Friday, June 06, 2014

Island and Farm Life

As usual, the uploading of photos from my phone results in images that are not chronological, nor centered as I would like. Life is tough, but I'll persevere regardless. Yesterday was my day off. There was a farm activity in which I was interested in taking part, but I was assure that more hooves will need trimming so I took the advice of S. and drove north to the Coupeville ferry. There I walked on, leaving my car behind, and made my way to Port Townsend, which is a cute town indeed. I saw many neat Victorian houses, a wooden fire tower, plenty of water and this truck. 
This was my view on the way to Port Townsend. It was a rockier voyage than the many trips I've taken to Mukilteo, and I was left feeling a little queasy for the first hour or so of walking around town. This probably contributed, also, to my entire lack of interest in browsing in most all of the shops and galleries that make up the location. I did get a freshly brewed iced Earl Grey tea that helped matters somewhat. And eventually I felt good enough to try some udon soup at the Asian noodle restaurant that all folks on the farm had been telling me about forever.
On another day I walked over to feed the lambs and fill up their water troughs. Unsurprisingly, this happened. I really have basically finally and totally gotten immune to most of these caterpillar incursions. Though were I to find one in my hair, I'm not sure how calm I'd continue to be.
We all take turns making dinner on the farm. I love getting to cook for folks, as I felt like I didn't do nearly enough home cooking for other people during my time in Philly. On this particular evening I made a Coca Cola barbeque sauce and spatchcocked/grilled a chicken, which turned out quite good according to me and all who consumed it (we actively had to tell the nine year old not to keep going back for more before the milkers came back for dinner). I also thinly sliced turnips and radishes, added a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and just folded them up in tin foil and put them on the grill as well. Once they were cooked through I quickly added arugula into the mix and voila: side dish.
Last Monday. This Monday? The farm hosted a bunch of current or future farmers for a tour of our operations. The preparation for this event was considerable, and I'd say it went quite well. It was interesting to see so many others with interests in starting their own creamery or farm, and it reconfirmed just how much work and planning it takes to really make a 'go' of it.
After the walking tour of the farm, which included stops to see the lamb barn (now free of all lambs and mucked out), pigs, actual lambs, the milking parlor and the flock, everyone reconvened and tried our various products to much ooohs and aaaahs.
L. talking about some of the paperwork and planning she has done to keep the farm legit.
Folks walking down the hill to the parlor.
This chicken has been named (by me) Gonzaga. She is the littlest, but she is also the fastest. So she is Speedy Gonzala.
I've been doing the same market for the last couple of weeks, taking the ferry across the way each Sunday. The last two weeks I drove the farm's monstrous truck. Like, seriously, it's huge. And this was the view as we made our way across the waters.
On a different day, last week, we had a very busy morning and afternoon of sorting lambs. This was done with a number of purposes - to determine which lambs we'd be selling to another organization, to determine which lambs we'd be keeping and raising for meat, and which lambs we'd be keeping and raising as replacement/additional milkers. The lambs are in two different fields so this required multiple rounds of sorting as well as plenty of heavy lifting into the trailer to get lambs from one field or another, or to have them all in one place for the buyers to come and get them. It was technically my day off, but hoisting and lifting and carrying sheep (as well as learning about the the thought and decision process for keeping or culling) was too good an opportunity to pass up, so I stayed on the farm and in my dirty farm clothes. And let me tell you what, there sure was plenty of chances for lifting these ever-growing lambs. Note the piece of twine that is being used as a belt because I couldn't find the only belt I have/my pants will fall down otherwise.
It was only after all the photos were taken that I realized that my phone's lens was totally smudged. Alas.
We've added a new market to the mix, which is the one I've been doing the last few weeks. On our first visit it was a beautiful day and one of the food vendors was dim sum oriented and there was no way I couldn't give it a try. I wouldn't say it was all that great, but it looked pretty.

1 comment:

Raya said...

Its like you went back 10yrs or more reminds me of when we met :)
You look great and so happy !