The Ohio University Extension Service sponsors a series of presentations called “Master Gardeners” in which principles of gardening are offered, often with illustrative slides.

I was asked to present, even though I hardly consider myself a “Master Gardener”on 17 November 2022 at Western Brown High School Community Room in Mt Orab Ohio.

Here are the slides, in PDF form, I used to illustrate my talk,

Jail Lectures

I have been volunteering since June 2018 at the Clermont County Jail.  I deliver weekly lecture/seminars to my inmate/pupils.  It has been extremely gratifying, and I am not being hyperbolic to say that the time spent with these pupils can be the highlight of my week.

20 December 2022:  I gave a presentation on the astronomical events during the Winter Solstice. I will try to link to the media file…


Although I never used PowerPoint in my lectures as a College Professor, the restrictions imposed by having an extremely fluid constituency means that I Sex_yeilds_diversity_2ndcannot develop a curriculum which can build on previous week’s material.  Thus, most seminars must stand on their own.

I intend on posting the PowerPoint presentations for the general public, should they be of more general usefulness.

10 September 2019: EVOLUTION 

24 September 2019: Origin of Life

We explored the roots of how life came to be, and how it has been shaped, from Socrates to Darwin.

1 October 2019: SEX: What is it good for? (Sex_yields_diversity)

We explore how sexual reproduction is extremely effective at generating a heterogeneous population, a necessary prerequisite for Darwinian evolution.

15 October 2019: Female_Reproductive_System

We explored the internal anatomy of the human female, the process of fertilization and how the development of the resulting embryo is sustained.

30 October 2019 (Pre-halloween) pdf: Skull
Here is a powerpoint file that has animations: Skull
For Halloween, we drew the skull, explored its bones, how they connect, and how you can feel them as you feel the bumps on your head.

10 December 2019 ARTHROPODS
We examined the traits of the arthropods, and concentrate on arachnids and crustaceans.

Year 2020: COVID put an end to my seminars at the Clermont County Jail in February.


Biology 1081 Lecture, In-Class Handouts, Directory

branching, Glucosidase

Page 1:  01_1081_Table_of_Contents_Jan2016

Page 2: 02_2016_BIOL_1081_Syllabus_Calendar_15Jan2016

Page 3: 03_How_to_take_Bio1081.Jan2016

Page 4: 04_Wordstems_1081_chrono_part_1.22Aug13

Page 5: 05_Wordstems_1081_chrono_part_2.08Jan2016

Pages 6 and 7: 06_07_Bio_1081_cum_wordstems_meanings.22Aug2013

Page 8: 08_Study_Groups.Dec12

Page 9: 09_Study_Group_Report_1081.08Jan2016

Jump to Biology 1081, Lecture Notes, Directory

Page 10: 10_Newsnote_Protocol.Sept09

Page 11: 11_Sample_Newsnote_Sheet_4373_001

Page 12: 12_Full Credit Genetics Homework.Aug14

Page 13: 13_FoodSources.08Jan2016

Page 14: 14_Volleyball_Flier_Vert.flier

History of Biology with Images

Mars Retrograde Example

Local Upper Ordovician Fossils

Fat Analysis Bar Chart
Fat Analysis Bar Chart

Protein Complimentation Images, Directory

First Year Biology 1081 Lab, Lab Packet and Directions

I have not taught BioLab 1081L course in several years.

Here are directions for How to Print Lab Manual which Jan Carter put together, based on protocols I created awhile back.

Please print out the packet, cut it into 5.5 x 8.5 inch pages, and have it bound with spiral binding at a local copy store (Kinko’s, Office Max, etc). I will give specific instructions on the first day of lab.

Directory of Handouts for the semester

Directory of Images from the FIRST TWO Quizzes of the semester, GRID.

Directory of Images from the FIRST TWO Quizzes of the semester, SLIDESHOW.

NOTE: Some images will be used for the midterm.

The following links will take you to illustrated pages or PDF files to explain each topic in more detail:

Table of Contents

Schedule of Lab Activities, Fall 2014

Laboratory Notebook Procedure

Format Suggestions for Table of Contents

Format Suggestions for Cumulative Lists (Fauna and Flora)

Use of Contact Paper for Mounting Handouts

Notebook Illustrations

The Binocular Microscope: Its Features & Care

How to View a Slide & Microscope, Storage Grade Sheet

Sample First Notebook, Grade Sheet

Field Hike Protocol

Sprouting Seeds

Chromatographic Separation of Photosynthetic Pigments

Spectra of Isolated Photosynthetic Pigments

Mitosis versus Meiosis

Biological Aspects of a Healthful Salad

Making Yogurt

Making Labneh (simple yogurt cheese)

Making Hard Cheese: 1 Gallon of Milk

Making Hard Cheese: 5 Gallons of Milk

Making Ricotta



How to Wax Cheese

Here are the steps used to wax a wheel of cheese.

