Haha, maybe an ambitious title! But the point is that I never know how to answer questions in comments. Do I answer the question in another comment, or update the post? but what if you don't return to the post to read the answer? or should I write a new post to answer the questions? but then what about other people who read the comment later and still don't know the answer? Well I've had a few questions lately, so I thought I'd just answer them all in this post and see how that works....
A Mattock :)
A question from Emma about "Easy Peasy Cheesy...": Ooh, I can't wait to see how your hard cheeses turn out. How long do you have to wait? A year? Ten? Well we're not sure yet, but it should only be 6-8 weeks for the cheddar, but for the parmesan we should wait a year.
Emma also asked about the post "Weeds": what's a mattock? I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't know! My husband loves his mattock, it must be an Aussie thing, it is a garden tool that looks like the picture to the left.
Another questions from Emma on post "The Monster Mulcher": Have you studied permaculture? Not studied exactly, but read a bit about it, and take ideas from lots of different areas, organic, biodynamic, permaculture etc etc, just trying different things and finding out what works!
I had lots of questions about the post "I made butter!" and replied in a comment as follows: The butter doesn't last as long because I don't do as good a job of removing all the buttermilk liquid as an industrial butter factory. The liquid is what makes the fat go rancid, that's why I also have to add a bit of salt to it. I have heard that butter can be frozen, so I shall try that when we have excess. I have seen a book on making soap from milk, so I'm going to get that. I'd rather make cheese at the moment, but you're right, frozen milk will be good for soap, so I can put some away and get back to it eventually. I've never made soap before (just read a bit on the net), so that will be interesting! (I got the book and turns out you still need to use a fat/oil to make the soap and put in a bit of milk, doesn't seem very self-sufficient if I still have to buy fat/oil, however if we are more sucessful with rendering the beef fat next time, that will be a good source).
Emma wondered in response to"Top five veges for beginner gardeners" where to get poor man's beans seeds in NZ: The botanical name for the Poor Man's Beans is 'dolichos lablab'. It looks like you can get the seeds from here, among other places.
Joyfulhomemaker asked about "Home butchering - some tips for beginners" what breed are you doing there? We just buy whatever we can get hold of when we need the next steer (see here), so far we have had a Jersey X Low line (maybe?), a Fresian X Murray Grey, a Fresian X Limosine, a Fresian X "Hereford" (unlikely?), and 2 more Limosine crosses coming up. I'm not sure that the breed has much influence on the taste, but we have noticed a difference in the temperament, the limosines are very aloof, they seem to like to hide behind trees and stare at us (unless we have a food bucket).
Liz asked about "Winter Woodfires: part 1": Are those types of stove popular there? I don't know if they are, does anyone else have one?? We just needed a woodfire and thought the stoves were a great idea, so were happy to pay a bit extra for the extra function. There are three or four brands available here in Australia, different sizes, prices and quality etc, I wonder if they are available in other countries too. We use ours for cooking most days in winter, so its been a good buy.
I also had lots of questions on "On my mind - Yoghurt update + exciting news!", to which I replied in a comment: Honestly, it is REALLY easy, I make the next batch of yoghurt before I go to work, as I'm dishing out the last of it to take for lunch! I can't even make decent bread, so if you can manage bread, you can definitely make yoghurt! As long as you have the Easiyo thermos you just make it with cold milk/water and put boiling water in the thermos, and leave for 6-10 hours. If you have a different system you will have to follow the instructions or experiment until you get it right. There's lots of ways of keeping it warm enough, just find a way that works for you. I used full milk powder because I like the taste, but there's no reason why it wouldn't work with skim milk. You can get EasiYo in skim/reduced fat variety. Also, you can use supermarket plain/natural yoghurt as the starter/inoculant if you don't have a batch of your own to use.
I hope this answers some questions. Keep asking them, its great to know that my posts are interesting to someone :)