Friday, December 30, 2005

Another Lamb

A yearling ewe had a single last night. A little white ewe lamb. The ewe lamb is out of one of the tunis/romanov ewes I sold to Dave Nackly up in Clinton. Nice ewes after I cleaned them up. This one was the daughter of a romney ram I got in Lodi, NY. That was a trip!

The lamb is small. I figured she'd have another. She cleaned about an hour later. Rosie was looking off and not eating grain at all, so I had to treat her. I stopped at vet's and got Dextrose and some other things to treat her. After two days she is looking better. The lambs are nursing more than I like, but they are almost double in size and the little black one is nibbling grain already.

The second ewe is allowing nursing by the older lamb and her lamb. Have to restrict access of the older one until the new one is more agressive. It did get more colostrum, so it will have a bit of the runs, but I thought I'd give it a chance by grafting onto the second ewe. I'm pretty good at this and it looks like it'll work. The primary reason is the persistance and the first lamb and the health of the new one.

Siobhan was bred AI to one of the Kerry bull straws I got from Plimouth Plantation. The semen technition said that she handled well and thinks it was a good heat. Hopefully old Roger did a good job collecting semen and she takes. Siobhan is the heifer I bought from Sean Stanton a year or so ago. A nice heifer out of his Clover cow. She is handleable.

I showed the technition our Moose cow. I warned him that she is bordering on evil and needed to know if he'd breed her for us. If not, I'll have to bring her somewhere with stocks to have her bred. He said he was game as long as one of us helped. Moose, Clara and Eva all came into heat within 3 - 4 days of each other, so I think we may be able to block them in together for a breeding without using a reproduction protocol.

Rosie had Triplets

Rosie is a Tunis/Romanov ewe. I got her from VT. She has a single last year. I have her ewe lamb in the flock. This year she had triplets. A little brown ram lamb with a white face came first. He was followed by a larger black ewe lamb with a white swirl on her forhead. Very shortly after, a little white ewe lamb was born.

For some reason lambs inhale deeply in cold weather. You have to be careful to make sure that the ewe lambs have all of the gunk cleared off the face as fast as possible. The ewe was good about the first one. I had to help witht he second and while getting clean towels, Jenny helped with the third.

They look good. Rosie isn't eating her grain well, so I am watching for Ketosis.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Marcia and Ken went home today. We had them over for Thanksgiving. Claire had been coming up with different ways to convinse them to take her back to Massachusetts with them. Marcia and Claire have a hard time parting. I often wonder what would have happened if we kept the farm in Chesterfield.

No one in my family even considered coming for the holidays. My mom may come for New Years. Brian just came back from El Salvadore and wanted to stay close to home. I don't blame him. With the majority of the herd dry, we can barely afford to buy groceries, let alone hire someone to come and take care of the animals, pay for the gas to travel home and loose presious sleep on a different bed for just a meal and visiting. Part of me misses going home every holiday and part of me wants to stay put and have them come here if they want to see me. 3 1/2 hours one way isn't bad.

I'm trying to find a way to handle the holidays now that Claire knows that the holidays are about gifts. The main part of the concept that she caught onto was that people may get her things. She has been pouring through "wish books" (catalogues) to find all of those things she may possibly want. I'm making gift boxes with cheese, beeswax candles, soap and peanut brittle. Everything I can make. I also have pine cones that Cecil found to make into ornaments for our tree.

David bought the pH meter I found in Nasco catalogue for my Christmas gift. He is the perfect Yankee, prefering to buy sheep, gloves or pH meters rather than diamonds or something girly like clothes. And what an opportunity... a pH meter in a catalogue. He didn't even have to go to the Mall!! Woohoo!!

I have to pick Patrick up for the workshop next month. I think I'll have to get him in VT instead of the Canadian boarder. I'll bring Claire to MA to see the family and swing up to Weston to get him and then come back to NY. I have no idea what to expect. I still have to vacuum the car and clean out Peter Sheeps droppings in the trunk (Ford Escort station wagons can hold 7 full sized goats in a pinch). The weather is suppose to be up to 50 on Monday so I'll bring the ole car up to the gas station in Morrisville with the rug washing bit.

