Breeding Guinea Pigs For Meat

The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is called cuy, cobayo or curi in Spanish. This animal is, just
like the llama and alpaca, a pre-Colombian domestic animal kept in the Andean region. Even
today its distribution coincides with the area of influence of the ancient Inca Empire.

I’m considering raising guinea pigs as an alternative to my original choice, rabbits.

Breeding Guinea Pigs for Meat [PDF 41kb]

Masonry heaters & stoves

GeoPathfinder

Many people currently cook in a microwave oven. It’s called “micro” because the high-frequency radio energy used to jiggle the food’s water molecules has a very short wavelength. We call our stove the macrowave because, even though it utilizes radiated infrared energy (heat) which has a much higher frequency and even shorter wavelength, the stove itself is so much larger.

Read more about masonry stoves, and homesteading in general at the Geopathfinder (http://www.geopathfinder.com/) site.

No Knead Bread

A simple bread that requires no kneading.
It looks almost too good to be true – this method makes what is often referred to as “artisan breads”, the kind that cost a small fortune in the specialty bakeries. Who knew how easy these breads were to make?
Read the article

How to grow …

Quinoa

How to grow quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wa”, and its seeds are high in protein which makes it a nutritious grain to grow. The protein is considered a “complete” protein, a rarity in the plant world. It’s leaves are also edible. This makes quinoa a popular food among vegans and vegetarians.
Read the article

Amaranth

How to grow amaranth

Amaranth that is grown as a grain crop is related to but not the same as the smaller plant grown for its flowers. Taller grain amaranth does still have the same brilliant colors and flowers though.

It’s not a kind of grass as most grains are, but amaranth is grouped together with the other grains anyway. Amaranth seeds are very high in protein, and its a very high-quality protein closer to what you find in soybeans. Unlike other grain plants, amaranth is quite attractive and blooms in shades of red, burgundy, and purple before the cascading spikes of flowers go to seed. The seeds are the grain that you will be harvesting.

Amaranth can be cooked in various ways, either mixed in dishes or just served by itself like you might do with rice. You can also grind amaranth for a gluten-free flour that makes great pasta. Aside from the protein, amaranth is also high in fiber, iron and phosphorus.

Make your own yoghurt

We’ve been making our own yoghurt for a few weeks and it’s been mostly successful however we’re still learning and have not yet perfected our process – this latest batch didn’t ferment as, I suspect, I allowed it to cool too quickly.

Here are a few resources that are helpful if you wish to make your own yoghurt.

Tips

  • Your first batch is always the hardest.
  • You can use any kind of milk, including whole milk, 2%, 1%, nonfat, pasteurized, homogenized, organic, raw, diluted evaporated, dry powdered, cow, goat, soybean, and more.
  • All yogurt needs “good” bacteria. The easiest way to add this is to use existing yogurt. The first time you make your own yogurt, use store-bought plain yogurt. Be certain it has “active cultures” on the label.
  • Alternatively, instead of existing yogurt you can use freeze-dried bacteria cultures (available in specialty stores), which are more reliable as a starter.
  • Using a double boiler makes it easier to control the temperature.
  • If your oven doesn’t have a pilot light but does have an oven light, preheating the oven to the desired temperature, turning it off, and then leaving the oven light on to maintain the temperature.
  • Another method is to turn your oven on and then off again periodically. Be careful that it doesn’t get too hot.
  • To check the oven temperature, you can put your candy thermometer in a bowl of water inside the oven.
  • Other methods for keeping the yogurt warm are: hot water in a sink, a stove burner, a crock-pot, a warming tray, a large thermos, a heating pad, a sunny window, in your car on a sunny day, etc. Just use your thermometer and best judgment.
  • The longer the mixture incubates, the thicker and more tangy the yogurt will be.
  • Putting your yogurt in the freezer to cool it before to moving it to the refrigerator will result in a smoother consistency.
  • Canned pie filling, jams, maple syrups, and ice-cream fudges are good flavorings.
  • For a delicious appetizer, use your yogurt to make labneh cheese.
  • Using a yogurt maker makes the incubation process a lot easier. It automatically maintains the proper temperature and you don’t need to use the oven or watch the temperature. Most come with individual glass jars to put the yogurt in.
  • Some food dehydrators, such as Ronco induction type, can be used as yogurt makers too. Read the instructions in the manual.