Home Dairy Link Up – Show us Your Stuff!

We are finally at the end of March and it’s time for you to share what you’ve done with home dairy.

We’ve got some great prizes for you!

A Bulgarian yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, a $12.99 value. This particular yogurt culture is the most similar to commercial yogurt. I love the piima personally because it sets up at room temperature without any fussing but it’s not thick like commercial yogurt. The flavor, however, is sublime.

A buttermilk starter from Cultures for Health, a $12.99 value. This will elevate your baked goods to a whole new realm. I use it to acidify all my grain doughs and batters, from coffee cakes to bread to biscuits. It makes a great dressing base as well.

Cultures for Health has just about any starter you might need for creating sublime home dairy creations so jump on over and check them out!


Everybody’s favorite Queen of Cheese, Ricki Carroll of Cheesemaking.com has donated a mozzarella and ricotta kit, a $24.95 value. She’s also donated a copy of her Home Cheesemaking Book (a $16.95 value) which covers just about anything you can possibly do to milk. By the time you finish reading this you’ll be searching for farmland so you can get a herd of cows or goats (or both).








Skipstone, my publisher, has donated a copy of the Urban Farm Handbook, a $24.95 value. Even if you already have a copy they make great gifts.



If you have a blog, please use the Mr. Linky tool to link to your blog entry showing us what you did this month. If you don’t have a blog, that’s ok. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry by midnight on Saturday, April 7 and tell us what you did.  Doing either thing will put you in the running for these fabulous prizes.

I hope you’ll visit the other sites and meet other like-minded urban farmers – I’m looking forward to checking out everything you’ve done myself!

Next up:  the gardening challenge so dust off your mud boots and trowels.  This is where the seed packets hit the dirt.

47 Responses to Home Dairy Link Up – Show us Your Stuff!

  1. I linked to my raw goat’s milk yogurt post! Thanks!

  2. In March, I made mozzarella (delicious!), yogurt (wonderful–and combined with an abundance of jam from wild plums, etc. from last summer I’ve made it every week and will continue to do so), and butter (not a lot of work, but I’m not sure it tastes superior to the organic butter I can buy. Please enter me in your contest.

  3. I am loving this challenge series! We have participated all along, but this is the first time I posted about it :) .

    I am working through creating and maintaining a seed culture for raw milk yogurt. I spent the month trying several varieties and will continue to test them and see how they culture on a continual basis. So far, I have not got it down as well as I’d like, but I think we are on the right path.

    We have also made several batches of ricotta, mozzarella, farmhouse cheddar, and paneer. Provolone is next up on the list of types to make.

    We regularly have two different kinds of kefir brewing-by “kinds” I mean one set of grains originated from Isreal (they are HUGE!) and the other is of unknown origin and variety, but they kefir well and multiply like mad for the tiny little grains that they are! Each type of grain has its own unique flavor, so I keep both going for variety.

    This weekend we are experimenting with 3 different kinds of ice cream: Fresh Strawberry, Chocolate Mint (my mint is just BARELY coming up, but enough to flavor the cream), and Maple Vanilla.

    The last thing we are experimenting with this month is getting our cream separator calibrated and figured out. We don’t have a manual for this used unit, but are determined to get it dialed in for producing heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, and learning how to determine the different percentages of milk fat in the skimmed milk.

    Thanks for the challenge! It helped to motivate us into focusing on dairy in a concentrated effort, rather than sporadic as we have time .

  4. I am fortunate enough to have generous friends who keep a couple of dairy goats, so I was able to make fresh goat cheese. Which incidentally tastes great with my homemade bread. I also made butter in my son’s preschool class -the kids loved it and we ate it on top of fresh-baked biscuits afterwards.

  5. I started making yogurt this month and have made it weekly-it’s wonderful! We will be making monzarella this weekend. (not very extensive but hope it counts). I am loving your Urban Farm Handbook!

  6. Thanks for providing inspiration with the challenges. I heard about this blog through another garden blogger and I think these kinds of challenges are a great way to spread the word and share some ideas.

  7. Our new addition this month was a farmhouse cheddar. I think everything went OK (waiting the two months to try it out). One question I had was about a natural way to wax the cheese. I didn’t feel comfortable about the colored cheese wax and contemplated using beeswax. Any thoughts on a good way to age cheddar? Thanks again for your generous giveaways!