Back to Tim's business plan.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Well, it finally happened. Dave was knocked down by the herd bull. I guess Davey (bull) was trying to mount a Tanner Holstein while going out the door. Before he ripped the pipeline down, Dave (husband) tried to get him off the cow. Bull came down, just not on the side Dave anticipated.

It is dicey having a bull, but getting animals bred back is not easy in NY. I don't know if it is the lepto from deer or rats, mineral deficiency, or if there is something else that is just off. Guiness (kerry bull) was getting old and the sore foot he got from an organic dairy farmer I loaned him to seemed to cause him troubles. Cows just kept coming back into heat. Chuck (another organic dairy farmer) told me about a nice shorthorn bull he had that could he had for the season. On the big size, but his temper was decent and he minded in the barn.

Dairy farmers have these rules about bulls. Women who are menstruating should not be around a bull... When they walk with purpose, ship them... Don't keep a Jersey long, they go mean the fastest... There are variations on this theme, but the deal is that you just cannot trust a bull. One farmer I worked with showed scars from a bull. He got that hugging a pipeline when that animal tried to kill him. Decent in the morning, not so good that night.

Now Davey wasn't trying to me mean. He just had a girl in heat and something had to be done. No opportunity can be lost. His size is a problem however. Like a toddler who could go under the table one day, and hits his head, things change and everyone can get hurt.

Dave was just brought to his knees. Could have had any one of the animals on top of him. With knee surgery last year and issues with a hernia (that he will not fix), a big bump by a bull can be devestating to him physically and us financially.

I wish we had a bull pen and yard. It is the best way to manage a bull. Older ones with good genetics can be kept longer and there is less likelihood of someone getting hurt.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Rona Sullivan was out a couple of weekends ago. We did a Traditional Cheeses workshop with Bonneyclabber cheeses. I was hoping for 6-8 people. We got that. I think that everyone had fun. I hope to have Rona out again in the spring.

Peter Dixon comes next week. That is the Italian Cheeses workshop. A small group again, but the people that have signed up seem pretty focused on making cheese. I like that.

Lisa and I are going to do workshops as well. With her ability to cook amazing food and my ability to make amazing cheese... People will learn quite a bit and eat very well. That is what it is all about, great food being made in CNY!

I'm also thinking of making gluten-free ricotta pies and tarts. I got that inspiration while reading the "Great American Cheeses" book and talking to the guy at Fortney Packaging about my Quark packaging. I think that it could be interesting...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wine and Cheese

I picked up the grape pumice last Wednesday. Got Claire excited to go to the winery with the toys. That and she can look at the big bathtub (Senaca and Cayuga lakes). We got 2 buckets of Pinot Noir seeds and skins. Smelled great. Marty offered Reisling pumice too (they make a great one), but I'm thinking there has to be a reason that the cheesemakers used only reds. Tannins maybe?

I made four tomme wheels. I brined them a little longer with the idea that the pumice will suck some of the salt out of it. I will brine normal and then dry salt for the Cabernet Franc.

We will open the pails/crocks just before Christmas and see what I made. Hopefully it will not be grape soup.

I talked to Steve at the Brewster Inn. He figures that the cheese cave will be the next wine cellar. I think he is right. A little smellier, but a great complement to the wine cellar.

I am trying to think about the best way to tackle the white wine rind treatments. A couple of ideas. One to wash the rind like in the Appenzellar, or I read about this goat cheese where they pour the wine in the bottom of a glass jar and place the cheese on a rack above it. I'll have to do both and see which one is the best. A vidal blanc, ice wine or something in that vein will be the choice. Marty says they bottle or break into the new wines in a month or so...

