One thing about life on a farm is that animals don’t celebrate holidays. That means farmers don’t get holidays either. Be it Christmas or the Fourth of July, the animals need to be fed and watered every single day.
Steve is off on his honeymoon so I volunteered to hang around and help Ryan. Given that it is Memorial Day, we treated it like a weekend which means we pretty much just did chores. Arden, the girl from VA Tech, came in, too. We fed chickens, moved cattle, caught 2 pigs and 2 heifers or slaughter, and gathered eggs. We also tried to tag a new calf but after 20 minutes of searching for him in waist-high grass, we gave up and will try again tomorrow once the cows have eaten the grass down a bit.
We sell raw grassfed milk in the market now which is wonderful on many levels. We had a few half gallons left over from this past weekend and we don’t hold it over so I used some to make ricotta to take to garden night tomorrow. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well as it normally does. I’m sure it was either the ultrapasturized cream or the bottled lemon juice. Normally I use lightly pasteurized cream and fresh lemon juice or vinegar, neither of which I had on hand. The curds and whey didn’t separate well which left me with a somewhat watery final product. Oh well!
What a day! While the café technically opened yesterday, today was our first full day and it went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, the people friendly, and the food delicious. It was almost relaxing after all the crazy yesterday!
The tours got off to a bit of a slow start. There weren’t that many people around at 12:00 and we had the wagon parked behind the market so people just didn’t know about it. When 12:20 rolled around and Rob and I still had an empty wagon, we decided to change tactics. We pulled the wagon around in front of the market so people would see it and then got the girls in the market and café to drum it up for us.
The 2:00 tour had about 12 people and the 4:00 had 15 or 17. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and they had a lot of good questions for me. The chicken-dog was a big hit, as were the baby chicks (our last stop). We had a lot of people who were first time visitors which was great! Rob is an excellent tractor driver and having him made my life a lot easier for sure.
We have several new products for sale in the market: cheeses, pasta, yogurt, raw milk, granola, assorted whole grain flours – all local! Along with our meat, eggs, honey, and produce, I’ll never have to go to the grocery store again. It’s like I’m back in Brooklyn with everything I need just a block or two away. Now if only I could get Simon to come down and do my laundry once a week…
Also, the sow gave birth! We have a litter of piglets and they are precious. I’d been hoping she’d give birth today (the 27th) so the piglets would share my birthday, but they came last night. I guess that’s close enough. I will try to get some pictures soon. Mama is being a good mom thus far. She’s protective, but not overly aggressive, and she hasn’t accidentally smothered any of them yet, which pigs have a tendency to do.
Post by; Becca http://girlgonefarming.wordpress.com
Starting this weekend, both the market and the cafe will be open from 11am to 6pm. We will also be open this Friday afternoon and evening for the Memorial Day Holiday from 3-7pm in both the market and the cafe! It seemed like there was more interest in enjoying the late afternoon atmosphere in this beautiful place. On Saturday, we will have live music from Griz from 2-5pm. On Sunday, we will continue the tradition of an open fire roast on the infernillo with another side of goat. Everyone seemed to agree last Sunday that goat is probably the most underappreciated meat in this country!
In the market this weekend, we will have fresh chicken cuts and fresh lamb to go along with the usual plethora of pork and beef. As always, if you don’t see the cut you want then please ask… Chances are we have it. We also have some sheep hides for sale from the Pacanowski’s sheep flock in Minnesota.
We encourage you to bring the family along to wander the farm, oggle the animals and swing on the tire swing of course. Feel free to BYOB!!