  8. Here’s hoping for Ricki’s book. This one is a tough nut to crack!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Grace you won Christina’s mozzarella kit! email me at annette no space cottrell at yahoo to collect! Hopefully the milk won’t scorch this time… :)

  9. I live in Texas and as in other parts of the USA spring has sprung early and I have spent an enormous amount of time in my garden getting my early summer veggies planted. However, I did get a chance to make Lemon Cheese with chives and my family loved it. I will definitly make it again. I want to try mozarella and/or yogurt next. I’m very lucky to live and work near a small family-owned dairy farm that sells fresh raw milk. The challenge inspired me to try this challenge. I have read your book and many of your blog posts and links. I have found them all interesting. Thanks for sharing, teaching and challenging so many of us who want to learn more.

    • Annette Cottrell

      Mary you won the buttermilk culture! email me at annette no space cottrell at yahoo to collect!

      • I just figured out that I won. I didn’t know to come back and check for your comments. Duh! I’m really excited. I will email you and see if I am still eligible to collect. I’ve been quite busy in the garden this month. I have corn almost knee high and am collecting summer squash…..We seem to be about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule.

  10. I added a link above. Thanks so much- had a great time!

  11. A coworker gave us the yogurt maker he would otherwise have donated to Goodwill & we’ve been making yogurt with it since January. My starter is Trader Joe’s organic European style yogurt! We eat it daily for breakfast, but I especially like it strained & thickened as a base for dill dip for veggies.

  12. I never got around to making the mozzarella, but the lemon cheese, and the cream cheese i made were wonderful. The cream cheese was much better than the stuff you buy at the store. We don’t really eat that much cheese though, or many dairy products at all really. I have some yogurt going now. I need to make a cheesecake with the rest of the cream cheese, since we cant possible go through it fast enough as is. Making cheese was fun. It was something i had been meaning to try to see if i could do it, and now i know i can. YAY!

  13. I thought for sure making cheese was going to be a disaster. I was pleasantly surprised with my lemon cheese experience. I used truffle salt for an amazing flavor. The recipe was brilliant. I used it to stuff dates, and my favorite local Italian trattoria made it into Linguine al Limone e Tartufo Formaggio for me.
    I will link my blog “She Paused 4 Thought” above.

  14. I loved making cheese! I made the Lemon cheese which was great and mozzarella which tasted good but was less successful. Loving this challenge!

  15. I’m loving the challenge so far. I never would have ventured out and made my own cheese if it wasn’t for this challenge. I’ve made the lemon cheese 3 times in the last month and really enjoy it, especially with some blueberries or peaches. I’ve always made my own yogurt, I make at least two batches a month, and shared that super easy recipe as well. Really looking forward to next months challenge, since I will be planting my first garden this year. ANY amount of help will be much appreciated.

  16. I had a great time making Mozzarella with my kids. Thank you for this month’s challenge, I am looking forward to more.

  17. I had a great time this month it was the first time i ever played with dairy. I first made the lemon cheese. It was great and i plan on making more cheeses. I then made dulce le leche and homemade ice cresm. The ice cream was a flop lol. Bit it was fun. Then i made kefir and crockpot yogurt. What a blast. Thanks again

  18. In March we made the lemon cheese, pudding (which we love), and yogurt. We also love the cajeta.

  19. I was able to make mozzarella cheese and yogurt. These are things I do often I wanted to try Farmers Cheese but did not have a chance. Still on my list of things to do.

  20. I’m in Canada and I’ve been working on a year-round food growing plan so I can have fresh greens (and more) throughout the winter months in addition to the summer abundance I already grow. I’m researching best varieties to try, timing, cold frames, crop rotation plans and more. I’ve got the seedlings popping up under the grow lights and this year, instead of stopping in the fall, it will be full steam ahead to see what will thrive at unexpected times. Cheers!

  21. This has been fun! I made the lemon cheese, yogurt, and chevre. Yum!

  22. Made Piima yogurt. Love that it sets up at room temp. I start it in the morning and put it in the oven with the light on (and a note on the oven buttons so I don’t cook the yogurt). The next morning it’s done. I’ve been eating it with some homemade peach jam and slivered almonds. YUMMY!

  23. Thanks Annette for this great challenge! I linked to my first try at Farmers Cheese. It was so fun and easy to make. Thanks again!

  24. I made yogurt for the first time. It’s taken a few attempts. I first tried it both in my slow cooker and food dehydrator (it also advertises itself as a yogurt maker). Only 2 out of 7 of the small jars I used in the dehydrator turned out. The rest were still liquid when I checked on them the next morning. Both jars in my slow cooker were still only liquid. As I type I have attempt #3 going. I went to Goodwill and bought a cooler to keep the water bath warm. My fingers are crossed that the 3rd try come out just right.