A tomme is a tomme. Every cheesemaker in the US seems to have one. I am trying to do something with my tomme that is very NY. Like wine and cheese. Maybe I'll go to Beak and Skiff and wash with their awsome cider... Mmm. My mom will like that one... Apples and cheese...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Big Red

Everyone has a favorite animal. For Dave it is his cow Big Red. She is this big old "black jersey". Black jersey being a term to define an animal that has Holstein and Jersey in its make-up. She is a plain animal with a stubborn nature. She always milked slow. Wasn't a top performer, but kept condition well and until last year didn't give any troubles health wise.

Last year she injured a teat and developed mastitis in her right front quarter. After repeated attempts to save the quarter, it was decided to let it go. For the rest of her lactation, she milked well with little trouble in the last three quarters. This past pregnancy, the bad quarter seemed to bother her. She took longer to recover from giving birth (to a heifer - her first since I've known her). Last Sunday she injured another quarter. Dave didn't say anything because we had people here for a cheese workshop. He seemed upset but wouldn't say more than I think I have to ship Big Red.

After the workshop was over and Rona and I were in the house did he tell me that Big Red injured herself. She is milking on two quarters now with the bad one too injured to save. She is a good old cow. She is one of our oldest cows. We will milk her until tie-up. I don't think we are going to be able to keep her on over the winter. Of all of the troubles we have had this year, losing Big Red will be the one that stays with Dave the longest. He'll miss her.

The photo attached is not a great one of her. It was right after calving this year and she was just starting to feel better.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Imitation best form of flattery??

I'm suppose to tell myself that I am the "cheese goddess" and do that whole stand in front of the mirror after brushing my teeth and patting down the cowlicks grinning like I believe it thing. It is suppose to help the weakened self-esteam one has after being repeatedly kicked in the stomach.

I talk to other direct marketers and cheesemakers. They have all had is happen. You spend time researching and developing something that customers like and instead of coming up with something new or something complementary, some moron copies you!

First it was the fresh mozzarella. They corner me on the loading dock asking me personal marketing questions about my cheese...which do the stores prefer balls or braids... should they be 8 oz or 1#... Then I hear rumors that gouda is on again off again and now in the cheese workshop. Cream cheese and feta are made by another person assiciated with them... Cheese workshops and the same consultants that I brought out are even hired to hold workshops and work with them, right smack after my workshops...

The thing that I know is that I can run circles around ALL of their cheesemakers. I also know that while they have all of the free press and technical help complementing their grant money, pet farms (term used to describe farms that are lavished attention by agencies at the expense of all other farms) NEVER make it. They fail because they are not sustainable before or after the grant money and eventually people realize that all of their attention - their career even - was for nothing.

It just frustrates me because I really believe in a sustainable food system and think that there is enough room for GREAT food that they don't have to feel I am competition. Hell, they can swamp my markets just by the very nature of the fact that they have a vat city and hired help. I still have little faith in their ability to see the true reason behind "organic" or why they could be a real catalyst for change. There is a great opportunity there and the sad thing is that the indapendant agenda's of every person assocaited with that farm is going to be exactly why they fail.

That and their cheese is crap rubbery industrial shit that whould kill a pig!

Too many Christians are so damn greedy that they cannot get beyond this need for self fulfillment to see that faith is about working towards the greater good of all, not just themselves. If all of us work together, there is an opportunity for the establishment of a farmstead cheese INDUSTRY in this area. You know help all of us make more money...

I'll just wait. I can make my cheeses and their cheeses. In the end I will win because I am better than they are! Fools. I AM THE CHEESE GODDESS!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


God, I'm exhausted. I still have to stretch the mozzarella. This is crazy. The pasteurizing has to be moved to the farm as well. I cannot have people standing over me looking at what I am doing. I cannot have them telling others what I am doing. I also have to establish boundaries and stand up for myself more. I have to me more confident in my cheesemaking. I am good. I know that. I just have this fear of letting everyone down lately. This is just when I am getting help from some really great people. I need to finish the mozz and go to bed. I need to go back to the plant in the morning and see what I missed. Put things away on the drain table. Pick up my calander. Wash the floor under the wash vat better... missed some curd Tuesday and it needs some better attention. Take my cheese home and do Wednesday's deliveries. I missed them.

