Saturday, November 4, 2017

Full Circle Farming: Summer's Flow And Winter's Ebb

         The season is coming to a close. Our last market at Hip Donelson was last week and we are transitioning the cows back to the home farm. It has been an amazing season filled with highs and lows and we have come out the otherside richly blessed by the experience. 
       But the shift in gears is also a blessing as we turn inward, focusing on our family and catching up with friends, new and old. We seek some rejuvenation for our souls and a renewed sense of joy and purpose.
        We also reminsic over this first season and those who got us started and encouraged us along the way. We laugh a little about our mistakes...The 200lbs of cheese we ruined through various humorous mistakes, like the time Jacob properly turned the heat off the vat, while I turned it back on thinking I was the one turning it off. The milk was 120 degrees before we figured that one out! Whoops! Cultures killed in the heat and milk overheated...
      Or the time the home goats slipped through the fence and destroyed 3 acres of the neighbor's corn! Nine hundred dollars later, some new fencing, and some heart felt apologies, along with a very gracious neighbor, we prepare for the kidding season. Hopefully it will be a quiet, but joyful affair with bouncing kids, both human and goat.
      We have had our share of hurdles too. We have dumped a lot of milk down the drain because the demands were too high to make cheese with it! We have had utility shut off notices, 24 hour days and then working on into the next, sick animals at both farms, animals out of their pens....including 400lb pigs that can only be coaxed, because a 400lb pig can go anywhere it wants to! 
       But through all this, we have never been alone. God always made a way through the kind support of others. The Milk Safety Branch has made great efforts to lead us through this process, even showed up for our very first cheese making day! Terry Huff, from Heavenly Homestead, has graciously shared his facility and knowledge. He has saved us countless pounds of cheese in the process. Our milkhand, Scottie, was a godsend. After a long week, it was that short break which probably kept insanity from setting in. The children picked up the slack whenever we adults fell short of time and energy. They stirred cheese, cleaned the facility, milked cows, labeled cheese, and Jake even ran our booth at the Richland Market.
Watermelon break!
       Saving the best for last, we want to thank our customers. Many of you are our friends....some old and some new. And frankly, it is your support that keeps this operation running. We are so very keenly aware of this and we are filled with gratitude. As we work toward bringing the facility to the home farm, we are dreaming up ways to improve the operation. Your feed back is always appreciated!
        P.S. If you need cheese to satisfy a cheese craving this winter and live in Nashville, TN, look for us at The Produce Place, Herban Market, or meet us at the Peacefield drop point.
        In Kentucky you can find as at Happy Meadow Natural Foods, The Berea College Farm Store, or Good Foods!