Thursday, June 25, 2009

Schenectady Greenmarket

Marge from Argyle Cheese Farmere rang to see if I would fill in her space at Schenectady Greenmarket on Sundays. It is a hike and I have to figure out who will milk the goats, but we agreed to do it. The market is new and is well run. I have also decided to do only Producer Only markets. We will bring:
Fromage Blanc
Triple Cream Quark
Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Mozz curd
Dunlop curd
Labneh (Greek Yoghurt)
flavored bits of this and that
As the market progresses, I'll bring a tomme and some other aged cheeses.

We are not certifying the cheese side, only the cow dairy. We switched from ProCert to Baystate Organic Certifiers and to make it easier, we are doing it this way.

Come see us at the Market!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

World's Top 10 Seed Companies

Company - 2007 seed sales (US$ millions) - % of global proprietary seed

1.Monsanto (US) - $4,964m - 23%
2.DuPont (US) - $3,300m - 15%
3.Syngenta (Switzerland) - $2,018m - 9%
4.Groupe Limagrain (France) - $1,226m - 6%
5.Land O' Lakes (US) - $917m - 4%
6.KWS AG (Germany) - $702m - 3%
7.Bayer Crop Science (Germany) - $524m - 2%
8.Sakata (Japan) - $396m - <2%
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) - $391m - <2%
10.Takii (Japan) - $347m - <2%
Top 10 Total - $14,785m - 67% [of global proprietary seed market]
Source: ETC Group

People in the world are going to become more and more hungry. Look at what corporate greed is doing to banks. The U.S. government has no desire to do anything with corporate greed in the agricultural sector. Milk prices are tanking on the conventional market and they are putting all of us on 1 year contracts with the organic market. You don't think they are going to try to hose the organic dairy people next?

Here you go Obama. Want to change something? Start with the bedrock of society...agriculture and make it a more sustainable system. Like a seed is quality soil, it grows healthy...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mom School

Mom School is what Claire calls being homeschooled. Here are photos of her study area and a field trip with Grammy Rice and Dad (and me) to MOST in Syracuse. She is doing a lot better and just finished her first reader and is taking her 3rd ATS Math test! We are plugging along in reading and her list of words she confidently reads is skyrocketing now that Mrs. Hagan is not in charge.

Two great things she did recently are:
1. Ask to read a book and then do it on her own!
2. Do science charts on her own. Asking people questions and making charts to recod data and then translating data! Woohoo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Everyone who dreams is a planner. Some are better at dreaming than others. Some are just as unrealisting in their dreams as they are in real-life planning.

Last night I had this odd dream that we moved the whole farm operation somewhere artic. You know, where the day is night this time of year. It was oddly realistic, down to the chill going through my central NY winter garb and the small wood stove centric houses, many abandoned... We were up there with our cows and trying to figure out how to graze them like raindeer on the lichen and moss.

With the Smokey House plan I waited until the last minute to follow through on the financials plans. Could not get ahold of "my man" and I had to do them on the fly. I like to hire this out. I am a planner, but took way more science and ag classes than business. I felt slightly fooling, but went ahead with the usual confidence. The thing is we CAN make that work and I don't like people knowing everything about me or my business. We adapt to meet the need and I cannot tell you in concrete fact what I will be doing in 6 months time anymore.

Erin goes in for a heart cath. Monday. She is totally positive something absolutely negative is going to happen. The problem is that there is no plan for the bad thing that can happen. No written by lawyer plan. She is also banking on an insurance plan to bail the kids out if something does happen to her. The thing is that there is no plan. No written plan.

I've worked in the rare breeds world for a time now. I've seen grand ambitions presented before. I've worked on rescue plans after they fail. I sometimes think that if people say your plan is crazy or not totally sane, it is time to evaluate this plan to see if they see something you do not. Ask questions. Make more plans.

Now to finish the strategic plan for the Kerry cattle project and the more ambitious Heritage Cow project.