I hope Claire doesn't mind being woken up early again. Poor "Bear". At least she is humoured by playing with elbows and gaskets under the drain table. She even made a neat structure involving a glass beaker, an elbow, a pint filler part and some other odd bits. Had to wash them again, but she didn't go near the steam line again. Good thing that is insulated. She is in the "don't do that" - do that mode.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

CNY Cheesemaking Adventure II: Italian Cheeses

October 13,14 &15th, 8am - ?
Morrisville Dairy Incubator
Morrisville, NY
Cost: $300/ea.
Peter Dixon will come out at teach us how to make Italian cheeses. A purist cheesemaking class. No lectures on the business of cheesemaking, etc. Goats and cows milk cheeses! People can take the cheeses home with them!

It'll be awsome!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

OK, so it was easier...

I just went ahead and told Harry to go ahead and set up the slide-on. Asside from needing a door handle and lock in place of a 2 x 6 and a cement block, it is holding temperature pretty well. Humidity is still too low. Will have to do something about that. Will dry things out too much otherwise.

Still trying to finish the b.plan templates for Steve. When the "to-do" list is 8 pages - two sided- it takes a lot to concentrate. I should just give up on the idea of turning all of them in at the same time and just give him the two that are done and then the others on the 19th. Boy, could I use the cash to finish these little things like aging capacity and sinks (for Bob).

Dave suprised me and went with Claire (aka co-piolet) and I to Regional Access to drop the cheese off. He did need to get away and we all needed that rare "family time". We also went to the Kirby picnic. Got to see Joanne and Travis from Syracuse Real Foods and ate good food. They had the bon-fire and there was good conversation all of the way around. Traded fresh moz, triple creme quark and moz curd for grass-fed beef. I also eye-balled the lamb I want (since my rams were too young to go beyond hoof-holding and giggling this fall). I need a good lamb stew and some kebabs on the grill!

Have more people interested in the Italian Cheese class. Have to finalize everything and get fliers out. Making Colwick and moz curd tomorrow. Woohoo!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Trying to catch up with cleaning. Mom and Doris are due out today. Claire has been helping me clean the first floor. She basically moves things into a room designated by me (mainly the front room). Moving the rest of the cheese stuff to the aging room or the cheese plant. It is odd to actually have a designated spot after months of using my front room as a warehouse!

We will be bleaching everything once she gets up from the nap. I also have two house plants to transplant and a strip of flower beds near the foundation of the house that needs weeding before they get here.

We did "Redneck" rennovations in the back room. We generally use this as a guest room. To get the 2-door cooler in the laundry room area (future cut & wrap room), we needed to take a wall down. No bother. After we did that and moved the cooler, laid the floor and finished painting the walls, we needed panneling (as I am too cheap to use anything else on this - a temporary structure- until I have another facility in a year or two). We took a wall down in the back room to use the paneling in the cut & wrap room! It is a wall my father-in-law needs to get to to do re-wiring, so... I put up two old shower curtains (I use them for paint cloths after they loose one or two ring holes) over the new hole in the wall. Staples were provided by the staple gun.

I still need to move the beds around, take the formica table and reclining chair out and bleach those floors. I should probably have Claire move some of her art supplies into the back room near the shower curtains so that I can use that as a backdrop for her art work until Kenny gets out to work on the wall...

Marcia is in the hospital. She sounded better this morning, but we are all pretty worried. We'll try to get out to see them next month instead of them coming out and Kenny obligating himself to helping us with our 8-10 page to-do list. (both sides single spaced).

I guess feta will be made on Friday Aug 5th. Harold will come to take photos of the operation so that we can post some of the basic cheesemaking steps on this blog site and our web site. Feta is such a confidence builder cheese. It is a great one to teach the beginner about acidity and brining.

Well, Claire is awake now. Back to cleaning...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Kick in the Butt

Sometimes you just need a kick in the butt. I got one today when Robin at Regional Access used info from the web site for the flier announcement. What can I say? I don't like the work that was done to the site. Now I have to actually do something about it.