Yogurt Making, Illustrated


Yogurt is a fermented milk product which was apparently brought to Turkey by the mongols millenia ago. It is produced by adding a “starter” of active yogurt containing a mixed culture of Lactobacillus bulgaricus (or occasionally L. acidophilus) and Streptococcus thermophilus. These produce lactic acid during fermentation of lactose. The lactic acid lowers the pH, makes it tart, causes the milk protein to thicken and acts as a preservative since pathogenic bacteria cannot grow in acid conditions. The partial digestion of the milk when these bacteria ferment milk makes yogurt easily digestible. In addition, these bacteria will help settle GI upset including that which follows oral antibiotic therapy by replenishing non-pathogenic flora of the gastrointestinal tract.

Several factors are crucial for successful yogurt making:

  • Good sterile technique (i.e., proper sterilization and cooling of the milk, proper cleansing and heat treatment of glassware, and keeping out unwanted bacteria). Note that Pasteurized milk still retains some bacteria which can give an off flavor, or prevent the starter from proper acidification. Scalding and cooling the milk ensures good results.
  • Proper incubation temperature. Lactobacilli and Streptococcus thermophilus are thermophilic bacteria, meaning they prefer elevated temperatures for growth. At such temperatures (50 C, in this case) pathogenic or putrifactive bacteria are inhibited. However, even these thermophilic bacteria are killed if exposed to temperatures over 55 C (130 F), and do not grow well below 37 C (98 F). We will incubate at 50 C, a temperature on the high side of its preferred growth temperature (122 F), a temperature which inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria. (Note that many recipes call for cooler temperatures than this. We find the results less dependable when incubation temperatures are lower.)
  • Protection of the starter from contamination. Do not open the starter (either Dannon Plain yogurt, or 8 oz starter from the previous yogurt batch) until you are ready to make the next batch.

Yogurt is preserved by its acidity which inhibits the growth of putrefactive or pathogenic bacteria. With lids intact, this yogurt will keep at least a month or two in the refrigerator. After that time, especially if your refrigerator is on the “warm” side, a layer of non-pathogenic white mold may form on the top. Merely lift off the mold with a fork, discard, and use the yogurt for cooking.

Baked goods will rise well when yogurt is used, again due to its acidity. Use yogurt as part or all of the liquid in cakes, waffles, pancakes and muffins, and cut down on the amount of baking powder. The thickness of yogurt helps to hold up the baking batter.

Yogurt is an excellent dish by itself, but is valuable in its many other uses.

The following recipe makes four quarts of yogurt. If you would like to make 2 quarts, here is the recipe . The following instructions may seem overly detailed, but I believe that the detail increases your chance of successful yogurt.

Yogurt Recipe: 4 Quarts


1 gallon fresh milk (either store bought, or your own home grown milk)

(whole milk makes richer flavored yogurt, skim milk makes it non-fat)

starter: 1 cup Dannon Plain yogurt, very fresh

I prefer Dannon Plain, made purely with milk and culture. (Get the freshest: check the expiration date.)

Dannon Plain WORKS for me.

Others brands may work. The sad story is that “organic” yogurt may have sat on the shelf too long…


Double boiler (or heavy pot) with lid, capacity 1+ gallon

Four quart jars with lids, sterilized in boiling water

One 8 oz jar with lid, sterilized in boiling water.

Candy thermometer, reading range = -10 to 110 C (0 to 225 F)

A gas oven with a pilot may work if monitored closely.

1 medium sized “cooler”



Cooler Type:

Such as a “Playmate” or styrofoam with close fitting lid




Pot for sterilizing jars1. Sterilize jars and lids which will be used to make the yogurt.  Place in a 5 gallon pot (here we are using a canner) with an inch of water in the bottom.


thmb_02_boil_jars_PB211262 22. Cover and bring to boil. Boil for ten minutes; then, turn off heat. Do not remove lid.



thmb_03_pot_pad_PB211266 33. Use a pot with a thick bottom to scald the milk.  Note the thick pad on the bottom of this pot.  Alternatively, a double boiler may be used. It is not necessary to boil the milk. This gives the milk a “cooked” flavor, and increases the probability that it will burn on the bottom or boil over.

thmb_05_one_gallon_milk_PB211269 44.  Add one gallon of milk to the pot.  You may use whole, 2% or skimmed milk. Here I am using my home grown goat’s milk.



thmb_06_heat_milk_PB211272 55. Heat the milk slowly over a medium fire (not so hot that it burns on the bottom).  I am using a medium hot fire here with my thick bottomed pot.




