaps in your food safety program. If you read an earlier post I did on the subject, then you may remember that here at our tiny farmstead creamery, we do […]
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Fresh Ricotta Balls with Roasted Grapes

I thought I would never get into posting recipes, but I had a lot of fun customizing this recipe for an upcoming class, so hey, why not share with you all? I got the inspiration for this recipe online, but it was pretty bland, so I took it up a notch. I also didn’t have […]
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Making Yogurt to Feed Kids and Calves

Yogurt  not only provides valuable probiotic bacteria to the young ruminant, but it is easy to digest and can remain at room temperature in free choice bucket feeders without fear of growing unwanted pathogens. Making yogurt for kids and calves is a simple and inexpensive process. At Pholia Farm, we feed pasteurized goat milk and […]
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The Most Important Room in the Dairy

When I designed our small, farmstead dairy and creamery in 2005, I unknowingly left out what is perhaps the most important and useful room – the Baby Milk Kitchen.  After working through a handful of chaotic kidding seasons, struggling to maneuver around whoever was milking, cluttering up the milk house with bucket feeders, etc.,  I realized that […]
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Building a Creamery Flow Chart

Okay guys, here is a flow chart with some of the plethora of steps you might encounter when building a licensed cheesemaking facility. Some the steps are highlighted in pink- these you may only encounter as options or mandatory steps in California. The green steps should all be decisions made early in the process, even […]
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The De-Horning Dilemma

A few weeks ago I was bumming around on Amazon.com, reading a few of the reviews that readers can post after reading (hopefully thoroughly) someone’s book.  The particular author in whose reviews I was snooping around is a favorite of mine. His book on life with goats is particularly poetic and at the same time […]
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All ‘Bout Bloomies- Secrets of Making White Mold Ripened Beauties

When you talk about French cheeses most of us immediately think of Brie and Camembert. These two surface ripened cheeses are easy to love and are, arguably, the most imitated cheeses in the world. They seem to represent sophistication of palate and are therefore the gateway cheese to a whole new world of taste.  Camembert […]
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A Farm is Not a Peaceful Place

There are times when our life is peaceful. But they are rare. Everyone wants something, or has something to share. The goats want to go for their walk or a hen has just laid an egg. The guardian dog sees a deer or the wild turkey has heard an echo. Our daughter has a question, […]
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