The last time I had this big of stretch from the blog my life was in literal shambles. I was a single parent, I was struggling to stay afloat financially, and I was in the lowest place I'd ever been emotionally.
Thankfully! That's not the reason for my absence from the blog this time.
We are busy! And busy is good! Because busy is paying the alfalfa bill! Wahoo!
It's been so long since I posted I don't even know where to start. So, in no particular order, here's some facts you might want to know.
We are selling at three farmer's markets this year. After a repeatedly dismal showing at Capitol Hill Farmer's Market in Seattle we realized we could no longer justify the 9 hour days we were devoting to being there. For the few people who came to see us on a weekly basis, we're sorry we couldn't stay. But, we are still in Seattle! Here's our official schedule. Tumwater Towne Center Farmer's Market 7000 Capitol Blvd SE Tumwater, WA 98501 Wednesdays, 10 am to 2 pm
Queen Anne Farmers Market Queen Anne Ave N & W Crockett St, Seattle, WA 98109 Thursdays, 3-7:30 p.m.
Puyallup Farmer's Market 319 S Meridian Puyallup, WA 98371 Saturdays, 9 am to 2 pm
Back when we had television I was obsessed with Top Chef. OBSESSED. I have always had somewhat of a crush on the culinary world, so when chefs started writing us asking for cheese, I peed my pants a little. Right now Mike at Our Table (in Olympia) has our halloumi; Derek at Le Petit Cochon (in Freemont) has our halloumi and our chevre (side note: if you're on instagram follow Derek. His menu descriptions are amazing and his food is truly beautiful, @petitcochonsea); and Adam at Mt. Rainier's Paradise Inn just did a wine dinner with our ricotta. There are some more pairings in the works that hopefully we'll be announcing soon!
At this point our most steady grocers are the food co-ops on the Eastside and Westside. Beechers in downtown Seattle (literally, across from Pike Place Market) sold out of our Thai Garlic Chevre in just 4 days so hopefully that trend continues!
Olympia Food Co Op – Eastside 3111 Pacific Ave SE Olympia, WA 98501
Olympia Food Co Op – Westside 921 Rogers St NW Olympia, WA 98502
Beecher's Handmade Cheese 1600 Pike Place Seattle, WA 98101
We've found somewhat of a rhythm making chevre, honey vanilla chevre, thai garlic chevre, halloumi, asiago, and yogurt and, when we have spare milk, Matthew is playing around with some new cheeses! Of course we are constantly analyzing what products are selling best and what products are costing us too much to make/package. I never would have guessed there would be so much math involved with running a goat dairy!
We are having a blast hosting goat yoga! Matthew LOVES leading these classes and the goats think it's pretty awesome that all these people keep coming to their pasture to hang out with them. We've noticed such a positive change in the goats (even our most standoffish ones) enjoying this beautiful time with people. We have a session coming up this weekend (July 8) and then another on July 22. We will likely add some more throughout the rest of Summer as long as there is continued interest.
Summer Camp is almost full for the bigger kids and we just opened up a summer camp for the littlest kids (think, Giz's age, 3.5 to 6 years old). If you're interested in signing up for one there are details on our website.
We have officially been designated a Thurston County Green Business. It may not seem like much, but we're proud of the little bit we can do help heal our land. We use only wind and alternative energy on our farm, our dairy uses only LED lighting, our whey (a necessary by-product from the cheese) is fed back to our pigs which means it stays out of the landfill, and we continue to benefit from our arrangement with Top Rung Brewery to take all their spent grain (another necessary by-product from beer making) and feed it to our animals. In addition, we package our cheese in Green Restaurant Association products which is part of a program to keep approximately 350 million plastic water bottles from ending up in landfills every year and our yogurt is bottled in re-usable glass.
And, after a lot of paperwork and a very formal inspection, our farm has been designated Animal Welfare Approved! The way we care for and raise our animals has always been a high priority for us but it's nice to get the formal recognition :)
And now it's July. Goodness sakes. There's a few potentially great things in the works right now that I'm bursting at the seams to share with you. But...until then, thank you for being part of our journey, for your continual caring, and, of course, for your love and support. Matthew and I are so grateful every day for the people who cherish this farm (even if it's just virtually) as much as we do. Goat smooches from us!