thmb_07_95_degree_milk_PB211276 66. Scald until the temperature of the milk is 85-90 C (185-195 F).  It is not necessary to boil, and do not let boil over…what a mess!  (Many claim success leaving out this step.  But… results may work, but intermittently…)


thmb_08_cool_milk_PB211278 77. Place the still covered pot in a pan of clean cold water to cool it down.



thmb_09_52_degree_milk_PB211279 88. Cool the milk to 50 to 55 C (122-130 F).  Remove the pot of scalded and cooled milk from the cooling bath.



thmb_10_1_cup_milk_yogurt_PB211281 99. Place one cup of the scalded and cooled milk in a two cup measure.



thmb_11_1_cup_yogurt_PB211283 1010. Add enough fresh, uncontaminated yogurt to bring the level up to two cups.



thmb_12_blend_yogurt_PB211282 1111. Stir to blend the yogurt starter into the scalded and cooled milk until homogeneous.



thmb_13_add_yogurtPB211285 1212. INOCULATE:
Add the yogurt-milk slurry slowly to the  50 C scalded and cooled milk with stirring. (No hotter–you will kill the bacteria in the starter.) Stir very well to thoroughly distribute the yogurt starter.


thmb_14_distribute_PB211288 1313. Once thoroughly mixed, distribute the inoculated milk to the sterilized jars, filling to the neck.  Cover immediately with sterile tops.  Tighten well.



thmb_15_warm_bath_PB221290 1414. INCUBATE:
Warm a gallon of fresh clean water to 55 C, pour into a clean cooler.  Place in a warm location.  (It should cool to 50 C or below once the cooler is warmed up.)  Carefully set the jars of inoculated milk in the water so the bottom of the lids are above the water.

thmb_16_52_degree_bath_PB221292 1515. Check to see that the water in the cooler is close to 50 C (122 F). Above 55 C (130 F) kills the bacterial inoculum.)


16_yogurt_product_P1021121sm 1616. Close the cooler, place in warm place and let sit undisturbed for three hours.  If the starter was active and the temperature correct, the yogurt will have gelled:
For more firm yogurt, try adding 4 Tbl powdered milk to the gallon of milk prior to heating (step 3). Frankly, I prefer delicate yogurt. Commercial yogurt in the States is often artifically gelled so that the yogurt can be shipped and still be solid when opened by the consumer at home. Fa schif…

Recently, I have switched to a two gallon stainless pot with a heavy pad of aluminum on the bottom. It considerably simplifies heating the milk. So long as you heat it to 85-90oC (185-195o F) without burning, that is what is required. Once the milk has been scalded and cooled, you can even add the starter directly to the pot, and make the yogurt in the pot. It is better aseptic technique.


  1. My favorites include:
    In place of sour cream. Add dollops:
    -to baked potatoes
    -on rice dishes
    -on bowls of soup (especially lamb stew, chili or borscht)
    with hot chili (works as an oral fire extinguisher too!)
  2. In cucumber-yogurt soup, (khyar b’laban) a fabulous Middle Eastern summer dish, made with yogurt, garlic, sliced cucumbers, salt to taste and topped with crushed mint. It is served chilled.
  3. As a liquid (or portion of the liquid) in baking soda-raised breads, waffles and pancakes
  4. As labneh (sometimes also known as laban, although strictly speaking, laban is yogurt), a Middle Eastern soft cheese, (an easy yogurt cheese). It can be made by hanging lightly salted yogurt in a clean cloth, permitting the whey to drip into a bowl. It is delicious served with pulverized spearmint and olive oil as a dip with lightly toasted pita bread. For illustrated instructions: how to make labneh .
  5. As ayran (pronounced I-Ron), a wonderfully refreshing cold summer drink commonly consumed in Turkey where I drank it with gusto. In the words of Tekin Topuzdag, a cheese making friend in Turkey who sent me this recipe by email:
  6. “How to make is extremely simple: Mix yoghurt with (about quarter amount of yoghurt) water and pinch of salt. Mix them well in blender (good sign of mixing is: bubbles, lots of them). Serve with ice in hot summer days.”
  7. As a starter for cheese
  8. As a starter for yogurt (see above for how to do this)

Check any Middle Eastern cookbook for a variety of uses.

Rennet for Making Cheese

I have received countless questions about rennet (also called rennin or chymosin), and am therefore posting a page on it.

