The 24 Gallon Set Back
We had a great week at Farmer's Markets! It's been so fun to watch people try our cheese, be happy with what they taste, and then take some home. Even better, a few of our customers are followers of this blog and have been part of our journey from the beginning. I never quite know what to say when people tell me they've been following The Farmstead for "x" amount of years. This blog is so raw and emotional for me, and has been through so many life stages (my miscarriage, giving birth to Gizmo, my divorce, falling in love with Matthew, giving birth to Banzai, and of course, all the heartache and hardships surrounding the creamery), that I often times just want to hug the person and say, thank you for being there. Because, really, that's what it is to read a person's blog. It's a silent show of support. Which, in the world of farming, is worth more than you might think.
Speaking of hardships and the creamery...
Wednesday afternoon Matthew and I wrapped up at The Tumwater Farmer's Market and headed home to make cheese for Saturday's market. We transferred 24 gallons of milk into the pasteurizer and started the process. And then something bad happened. A very important part of our pasteurizer started malfunctioning. Our tech support is on the East Coast and was already closed. We tried to troubleshoot what we could but it quickly became clear, there was a piece broken.
So we made the very painful decision to scrap the batch.
For anyone doing the math, 24 gallons of cheese translates to 48 pounds of chevre. We sell our cheese in 6 oz. containers. That's 128 containers of chevre that didn't get made and, consequently, will never be sold. So basically, we fed our pigs a very luxurious and expensive meal that night.
The next day we called MicroDairy Designs, and of course, they were helpful and quickly identifed the problem (our airspace heater had malfunctioned). They are, as we speak, overnighting the piece to us. Our hope is to have it installed by Saturday afternoon so we can make cheese in time for Tuesday's market.
It's not for the faint of heart.
For every "win" there are at least two "losses." When you have invested as much money into this business as we have (over $60,000) with NO income it's SO HARD to watch potential profit go out the door.
But. We also believe in the product we are selling and the integrity in which we make it. Which means, if it's not right it's not right. DANG!!
Long story short: We won't be at Saturday's market. But, fingers crossed, we will be there on Tuesday.