The guy came by to look at the slide on to see what he can do to hook it up. He has a unit, but it may be too big. While that may sound ok, you don't want a big unit because not using it enough it just as bad as using it too much. Dave told him within 2 weeks.

Lables may not be ready until after my first delivery date unless I pay a rush fee... I know an emergency on my part... I was waiting for my plant number and a payment from... I'll have to pay the rush fee and do just the origional 3 I wanted and take the hit. I'll have a bigger order coming up soon.

Helped Elmond make ice cream for the college today. Fattening job. Had to check flavors to make sure enough "wompf" (actual ingredient name), vanilla, et al was added. Three flavors and a couple of tastes of a 14% super premium ice cream mix later and I understand why I still have the average female waste size! I think it was wise for me to stick with cheese for my product of choice.

Need to rebudget this next phase of the business and do a strategic plan. Dave's game with the window people and an hour and twenty minutes followed by Bruce looking for packaging and calf chores whiped out any chance of developing a schedule or working on anything worth while..

Life is good. Have feta and gouda on the calander for raw milk cheeses next week and frech lactic and frech moz for pasteurized cheeses. Now to get the rest of this business/life in order...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Evolution of Cheese Business

Well, I finally did it. I quite that job. I've been busier since I did that. Increased production, found a distributor, got my plant license... We've made gouda on the farm now. Need to upgrade aging facilities. Bought a slide in for our truck pretty cheap and have a guy to look at it today. (will eventually be a dedicated brine room).

Peter Dixon will be out to do an Italian Cheeses class in October. I'm working on a couple of other cheese classes. Will have a flier out today for that class. I hope to have different speakers/cheesemakers out. I want to invigorate people in this area. Have more GREAT cheese being produced here.

Our dairy plan is small. 13'6" x 14'2". That includes the boiler room. The cut & wrap room is in the house (seperate entrance to outside). I am trying to get my head around aging and caves. I think I will have to push more cheese so that I can justify going to NYC this winter for a couple of days. I want to see the new "caves" at Murray's and also see Artisinal's caves... I have a list of northeast cheesemakers to visit as well. I think a winter tour (hopefully when they are not making cheese) can work for a few people...

Gouda and Havarti. That is what I have settled on for now. They are waxed and can handle my rustic aging conditions. Eventually, we will do others... I'm still searching for that sexy cheese.

Well, off to finish business plans for clients so that I can finance aging. Yes, started consulting again. Flex time and more meaningful work...I need that aging facility (and groceries).

Monday, April 25, 2005

Getting There

It has been more than a month since I last posted to this. It is amazing what thoughts go through your head when you have serious things happen to you. I caught the flu first. It settled in the chest and breathing was hard. Kept having asthma like reactions. Dave got the flu/cold second. It didn't matter that I couldn't even drive my daughter to day care, he decided he was sick and I had to do his work. That or sell the cows.

We got over it, but it makes you think hard about friends, people you think you know, your community, why you are doing things. Sickness isn't good, but when you have a farm and animals that cannot wait in a barn until you get better...

On a positive bent, the dairy plant is almost done. Ken, my father-in-law is a saint. He is the primary builder in the plant. David and Aaron Locker (orgo veggie guy down the road) are the masons. Dave studded up the building after we had a talk... It is looking nice.

I ordered culture for my feta. It'll be the first raw-milk aged cheese I make in the vat. It is an easy make and doesn;t take as much time as some of the other cheeses. I also had Margaret send me those "heart thingy's". I'd say "coeur la creme", only those who can read my french accent would comment on how "cute" my pronunciation is. I like Margaret. She has a nice way about her when you ask her questions about cultures and different molds.

The question of the week is, how can I justify being a dairy farmer (ok supporting Dave's habit), mother, cheesemaker, distributor, sales person, marketer, etc. and then add sitting in a hot parking lot being pleasant while answering questions of urban consumers who have absolutely no clue about you or what it is that goes into making their food. Can I put a dollar figure onto that? How much would I have to make to justify doing a metro-NYC farmers market?

