House of Cheese

Hope’s House of Cheese

Sometimes we get product from the local cheese makers. It may be out of date or in some cases it is a batch that froze in transit like this one. These small containers are a bit of a bother to deal with but for the high feed value and being free they are worth it. I actually bought our tractor forks specifically to unload one batch like this years ago. A free 40′ long truck full of food was worth the one grand that the forks cost. Since then we’ve been able to unload many other trucks of various things from other food stuffs to seed and more.

Inside the House of Cheese

When I set the pallets down from the truck I arranged them so there was open space between the pallets. Our sons Will and Ben covered the pallets with forms, from the butcher shop construction, and then with a tarp. We added a bit of hay for a floor. This makes a cozy home which Hope is showing off in the picture above. The dogs love going in there too.

Outdoors: 37°F/21°F Mostly Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/65°F

Daily Spark: Dream small and you will achieve. -Ben

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to House of Cheese

  1. Jeff Marchand says:

    My pigs envy yours!

    I predict a future post about how you brilliantly re-used the empty cheese containers.

    Pots for starting your veggies in maybe?

  2. Tj says:

    Wow, what a concept. Using something for good, instead of just tossing it out. Wish more people would do this. On a side note. Just discovered your blog and have enjoyed it immensly. While I enjoy the pigs. What’s going on with the chickens, ducks, and geese?

    • The chickens are in the south field shed where they have a light and roosts for the winter. During the day the range around that area, looking for things in the court yard and sometimes going further afield. You can see some chickens in the blog header for January which you can also find in Short on Snow post. They lay all winter since we replace their summer diet of insects with meat to give them fat and protein that the insects normally give them in the warm months. Come spring they’ll be spreading out across the fields looking to help us organically control flies as well as the occasional mouse or snake they catch. For more on chickens check out their tag in the cloud in the right column.

      The ducks and geese share a hut down by the house end shed. Mostly they stay in there but sometimes when the days are really nice they waddle out into the pig’s section of the house end shed and dunk their head in the waterer there. They’ll start laying eggs in about another month. See their tags for ducks and goose in the tag cloud.

      See this post for more catching of butter and cheese.

  3. Tom Y says:

    We lived near a dairy and got all sorts of outdated/damaged stuff in the 80’s. Made two trips a week to retreive the stuff. Good eats for the pigs, high profit margins.

  4. Sheila Z says:

    You built a cheese-loo

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m curious about how you feed this containered cheese? And then what will you do with all the little cups?

    • We pop the frozen food out of the container after a quick dip in warm water. The containers are recycle-able. After they dip they’re clean. The dipping water then goes to the pigs too. They love that. Cheese flavored tea.

  6. Sean says:

    I’m glad you’re not letting the nutrients in the “damaged” food go to waste.

    Btw, do you guys organize something with your (more) local restaurants and grocers to keep their past-expiry food items or kitchen scraps for your pigs? I know they have done this in places local like Berkeley or Japan, and nation wide in Taiwan with a great degree of success.

    • We stick with pre-consumer sources. There are disease issues as well as having to watch out for broken glass, cutlery and other foreign objects. In some places they do take the restaurant scraps. I believe there is a pig farm in Los Vegas that does this.

  7. Jesse says:

    Hi Walter,
    I found a local cheesemaker who is willing to give me some whey. She says:
    “Currently, most of our whey goes in to a settling pond along with the wash water from the cheese plant – so not a good thing. Another farmer, who is also raising pigs, gets about 30 gallons a week. He gets his in 5 gallon buckets, so that is a bit of a nuisance for both of us. “Sometime” I hope to have a way to pump it outside in to a tank and then feed it to steers or have it available for sale to other livestock growers. I process about 2500 pounds of milk per week, so it’s not a huge volume by most standards.”
    What is your arrangement with the local cheesemaker? How is the system arranged for you to pick up? Can you give any advice on how to help her collect the whey efficiently for both of us? Thanks again.

    • The cheese maker we get it from pumps the whey to an insulated 10,000 gallon tank outside their building. Then their delivery truck picks the whey up from that daily and delivers it. We get a delivery about every day to every other day depending on how busy they are. We have three 1,024 gallon tanks so that there is storage capacity at each point to make the queue efficient. Our pigs will drink about 1,800 gallons a day. It varies somewhat with the season, how many pigs, pig sizes, etc. We have everything setup to gravity feed here, no pumps. Pumps freeze up in the winter and get destroyed by the ice. See these articles about whey and feeding.

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