  25. thanks so much for the challenge – I made ricotta and paneer. I am really going to try feta too. I prefer to make the soft cheeses as I live in the tropics, and trying to find a cool place to cure cheese is nigh on impossible. . . It is cool enough now to get out into the garden though so I am working on next months challenge :)

  26. I’ve made raw milk goat cheese with milk from my Nigerian Dwarf doe, ricotta from the leftover whey, bread from the whey! Kefir is constantly going at my house. I’m working on an herbed goat cheese today.

  27. I’ve made two batches of the lemon cheese specifically for this challenge (I make yogurt regularly) and, while I don’t think I’ll resume the hard cheese making I was doing a couple years ago, I might make more frequent batches of cream cheese and/or mascarpone. I like the extra homemade-ness of homemade soft cheeses in homemade cake frosting!

    (I never win anything, but if my name gets drawn for the prizes from Ricki Carroll, would you be so kind as to draw another name? I already have both the kit and the book and would love for them to go to someone who needs them!)

    • Annette Cottrell

      Christina you won the mozarella kit! And you say you never win anything but since you already have them I’m sending you an Farmer’s Almanac and will throw the kit back into random.org for another winner. Thanks for sharing it! email me at annette no space cottrell at yahoo to collect your almanac.

  28. I haven’t blogged about it yet, but we’re still hanging in with the challenge! The first cheese recipe was the best for us so far, but we’re still working on perfecting our methods. The children and I have been doing a lot of research into goats, planning for the future when we’ll have our own and can be milking and making cheese on a regular basis, from our own animals. This challenge reminded me of watching the neighbor women in Yemen, making cheese in skin bags hung from a frame behind the house, the cow looming over them the whole time!

  29. Yogurt and kefir are constantly in the works at my house. I also have been successful at making lemon cheese and 30 minute mozzarella. Making buttermilk is something that I tried for the first time this month and was surprised at how easy it is!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Mary you won a copy of The Urban Farm Handbook! email me at annette no space cottrell at yahoo to collect!

  30. What a fun challenge! I have “culturing” jars all over my apartment–my standby being kefir (and, in the non-dairy realm, kombucha). I also just purchased a matsoni yogurt starter, which is brewing on top of the fridge as well (can’t wait to try it!). I make smoothies out of the kefir, and will be straining the yogurt to make something called Shrikhand, which is an Indian version of greek yogurt with saffron, sugar, and pistachios added in–it’s a beautiful yellow color (from the saffron) and is wonderful on its own or as a fruit dip. Kefir cheese will follow shortly thereafter!

  31. All I did was try to get my two sheep to mate so I can get some milk for sheep cheese! Not a very successful match-maker so far, judging form the lack of results! Thanks for the chance to win.

  32. Just found this challenge – looking really forward to it!! I raced to make some paneer. Always wanted to try it, and this month’s challenge was a great motivator. Can’t wait to see what others have done. Thanks for this brilliant idea. Book looks fantastic!

  33. Hi Annette!

    It looks like you’ve got some serious dairy people taking part in your challenge. :-)

    We regularly make mozzarella and ricotta, along with fromage blanc. We also make milk kefir, yogurt and ice cream, sometimes butter or whipped cream. I’ve also made large curd cottage cheese and cheese curds – no aged cheeses yet. The cow will be drying up soon, so we’ll be on a break for a while. She’s due in June. :-)

    Thanks for organizing all these great challenges and giveaways.

  34. I haven’t tried anything like this but would love to. I am glad I found your site. There are a lot of great things here.

  35. We culture milk kefir, and use it for smoothies. Wish we could find a raw milk source here, but haven’t located a supplier yet. Interested in learning how to make our own cheese. Looks like fun! :-)

  36. We made paneer and yogurt! It was great fun and my family loves it! I plan to breed my 2 Nubian does this fall, and I want to be ready to process their milk into cheeses. Love your challenge!

  37. I am very, very new to all this. To be honest I have not tried anything yet. I guess I just don’t have the confidence yet, but I sure would like too.

  38. We love making homemade yogurt, homemade cream cheese, buttermilk and sour cream. They are beautiufl additions to our home and kitchen! I really want to make more cheeses :)

  39. Hopefully I’ll get into the swing of coming back to post what I shared on my blog. Sorry I’m late to this party. I experimented with making yogurt, and I make it twice a week now! It’s so easy. I just save some of the last batch of yogurt and make it as suggested in the handbook. To keep it warm, I put it in a cooler with a bath towel, and in six hours I have yogurt! Next up are mozzarella, ricotta, and buttermilk. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

  40. The lemon ricotta was so fun to make. The simplicity has encouraged me to try another cheese. Thanks!

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