August is off to a wonderful start. We started this month by celebrating our 1-year wedding anniversary. The day was wonderful! I planned a surprise night away from the farm for us (a true luxury when we have 4 hours of chores every day and two very insistent milking goats), but kept it a total surprise from Shae for weeks. Day after day I had to play the role of the apathetic husband telling her that we shouldn't do anything too big because there was too much work to be done. With help from John from Santa Cruz and two of our friends, I was able to arrange a patchwork team that kept the farm running smoothly without us for 24 hours.
The anniversary was such a blast. We spent the day in town and even saw a movie. However, the best part of the whole day was (of course) our time at Flea Street Café and with its owner, Jesse Cool. Dinner at Flea Street Café was a truly special treat, but the blog-worthy bit came after. We ended our night by staying in Jesse’s amazing guest house. Nestled right in her magnificent garden, the cottage is a dream and we savored every moment. In the morning, Jesse, a world-class cook, knocked lightly our door and surprised us with a spectacular breakfast (much of it taken from her garden). The whole experience left Shae and I feeling happy to be in love and quite privileged to have such an amazing network of friends.
In farm news, we have a brand new baby girl on the farm. Our goat, Poppy, surprised me two weeks ago by giving birth to a happy and healthy romping machine named Pansy. It was amazing to see how good of a mother Poppy was/is. We had heard that her first birth (Tuxedo) had been quite a mess, so it was an incredible relief to see that she did everything on her own with this new baby. The coolest thing was that she timed the birth (goats can actually choose to some degree) to be on the 1 warm day in a 10 day cold/wet period, and even waited until we had moved the herd onto fresh grass. Pansy is such a love. She cuddles with her brother, Tuxedo, at every opportunity and actually snuggles up against you when you pick her up. I'm sure we'll have more pictures of her very soon.
From the business side of the farm we are in a strange good new/bad news situation. Our feed prices suddenly jumped 30% and we’ve been seeing reduced demand now that we have a continuous supply of chickens every week, instead of an event-style once or twice every other month. It's a crappy situation to be in, but we are looking into some extra restaurant customers and we've been learning a lot about marketing. The lower demand is a really interesting phenomenon and it’s making me think that we need a more frantic sounding infomercial-style advertising campaign. Call now! These limited edition summer broilers are going fast and we cannot guarantee you'll ever see a product like this at such an affordable price again! Supplies are limited!
On the good side of things, the chickens are stunning right now. The new farm has so much life in the soil and the chickens always seem to be chasing a grass hopper or chowing down on some beautiful grass. In a pretty surprising turn, ALL of chickens we slaughtered this week had that beautiful vitamin-rich yellow fat (the yellow is from the beta carotene), and just looked and tasted spectacular.
Also, turkeys have finally arrived on the farm!
It’s been so quiet and uneventful since last thanksgiving without the jolly gobbling and suicidal antics of dozens of 20 pound turkeys. This year we are doing a mix of broad-breasted bronze and whites (what we had last year). This mix of breeds and more timely slaughter will let us hit our 12-18 pound average for the turkeys and avoid the awkward, but delicious, obstacle of our smallest bird on a given pick-up day being 19 pounds.
Place your pre-orders soon, though, these guys actually are being pre-ordered fast and supplies are in fact limited...