La Feria News


Grace Heritage RanchMost of us enjoy a cup of tangy yogurt, but what is yogurt and what does it have to do with homesteading anyway? Glad you asked.

Simply put, yogurt is a cultured milk product, meaning the milk is fermented. The process of making yogurt involves using certain types of beneficial bacteria to feed on the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk and produce lactic acid. The lactic acid lowers the pH of the milk which causes the milk proteins to come together in a thick mass. This acidic environment is inhospitable to harmful bacteria, thus preserving the milk.

The process we use here at the ranch to make our yogurt is very simple. After milking, the fresh warm milk is brought in, filtered, and poured into clean quart jars. We add ¼ cup of yogurt from the previous batch to each jar as a bacterial starter, cover the jar, and shake well. The jars are uncapped, covered with clean flour sack towels and left on the counter at room temperature for 24 hours. The following morning they can be capped and moved to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. That’s it – fresh yogurt ready to eat.

Yogurt is important to our homestead because we need to preserve as much of the food we produce as possible. What we grow and raise needs to supply our family until we can provide more. The culturing of milk to make yogurt is just one way of taking some of our raw milk and making a food that will stay fresh longer than the milk itself would. We also consider the millions of beneficial bacteria contained in the yogurt as necessary to the health of those of us who eat it. This is another important aspect of sustaining ourselves on a homestead.

To learn even more about homesteading, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen, TX near Santa Monica. Please visit us at or For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We offer both public and private tours.

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