Making Chevre

We have goats, and currently have milk pouring out our ears with milking 5 mama goats! Our mini nubians give a quart to 1/2 gallon on 12 hr separation from their kids, so we get almost 2 full gallons each morning. And now 1 mama’s kids have left the farm, so we’re getting another 1/2 gallon at night too!

Soap only uses a small amount of milk, so while I will be freezing some milk for soap making, I am going to be making chevre cheese for fresh use and for freezing to use during the winter.

I started by filling our kitchen sink with hot tap water. I then took my 6 quart insta pot bowl and filled that with 1 gallon of chilled raw goats milk. Then placed the bowl of milk in the sink full of hot tap water. It only took a couple minutes for it to get to 80 degrees. I let it to get just below 85 degrees Fahrenheit, then pulled the bowl out of the hot water.

I sat it on the counter and added 1/4 tsp mesophilic culture front standing stone farms and used a wooden spoon to mix in a up/down motion. Then I took a measuring cup, added 1/3 cup cool water, and dripped 2 drops of rennet into that. Then I poured the water/rennet mix into the bowl of warm milk, and mixed that gently in an up/down motion.

I placed a towel over the bowl and left it over night.

This morning it was quite thick, like a very solid yogurt (cheese curd!). I got my cheese cloth out and spread it over a strainer in the sink, and gently poured the cheese curds from the bowl into the cheese cloth/strainer. Then wrapped up the cheese cloth and knotted it at the top to form a bag for the cheese curds, and used a shower curtain hook to hang it on a cupboard know above the kitchen sink.

Next step is to let it drip for 4 to 6 hrs, until it stops dripping. Then we can add salt and seasonings if we want to use it right away, or we can package it up and stick in the freezer (do NOT add seasonings if putting it in the freezer, I added the salt before freezing last year and it was gross!).

I wrap in parchment paper, then label with a marker that it is Chevre and the date it was made, then wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. Or, I’ll season to taste with pink Himalayan sea salt and serve with salted almond crackers. Mmm, SO good!

Our New Dog: Dixie

001 2

Dixie on her bed

So gentle, even the little kids can take her for a walk!

So gentle, even the little kids can take her for a walk!


008 2 006 1 009 2

Dixie is an 8 year old black Labrador Retriever, and is absolutely wonderful! She arrived at our home last night, and has only given a single bark ONCE! She’s been super quiet, looks like she’s smiling all the time, LOVES all the attention she gets from the kids, and enjoys exploring her new domain. She knows who is in charge in the house. After her walk this morning she went right over to my mom and laid down at her feet. She wags her tail a lot, being so happy in her new home.

She comes, sits, shakes, and stays on command.

Dixie has some medical tape on one leg because she’d been attacked by a dog at her old home. The other dog had attacked her in the past because of being very dominant, and Dixie only finally fought back last night. Her owners decided they’d had enough and needed to find someplace better for dear Dixie.

So, we got the most loveable, huggable, wonderful girl in the world, for free! Because her previous owners knew she needed something better. And what a great fit she’s been thus far!

Photos are property of Sarah’s Scenes, Real life Photographer.

Couples Sessions Available! Book Now!

couples advertisement copy 1Use the “Contact Us” tab to book your session Now!


Barred Rock

034 1

Photos are Property of Sarah’s Scenes, Real Life Photographer.

Editing Photos

Editing in Photoshop can be a very laborious thing. It can take many hours to get a few photos done. And its not because Photoshop is so hard to use, its because there are many steps to get the look you want in your photos.

Fortunately, there are many that have come before us that have put a lot of work into creating “Action Sets.” These Action Sets are a pre planned set of steps to help speed the process of photo editing. These actions have several layers that will show up in the “Layers Palette” when the action is activated for a specific photo, these individual layers can then be adjusted to taste.

For the image I’m editing today, I used a new action from Colorvale called “Fall Envy“, you can get it for free by clicking on the name.  I also use a set from yellow Sky Actions (click Here to see the set I use), the set cost me $50. And I use another free Action called “Poetic Winter BW Fade PSE” (click on the name to get the free download).

To start, here’s a before and After of the image I’m editing this morning:


This hen is a Barred Rock Aracauna mix we purchased this last summer for our flock.

Getting Started:

Open your photo in Photoshop (I use Photoshop Elements 8).

Your actions should show up in the upper right corner of your photoshop workspace. In the action box, click the Colorvale action “Fall Envy.”

I leave this action as is, and don’t do anything with the individual layers, this is my preference though and you may do as you like with them.

Next, Click the Yellow Sky Action “Rustic Goodness.”

Once all the layers have appeared, I go through and change the “Opacity” of each of the following layers in this action:
Bright & Crisp: 50%
Color Me: 12%
Touch of Color: 5%
Touch of Warmth: 4%
Level up: 0% (I delete this layer, which can be done by simply right clicking on it and select “Delete”)

Next I use the Yellow Sky Action “Soft & Rich Brush”, which in elements will affect the whole image, it won’t be a brush in Elements. Click “Ok” or “Continue” when it asks if you want to proceed. Adjust this layer Opacity to 12%.

Now click the poetic Winter BW Fade PSE Action (it will have a photo appearing as a camera sitting on a desk in your Actions box). I don’t change anything for this set except to make the Gradient Map layer invisible (just click the eye next to the layer to do this, you can make it visible again later).

Right click on  any of your layers and select Merge Visible.

Now, select your bottom (“Background”) layer.

Go to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast.
set the Contrast to -50%.
repeat this process and set the Contrast to -25%.

Go to Filter>Distort>Diffuse Glow
Set the grain to 0, Glow to 1 and Clear Amount to 19.
Click “Ok.”

Then, Enhance>Adjust Color>Hue/Saturation.
Set the Saturation for 20%.

Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels
Set the dark side to 20.

Now you need to “Duplicate” your background layer.
Right click on your bottom layer and click “Duplicate Layer.”
Click “Ok” when the pop up appears asking about naming your new layer.

Select your new layer (should be second to bottom layer) and go to Filter>Stylize>Emboss.
Set Height to 6px, Amount to 100%, Click “Ok.”

Now your image looks like its got a grey mask over it, now don’t freak out….
“Oh No! What have I done!”
This mask will help to sharpen your image.

Now set this layers “Style” (next to the Opacity bar) as Overlay
and set the opacity for 50%.

Merge Visible. Zoom in, can you see the difference?

Ta-da! What do you think?

Now, Go to File>Save and save your image as a JPG
(or another file type if you have a preference).

You can alter things to meet your own style as you go along. This is just to give an idea of all the work that goes into a photo. Even with Actions, editing can take a while. But it’s what it takes to get the photo just the way you want.

There are lots of other ways to edit your photos in Photoshop, so have fun with it! Don’t be afraid to experiment a little here and there.

This is Sarah’s Scenes, Real Life photographer.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,126 other subscribers