My least favorite question is ~ "do you still milk your cows by hand?"

Once upon a time the average commercial dairy cow made 5-8,000 pounds of milk a year. The lactation was not long, often drying up after breeding. A typical farm had 6 to a dozen milking cows. Cows were milked into pails, which were then dumped into cans and placed into springs. If more remote, they often made cheese or butter for later sale.

Processing plants that sold fluid milk were found near urban centers. I don't have an accurate date, but there have been machines to help farmers milk their cows for about a hundred years or more. Cow production also increased dramatically with the use of AI. Farmers were able to select semen from bulls they would never have been able to afford. Today, there are many cows that produce 20-30,000# of milk per year!

I guess time has made me more of a cynic. I dunno. I do like to talk about farming and my products, I just wish people would truely like to hear about what it is that went into the making of the milk, eggs, cheese, eggplant that they just ate.

Like today. Fisher Farms guy was out to work on our vacuum pump today. We almost didn't get through milking last night, let alone this morning. Dave was able to limp the machine through. Seems there is this odd habit of people out here to place the pump in the middle of the barn, about 60' from the milk room. Condensation then builds up in the line and everntually makes a mess. New vanes and barrings later, we have decided that we will have to move the pump to the place we wanted to move it to this month rather than in 2 years like we were hoping to do. A couple of thousand dollars later...

The silo room also needs replacing. What a hole it was. Something about basic cleaning wasn't in the daily habits of the previous managers. We ripped out most of it. The grass silage is down to the last 5 doors and we have to put the silo-unloader in. Since we come from bunk silo region, we have to have someone come ans show us how this thing actually goes into a silo. Ken will also have to come back and look into the wiring. I understand why there are fires. Some people who think they know something about electricity should leave well enough alone!

One of the kerry cows I bought from Dave in NH aborted again. The vet felt something odd in her. I think my backwards cow is beef. I looked into embryo work for her. I'm not sure we can do that. What do I do? Do I ask for my money back? I was under the impression she would be able to be used in the dairy. His herdsman also said that "the old cow had mastitis issues"... Was it this one? Mmmm. Rare breed conservation is not a cheap hobby. I felt like I should have sent her back, but what was I to do?

Claire had to go to the barn to hug the baby calves. She had to tell me that they "licked my head off". Add significant 3 year old drama and you have my daughter. She also had to take the old Penny dog and bring her back into the house. She is at the height where she can walk along holding the collar without bending down any. Penny had to go out to the poarch apparently for eating something in the gutter that wasn't pleasing. Poor dog. After Claire went into the tub for her bath, I let the dog in and fed her in the back room.

Decent day. Cold wet. Rain and sleet today. Suppose to be nice tomorrow. Dave has to get some wrapped bales from Mike tomorrow for the dairy cows. I'm rambling and digressing...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Finding Money

Part of my day job is finding implementation money for farmers interested in improving soil & water on their farm. What does this mean? Well, a few things. For one it is understanding and playing politics. I never had desires to run for office and would probably have been shot or tortured years ago if I ever joined the diplomatic corps.

Typically, we try to write EPF (environmental protection fund) grants for specific projects in a particular watershed. We also try to learn the "point system" for the NRCS/FSA grant process. You know those parlour games/toys where you try to manover the metal ring through all of the bits and free it from the contraption? Well, that is trying to figure out what it is that these people (grant reviewers) are looking for. For economic development grants you could at least talk to the reviewer after you were turned down to see what they had in mind so that you could improve upon your first grant attempt.

Another way to find money for farmers in these watersheds is when another one drops out of the grant. Say for example they decided to retire or the milk prices were too low, or it took 3 years to get the money and they went ahead and installed the practice themselves...

Well, that is one of the "I have good news and I have bad news" conversations this week. I found you $XXX of money, but the grant closes in 2 weeks we have to have reciepts in dated 2/28 at the latest. I love challenges, but I hate having to do that to a farmer. This isn't how I want to run my business, how can I expect the person to run theirs that way too.

