Well, we spoke too soon about the rain last month. After that shower, our pastures dried up again. We had a few rainy days the first weekend of this month, but now we won’t really have enough sunlight or warmth for the grass to grow. The cooler autumn weather is wonderful, for us and the cows, a sign that fall is finally coming. The trees on the ridge behind our farm are starting to lose a few leaves. They are slowly changing from green to yellow, orange, and red. Usually mid-October is the height of the colored leaves for our area.
Jesse has moved to Lancaster Bible College to finish his communications degree. He was taking online classes last year. We really miss having the extra person around to help set up break wires for the cows or run check the heifers. We’ve been missing our other helpers over the last month too. Vannika and Austin are back into schoolwork for the fall. They are home-schooled, so they can still come out to the creamery for a few hours on cheese making days or when we have big orders to go out. They still help with two or three morning milkings each week. The rest of the time Anthony and Dave and Terry have to take turns doing the farm and cheese work.
In honor of Ebensburg’s PotatoFest at the end of September, we decided to try a sweet potato cheese. We took two wheels of Uncle Joe’s cheese that we made back in July. Using our cheddar mill (french fry cutters), we cut the two wheels into tiny pieces. We mixed in sweet potatoes and spices and then pressed the mixture back into wheels. Once they were pressed into wheels, we cut them up into wedges and labeled them as Sweet PotaJoe. We were happy with how well the Sweet PotaJoe turned out, so we did the same process with some dried habaneros and cilantro to make some Honduran Harvest again.
We made our largest batch of Pirate Blue the beginning of September. Previously, we were making smaller batches because it took so long to poke each wheel to get the blue molds to grow. Not anymore. We designed a handheld blue poker and had our local welding shop create it for us. Now we are able to poke a 40 wheel batch in the same time as it took to do 10 wheels before.
Events coming up this month: October 8th is Hartslog Day in Alexandria which is one of the autumn festivals that we’ve been attending since we started making cheese. We will also be attending Mt. Nittany Winery’s harvest festival on October 15. The Harvest Wine Festival at Bear Creek is the following Sunday afternoon on October 23. Anthony will be attending two Altoona autumn festivals one in Juniata on October 22, and the Healthy Harvest Fest at the Heritage plaza on October 30. If you want to see all the events we are doing each month, visit our events calendar on our website.
Well, that’s all the updates for this month. Thank you to all of you who support our family farm and allow us to keep making great products.