We kindly welcome Melissa of Uniquely More to share her traditional farm craft and inspiring farm life. This creative and crafty Farmgirl expertly whips up a dizzying array of crocheted items meant to enrich our lives and help make our daily chores of mopping floors, dusting shelves and gathering eggs from the coop, that much more enjoyable. We celebrate the first day of Spring by introducing all of the ways one can incorporate the art of crochet into their day. CHEERS TO SPRING and banishing winter cobwebs!
What is the name of your farm, ranch, or homestead, and where are you located?
Uniquely More, located in Bushnell, Nebraska.
How and /or when did life as a farmer begin for you?
It began in 2010, but took a 6 month break from farming in 2010. Our daughter was not able to drink cow milk, so we bought a couple goats and our farm just kept growing.
What do you grow and / or raise?
We raise Nubians, Nigerian Dwarfs, what we call homesteading goats (Boer and milking goat cross), sheep, mini pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits, llamas, alpacas and we have one lone pony.
What traditional methods do you use on your farm to grow your crops and / or raise your animals?
We try to do as much by hand as possible. We hand milk our goats and sheep. We use hand shears to shear our fiber animals instead of electric clippers. And, I clean, card and spin the animal fiber myself.
What is one of your favorite farm-infused recipes you wish to share?
Cajeta is a goats milk caramel sauce. It tastes great on everything; from fresh fruit, to ice cream, to pie!
Our whole family LOVES this recipe because it uses up our extra goats milk, it tastes great and its really easy to make. We like to use different flavorings, apple being our utmost favorite. You have to try it!
- 2 quarts goat milk
- 2 C. white sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Use a crock pot (slow cooker) large enough to hold at least 2 liquid quarts. Add all ingredients to the pot and stir well to combine. (I start this in the evening after dinner.) Set the crock pot to HIGH and leave the lid off. Allow the mixture to reduce in volume (depending on your crock pot temperature, it may take up to 24 hours) to reacthe desired consistency. Around hour 6, the color will slowly begin to change from white to a light beige. This is great! Starting around hour 15, periodically stir the milk mixture. By now you should notice that it has turned a noticeable caramel color. Continue to cook until the mixture reduces in volume to the consistency of a caramel sauce. (With my crock pot, it took approximately 22 hours.) As the mixture cooks, the color will continue to deepen and the sauce will continue to thicken.
This recipe will yield approximately 4 cups of sauce. If you desire a thicker and slightly darker caramel colored sauce, allow it to reduce further for another hour or two. Remember to stir! Please note that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Pour into jars with lids and refrigerate. This mixture will keep for approximately 3 weeks in the refrigerator. (In our household, it never lasts that long.) To serve, you can either pour the sauce into a pan and heat the sauce up or leave it chilled. Note: the mixture pours easily if you heat it up.
What is at least one farm tradition you uphold?
We do our very best every day to work hard as a family unit. Traditionally, farms need “all hands on deck” when it comes to coordinating farm chores and making everything run smooth. We take much pride in putting all of our animals first. They provide us with so much and our gratitude runs deep.
What inspires you to continue a farm lifestyle?
What inspires me the most is that we are able to do this as a family and we all equally love it. Every day brings a new opportunity to witness creation unfold and see the never ending joy on my kids and husbands faces….especially when a new baby animal is born!
What words of inspiration or uplifting wisdom do you hope to impart on the future generation of farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and homesteaders?
Never quit and never give up on your dreams! In 2010 at the age of 29, I had a stroke. I couldn’t do much of anything including walk after I had the stroke. The doctors told us we had to sell off our farm and move to town. They said I wouldn’t be able to handle the challenges of farm life. So we sold everything and moved to town. I tried my hardest to learn to walk again and relearn things. Within 6 months I was doing so well that we moved back out to the country and were able to get goats again. I am thankful to God for everything He has done for us… graciously allowing us to live this glorious lifestyle.
Where can people find you or your products online?
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/uniquelymore
Thank you, to Melissa and her farm family at Uniquely More!
The FarmMade community is truly inspired by your traditional and everyday functional works of crochet art. Your passion is contagious and plight to stay on the farm courageous. We celebrate all of your precious farm animals and wish them and your family good health for many years to come!
Do you have a favorite family recipe that uses goats milk? Please share them in the comments section below.
Creations from your kitchen using goats milk or other farm-fresh products taste just a teensy bit better when they are held and displayed beautifully, don’t you think? Check out the gorgeous and functional pottery made by Swallowtail Pottery maker Barry for pie plates, muffin tins, bowls, pitchers, and much more!