A Friday morning ritual. A series of photographs and brief descriptions that capture the farm at that moment in time.
It has been a week of snow storms and ice. We are having a real winter after many years of mild ones.
However, the hoop house keeps the goats warm and toasty. The deep manure pack composts at the bottom and warms the hoop house to typically twenty degrees higher than outside temperatures. In the morning when I go in for my baby check, my glasses steam up as well as the lens in my camera.
This past week, Faith, one of keepers from 2013, was the first of the yearlings to kid and easily delivered a sweet doeling while lying in Cara’s lap. She has been slowly adjusting to the twice a day milking routine. We are milking 33 does which has been providing enough milk to run the vat nearly every day as well as meet raw milk sales and keep all of us at Edgwick Farm in raw milk as well. Ten does are due to kid before next Saturday and we are anxiously watching them and restlessly waiting. The remaining five kid in April.
This year’s keepers, our 8 doelings, are growing fast and full of energy. They are nibbling at hay and tasting grain but much prefer their thrice daily bottles. We are very appreciative of our volunteers who come to the farm each day despite terrible weather to help Cara with feeding of these girls.
Faith’s doeling came into the house after a few days because the bigger girls were picking on her and stressing her out. She quickly took over the house as her own, bleating to be let out of her playpen anytime she knew a human was around. She went to a farm in Staasburg yesterday and joined Bess’s twins Jack and Jill.
The chickens and ducks have been tolerating the weather. We empty the fall leaf bags outside the coop to give them something to walk on and some entertainment in scratching them about. Except for little Ruby, the dogs are in their glory with the deep snow.
We have started making our more difficult hard cheeses, with multiple batches of Funny Child, our goat tomme. Dan will start washing the wheels today with Newburgh Brewery brown ale and then we will age it until the summer markets start. We have only nine wheels left in the cave of this popular cheese.
Tours started a week ago and have been popular but challenging with the snow and ice. The broad smiles on everyone’s faces are so wonderful to see when the groups come back from meeting the animals for their cheese and milk tastings in the viewing room with us. I have a personal sense of satisfaction every time I hear remark how clean everything is.
Thank you for supporting our farm!
We are back in the swing of things at the farm. Milking, feeding and caring for animals, cheese making!
The first big wave of babies came a couple weeks ago and the 32 does that kidded have milk flowing like crazy. With finally enough milk to run the vat, we fired it up and made multiple batches of fresh goat cheese. Most of that went out to our restaurant customers who had sorely missed having it on their menus for the last three months. The rest we prepped for winter farmer’s markets and farm tours making Canterbury medallions, Marinated Canterbury and Rosemary Fig Canterbury.
Only Helga was born this week, bringing the number of “keepers” up to eight doelings. They are growing fast and drink their bottles easily now. They love to play and leap around the kid pen. Dixie actually climbed the bench and leaped over the wall one morning so we had to move the bench. Their little horn buds emerged enough for dehorning so that loathsome chore was completed.
We have a dozen or so does due to kid over the next two weeks and then we take a break until April for the last few. Tours start today and we are very excited to show off our farm and teach families where their food comes from. With increasing milk volume, we should start making our goat cheddar and ale-washed goat tome as well as our feta. These cheeses will age until the summer farmer’s markets start. Dan can’t wait to start his daily ale washing!
Thanks again for supporting our farm!
In 2013, we made 207 batches of cheese in our vat pasteurizer in our creamery on our farm.
We made 87 batches of Canterbury soft goat cheese, 33 batches of Bloomy Rind goat cheese, 24 batches of Moodna goat feta, 23 batches of whole goat milk ricotta (aka ri(goat)a), 30 batches of Sackett Ridge hard goat cheese (our cheddar), 8 batches of Ale Washed aged goat tomme and one batch of Toasted Goat, our wine bathed goat cheese. (Three batches total failed. )
We used over 52,000 pounds of our own goat milk (or over 6000 gallons) to make this cheese. And the milked yielded almost 10,000 pounds of goat cheese.
Giving thanks is a mantra we practice all year-long, but it is a sentiment that bears repeating, especially at this time of year.
We are eternally grateful to our families, our land and livestock (especially those milk producing ladies), our staff, our community and the widespread network of cheese lovers here in the Hudson Valley that make our farm possible by eating and enjoying our goat milk cheeses.
For every piece of cheese that leaves our farm – THANK YOU.
We are grateful to be part of your brunch with friends, your family dinner, that wild cooking experiment, your holiday party, your neighborhood celebration or your midnight snack. We hope this holiday season brings you closer to the people who love and support you, and that we can make that gathering a little sweeter with something yummy to share from our farm.
Did you know we name our cheeses after local landmarks?
Our newest cheese, an ale washed alpine style goats milk cheese (or a Tomme), is named after Funny Child Creek, an innocent, shallow stream quietly zig-zagging its way through the Mailler Avenue neighborhood of Cornwall on its way to the Hudson River. Cheesemaker Dan grew up playing in it and because this creek and this cheese is dear to his heart, he chose the name.
We made our first batch back in January and made this video of it’s first ale wash. After this first batch aged, the Newburgh Brewing Company who made the Brown Ale we washed it with bought the entire batch to serve on their cheese plate at the Brewery.
So we made six more batches.
Cheesemaker Dan worked endless hours washing the beers over a two month period:
Then we aged it for four months:
Today it came out of the cave to be cut up for its premiere at market:
Starting tomorrow, at all of our markets except New Amsterdam on Sunday, we will have samples to taste and quarter pound wedges for $9 each to purchase and take home. There are a limited number of wheels in our cave, about 50 now (since we had a rush of chefs at the farm today grabbing wheels for their restaurants). Come get your cheese!