First a little background:

HISTORY OF RENNET: Presumably, the first cheese was produced by accident when the ancients stored milk in a bag made from the stomach of a young goat, sheep or cow. They found that the day-old milk would curdle in the bag (stomach), yielding solid chunks (curds) and liquid (whey). Once they discovered that the curd-chunks could be separated out and dried, they had discovered a means by which milk, an extremely perishable food, could be preserved for later use. The addition of salt was found to preserve these dried curds for long periods of time.
At some point, someone discovered that the most active portion of the young animal’s stomach to cause curdling was the abomasum, the last of the four chambers of the stomach of a ruminant animal. (In sequence, the four chambers are rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.) In particular, the abomasum from a suckling kid or calf was especially active. The abomasum was cut it into strips, salted and dried. A small piece would be added to milk in order to turn it into curds and whey. Here is a page about my experiments at making home made rennin. At some point, the Germans began calling this material rennen, meaning to run together, or to coagulate. The technical term for rennin is chymosin. Here is a technical description of its action on the various proteins in milk.

MODERN RENNET: Until 1990, rennet was produced the old fashioned way (from abomasums), from various “vegetable” rennets (some of which, called microbial coagulant, are made from the microorganism Mucor miehei.) These days, at a cost one tenth of that before 1990, chymosin is produced by genetically engineered bacteria into which the gene for this enzyme has been inserted. When the bacteria are grown in large vats,they secrete rennin, and itis then purified for cheese making. Rennet is available commercially in tablet or in liquid form. You will find some cheese makers on the web who prefer liquid rennet and disparage the use of rennet tablets. Perhaps, if you are making hundreds of gallons of milk into cheese, buying bulk liquid would make sense, but for making one to ten gallons of milk into cheese, the tablets make sense. I have never had any problems using rennet tablets in making a wide variety of cheeses, and since it is a principle of mine to try to use materials which are readily available locally, I have used tablets for years.

JUNKET RENNET TABLETS: I use Junket Rennet tablets because they are readily available, inexpensive and they work. They are easily measured out (1 fresh tablet will coalgulate 5 gallons of inoculated milk) and, because they are dehydrated, they are stable at a cool temperature for several years. They can often be found in the pudding section of your supermarket. The front front and back of the package is shown at the top of the page. If you do not find them on the shelf, ask the manager if he or she would please order them. Most managers are willing to do so. (My local Kroger’s Store here in Cincinnati has been very cooperative over the years.) If you have no success at your local store, you can order the tablets through Redco’s web page, by phone at 1-800-556-6674, or directly by snail mail from Redco Foods, Inc., P.O. Box 879, Windsor, CT 06095 (formerly the Salada Foods Division). Be sure to order the plain rennet, not the pudding mixes. “Junket Rennet Tablets” come in a packages of 8 (6.5 g) or (used to be) 12 tablets. Their page on recipes using Junket rennet includes several cheese recipes which I wrote for them. Here is their page on Junket Rennet Tablets.

LIQUID RENNET: One teaspoon of liquid rennet is reported to be equivalent to one Junket Rennet tablet. Thus, you would use one teaspoon to coagulate five gallons of inoculated milk, or 4 drops/gallon of inoculated milk. (I have only used tablet rennet, but am assured that liquid rennet works just as well as the tablets.) Liquid rennet can be ordered from various cheese maker’s suppliers or which New England Cheese Making Supplies is prominent on the web. I have had a number of cheese makers complain that the liquid rennet looses its potency within a year of age, and one must add more and more to acheive the same degree of coagulating.

MICROBIAL RENNET: A rennet of bacterial origin, called microbial coagulant, is made from Mucor miehei. This tableted rennet should pose no problem for vegetarians. I have never used it but here is some information on it , and also a place to order it from a company called Danlac.

USE OF JUNKET TABLETS: They come packaged sealed in foil. One tablet will clabber 5 gallons of inoculated milk. To use it, you dissolve the tablet in a small amount of water (1 tablet in 1/4 cup fresh clean water). The solution will be slightly cloudy . Look for and crush undissolved chunks at the bottom of the glass. The dissolved rennet is then stirred into the inoculated milk .

Making Tofu, Illustrated

Directions for Making Tofu from Soy Milk


Making Soy Milk

Making Soy Milk, Illustrated

Illustrated Instructions


Making Tofu, Illustrated


Haloumi Cheese

I was privileged to stay with the Samara family in Bil’im, a village in occupied West Bank of Palestine. It is a village surrounded by olive orchards, vineyards, family gardens, and grazing lands on which goats and sheep are grazed.  I was fortunate to be able to see Mr. Samara’s daughter-in-law prepare Haloumi, a Palestinian White Cheese almost always served with breakfast.

If you need a primer course on how to make cheese, see in information in the “Related” section below.


  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh active yogurt
  • 1/2 tablet rennet
  • 2 oz. Kosher salt


  • 1.5 gallon stainless steel pot, thick bottom
  • Large white handkerchief, boiled
  • colander
  • 3 quart plastic tub with lid



6)  Cover again, let the curds sit to firm up for 10 min.


Beginning Cheese Making

Cheese Making, Illustrated

Images taken around the Samara family’s home.

Yogurt Making, Illustrated