Almost too tired

Here it is the second day and I'm almost too tired to post today. I think I have Bronchitis. That whole coughing without it amounting to more than lack of breath and a sore throat. Two weeks into it. I hate Doctors. Not them as people, it is just that going to one is like admiting that you are broken or something.

I sent in my paperwork to sell cheese through Heritage Food USA. The questions weren't too deep. I was hoping for more of a probe into the philosophy behind the importance of local food systems and biodiversity of livestock agriculture. I guess I was suppose to tell them I feed no grain and that I was a Doctor until two years ago and then I turned to cows in some desire to cleans the world of HTST standardized milk or something. I just told them the truth about our farm and invited them to come and visit for themselves.

I like what they did for the rare turkeys. We sold them throug our farm stand before the Slow Food - Heritage Turkey project. Nice birds, great project they started. My neice Hannah liked to whistle or say something to them to get them to gobble. The colours were fabulous. We started them in February and March to finish in two size ranges for Thanksgiving. I loved the Slates. I also had Burbon Red and Jersey Buff birds. The Burbons and Slates were the lowest maintenence of the three. The Jersey Buff finished nicer though.

My favorite way to cook them was to stuff them with apples and quartered onions. My sister also had this way of preparing them with garlic pierced into the flesh and stuffed with ginger, garlic, green onions and some mushrooms. Wow!

I will be at Glynwood Center in the Hudson Valley to look into doing the Community Markets on Monday the 28th. Miriam Haas is the coordinator for that. Nice woman. I think that she is passionate about bringing good food into the metro-NYC area. I like people who are willing to look into what it takes not only to raise the food, but also the logistics of that process. I think she is one of the more realistic people in the Market Manager position that I have talked to. I look forward to selling product into "the city."

Well it is getting late and I still have to see what I can take for this "cold". Maybe I'll make some Cocky-Leeky soup tomorrow... Mmmm.

Monday, February 21, 2005

First Weblog

Well, it had to be done. I cannot get the Website done in a timely fashion. How else does one try to communicate in this day in age? Wow! My thoughts and digressions can actually get published and read by people at their own will!

Heamour Farm (pronounced A-moor) was my farm name. David's farm was Hilltown Dairy. We sold that place and bought the farm here in New York November 2002. Farming in New York isn't farming in Massachusetts. My boss disagees with me when I say this, but it is 15-20 years behind New England. Why I say that will come out over time.

Boss? Well, Dave and I own this place. We milk about 25-30 dairy cows. There are generally some sheep, goats, chickens, maybe a turkey or so. It is a business and it does make up a significant part of our farm income. I also do this "day job". Common thing with farm wives. Keeps food on the table and health insurance around. We like the health insurance. Couldn't afford it with 30 year low milk prices, so day job I had to get.

I work for the County Soil & Water Conservation District as the "Conservation Grazing Specialist." That means a lot of things. I'll go into that on another day. I'm too lazy to go on about that right now.

Cheese. That is my passion right now. We make fresh cheeses to sell right now. Was a whimp about the aged ones. Didn't have proper aging I use to tell people. Dave Brown at Cornell told me the other day that he could make my cheeses with his eyes closed. I think it was meant to put me in my place, but I can too. That is why I make them. Cash flow. That and I like Quark. Central New York has a serious deficit of good food and I decided to make some to sell to the people who appreciate good food.

I'm working on a Gouda and a couple of other cheeses. I have also learned how to make some of the bloomy rind ones and am intregued by some blues. The later will be made when I have my bread and butter aged cheese perfected. I love cheese and have to reined in when it comes to experimenting...

Conservation Breeding is another passion. We have Arapawa Island goats, Kerry and Ayrshire cattle. We've also had individuals of Milking Devon, Milking Shorthorn, San Clemente Island (goat) and the rare turkeys. I loved the turkey's but when Claire was born (April 2002), something had to give and the turkeys were them. Give us time and Claire some age and we will probably have them again too.

This is a start. I'm thrilled.