Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kieffer Pears and other kitchen doings - Milking Routine

We are still having nice weather, but a little too warm and too dry. 

I have been keeping up with routine daily farm chores of chickens , Willow and the calves and DH does the beef herd. 

I decided I better do some processing of apples before loosing them. Yesterday was the day.

First was the Kieffer pears.  I planted it knowing it has a bad rep for anything but canning or jam, but it is very resistant to fireblight to I chose it deliberately.  This is the first year to get anything and  that was just 12 pears.  You don't allow them to ripen on the tree, in fact, I am not sure they will ripen on the tree!  I waited until  there was a rosy blush on one side and just a  beginning of yellow .  I stored them in the milk parlor for about a month checking daily for softness. I decided they were ready when they had an even yellow color and a slight softness. I don't think their reputation is deserved.  I ate one and thought it was very good and juicy.  I am happy I planted it.  I had enough to make a very small batch of Pear Honey.  I think I cooked it a little too long but it tastes delicious.

Next, I picked all the Golden Delicious that were the ripest and had some faults (remember, I bought seconds), just cored and diced.  I cooked them with enough apple cider to get them started using the favored Maslin Pan.  When soft I ran them through the Foley Food Mill.  I processed them in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  They were so sweet, I didn't add any additional sugar.


Willow refused to let her milk down......again....... So, I enticed baby Jersey up the ramp into the barn.  She was able to stick her head through and begin nursing.  Voila!  down came the milk.  I milked out three quarters very easily.

This solves two problems for me.  One, I get the milk without waiting an hour and I am breaking the future milk cow to the ramp and barn.  When she gets too old to put her head through, I will just run her into the stall in front of Willow and feed her grain ration while I am milking.

We looked for a calf halter at two stores but they didn't have any.  I have two that are a little too large for her now, but I will  just wait until they do fit.


  1. I was wondering if you were going to just let the calf in to get a quick snack to get her milk to let down. I've had to do that with one of my milk goats last year. Little stinker was holding out for her kid (although, do you blame them?).

  2. Pear honey and apples put up too. Fresh milk that Willow 'finally' let down for you. Calves, beef cattle, chickens, real farm life.

    Hope you get some cooler and rainy weather soon.

    We have had the passion vine for years, the gypsy shed bottom is the original colors, we decided to use the plum paint because we have a 5 gal. bucket of it. We were wondering if the colors would go together, then I started noticing the purple and orange flowers growing together, and that the passion flowers have those colors, so it just all comes together.

    In the town east of us, in their scenic housing section one of the cottages is a bright orange with a bright purple picket fence and some other colors on the house as well. A bit bright for me, but to each his own. It did look nice.


  3. Hi Glenda,
    I see you have worked circles around me again. You will enjoy the "fruits" of your labor. I'm glad your pears turned out to be good ones. I remember planting an apple tree, I'm thinking, Lodi, because they were early to ripen, and I thought they would not be affected by worms. Those apples did not taste so great, and they did get worms in them. The tree ended up blowing over in a storm.

    Thanks for your comment on my last post. Yes, I agree with what you said about digital cameras being important garden tools.

  4. You inspired me to grab a pear and so I read and enjoy!

  5. That pear honey sounds delicious. Willow certainly has a mind of her own doesn't she? It sounds like you've figured out a plan that works well instead of waiting for her to drop her milk.

  6. For some people apples say Fall, but for me it's pears! The pear honey is made for a hot biscuit don't you think? You have that milking dilemma solved, smart thinking!

  7. The pears are just lovely! We have a few junior pear trees, and how I long for them to produce.

  8. Ripe pears are so good! The pear honey sound delicious. The weather has been great here in mid-MO, I hope we get some rain soon!

  9. Yum, pears!

    Daddy Mack used to improvise a calf halter using a rope looped and knotted just so. Naturally that's one that I didn't remember.

  10. I think I have a kieffer pear tree planted, I'll have to look at my records to find out for sure. Most pears do ripen better off the tree than on. If they do ripen, they tend to fall and smash themselves on the ground. Such a mess. Such a waste. Then that attracts the wasps. Ish. I noticed my neighbor has pears on his tree, but I didn't ask to pick any this year, I still have a lot left from last year! I added citric acid and ascorbic acid, plus a little sugar, to my pears and they are the best I've ever canned.

  11. Nell Jean,I have done that before with a rope; I think I can figure it out again. She follows me pretty well without a halter so I may just continue without one.

    Ilene, I haven't noticed any fragrance on mine; I will check today. Also if I have enough pears ever to can, I will check on the amounts you used of the additives.

    We also have two Seckels and another that I think is pears yet on them.