Monday, April 11, 2011

Dalyn-The Dirt Road Diva & Queen of Quite Alot

Dalyn's blogs have very cool graphics!
When Dalyn Weller puts on her Muckboots-N-Aprons,
she means business!

Dalyn Weller of Yakima, Washington is a very busy lady.  She has three children at home.  She homeschools.  She raises many different kinds of farm animals.  She creates and sells soap products.  And, she makes kefir, yogurt, chevre, mozzarella, feta and ice cream with her goat's milk.  (Her yummy yogurt cheese blog post is shown at the end of this article.)

According to her blog profile, she and her family live ... on a small horse ranch on a dirt road, where the horses are keeping company with dairy goats, chickens, turkeys, a goose, cats and dogs, kids and the occasional un-invited coyote. The uniform is jeans, T-shirt, and flip flops; and if we mean business it's muckboots and an apron.
Handsome Rob as a kid
This is too cute!
Dalyn's husband, Doug

Her Family

Dalyn's husband is a firefighter and he supports the family.  They have 3 biological children, one adopted child and a foster child they are hoping to adopt.  I asked her how old the baby is and she said,

The baby is 10 1/2 months old. We were supposed to have him for a weekend. He's been with us since he was 10 weeks old. We are hoping to adopt him. We will be taking another newborn, most likely late fall, when life calms down again. 



We believe strongly in making a difference for foster children. There are between 600 and 700 children coming into care every month in my area alone! 

Taylor (16), Dalyn, Ben (12)

If we take an infant and nurture them and let them attach to us, we make a huge difference in their overall health, learning ability, and emotional well-being. "Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." is actually true- sad, but true.

Dalyn homeschools her children and, for this, she has a separate blog, West Valley Christian Homeschool Support where she posts lesson plans and meeting times.

Dalyn and her daughter, Tori (18)

Her Farm

On their small horse ranch, on a dirt road in the Yakima Valley of Central Washington, they raise ...4 horses, a goose that is the herd queen of the goats, about a dozen dairy goats, 2 sheep, 2 dogs, a varying number of barn cats (including a litter of 4 orange kittens) and lots of heritage breed chickens and turkeys.

We get a lot of visitors here, because it's just so darned fun! Turkeys roaming around, chickens sunning themselves under the swing set and goat kids playing on the slide…horses hanging heads over the fences hoping for a friendly scratch, it's a beautiful place!

On our ranch, we raise a herd of spoiled and loved, beautiful Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, and Mini Nubian dairy goats. We love the super-rich milk. High in butterfat, it makes wonderful cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, ice cream, and it is, the most important ingredient in our raw goat milk soaps.

Her Raw Goat Milk Soaps

Dalyn makes all kinds of soaps and soap products. She has been selling them online, but she is now in the process of moving her store to a new site-  Until she gets her online store open again, contact her at if you are interested in purchasing any of her products.

I use a special cold process technique that enables me to keep the soap uncooked- (raw), so that the milk retains those wonderful vitamins and enzymes that our skin loves and soaks in. The cold process method also retains the natural glycerine that is formed, so you get a naturally moisturizing bar that is mild, and because of the coconut oil, lathers super well.

Taylor milking

Raw goat milk is a God-given health tonic- that's why my family drinks it and raises goats in the first place.

Dalyn also sells Honey Bee Butter Bars (she gets local beeswax), free range eggs, and live kefir grains at the farm, as well as goat kids in the late summer.  There are many cute pictures of her goats at proverbs31nubians.blogspot

Her Cheese

I asked her how she became a cheese maker:

I ended up making my own cheese for a simple reason: I wanted to see if I could!

I grew up with a single mother, eating government cheese and living in the city. When my dream of country life came true and I was able to get dairy goats and had an abundance of milk, I started reading magazines and books on self sufficiency and the like. 

It occurred to me that "back in the old days" women made their own cheese all the time! I had assumed somehow in my ignorance that cheese was not something we could make at home-that it required special equipment and skills... I had no idea it was so easy and fun. I got hooked.
Draining her chevre on the counter.
Dalyn drains her chevre in the refrigerator when it's very hot out.  The bottom of this container has holes in it.
Rosemary and sun-dried tomato chevre on crisp little rosemary crackers

Dalyn has many more pictures of making chevre at her blog.  I liked her post (below) about yogurt cheese as well:

Breakfast of Champions
By Dalyn at Muckboots-N-Aprons

A few days ago, after I milked the goats, I brought the milk in to strain and put 1 1/2 quarts, strained, and still warm, into a jar with about 1/2 cup of cultured plain yogurt. I stirred it well, and wrapped the jar in a blanket with a heating pad on low. I left this for until the next day. I put the jar in the fridge for a couple days. I now had homemade, raw yogurt.
I decided what I would really like was some thick, creamy, tangy soft spreadable cheese to go on morning muffins. Quite often in the mornings I grind flour and make muffins out of bananas and oatmeal, nuts, or raisins, and sometimes thawed pureed apples and pears from last year's crop. I always puree some of the fruit and freeze it. Pumpkins too, after I roast them.
Back to the soft cheese:
I spread a clean cheesecloth over a small stainless steel colander, and placed that inside a plastic container to catch the draining whey. I then poured my homemade raw yogurt in and tied up the cheesecloth. The whey drains off after about 24 hours or so in the refrigerator.
(Before tying up the cheesecloth, you could add savory spices, or spicy, or else pureed fruit and honey to make a sweet spread.)
After about 24 hours or a little more this time, I spooned the soft cheese into a sanitized glass jar. This is so yummy!
This morning I had made oatmeal, apple & pear muffins with raisins and cinnamon.
After these came out of the oven, I served them for breakfast spread with that gorgeous creamy, tangy raw yogurt cheese.

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