the stars must align

-Boötes: Business Plan -He looks ready to fight for a loan doesn't he?-

We have managed to align Boötes. We have our business plan ready and we are working on our numbers. Collecting all the info for a business plan is very difficult and takes hundreds of hours collecting data but we are there! As I would sit and watch Joel work on his spread sheets for the actually costs to run a proper business of which he has about 15 different spread sheets, I sat in amazement, speechless at the math equations he was coming up with. I can't really describe it since I still don't know what he was doing but this is an example of one he worked on:
[=((C47+B35)x(D32-B38))+E22-C47] Now, I could type for hours trying to concisely describe it but I won't due to the fact that I don't want to. Basically he is able to make up equations that will make the numbers adjust if he types in a different number on any given line. I know there are many of you out there who can do this and think it isn't a big deal but for those of us who aren't... how do I put this nicely, those of us who aren't nerds- it's very crazy to watch. I am SOOO glad I have a husband/business partner who can do this. I would be sitting there with a pencil and paper writing (1 sheep gives about a pound of cheese every 2 days, x $30/lb.= sell it and take the money.) I did help him with how the spread sheet was organized, the colors and making it easily readable. That counts for something!

oolite bleu- first appearance

As you may recall, we began this crazy journey with an idea in mind. Let's make a bleu cheese out of sheep's milk and age it in the Oolite limestone that is found in the valley where we want to live. This is a process that is very similar to Roquefort Bleu Cheese in France where they age their sheep's milk cheese in limestone caves. It's an idea that has been in the works for the past 4 years, we even moved our 5 kids to Manti, Utah just to undertake this endeavor.
Drum roll please....
It started out white curd then the blue mold started to show like usual but then a strange occurrence came when trapped in a closed lid pot with a piece of limestone, a white mold began taking over. It was a very fuzzy white mold and soon the blue was being consumed by the white. It smells like bleu cheese and tastes like bleu cheese but went white/gray. It was very exciting to see and not only did it taste like a very strong bleu but the sheep milk gave it an interesting peppery flavor as well, oh and will definitely leave your mouth numb. Very exciting! Now we just needed to get it to the 3rd Annual Inter-mountain Dairy Sheep Producers Association and let others see what they think.


back to work

It has been a while since I have posted, I know, but I have been busy trying to get Joel home on a more permanent basis and now that he is working from home regularly we are back to work on the cheese dream. Lots to report as far as cheese making. First we worked on getting the basement finished so we can age cheese there. It is a slow process to expose the stone but well worth the while.
Couldn't resist the picture of the ram. If you remember I did a painting for Joel of him petting a ram, well this is the ram and his horns have started to curl.
I was able to get a lot of Icelandic sheep milk from my neighbors and made several batches of cheese. When my neighbor had to go out of town she asked me to milk. It was so much fun! The sheep got to know me and we had our routine down. Very awesome to produce cheese from start to finish.
First I worked on What's Her Name and it turned out great. Looking forward to making the Oolite Bleu.