Iceland Winter Vacation – March 2017

We can tell that spring is on its way. We enjoyed one week of balmy 65°F weather at the end of February. Then as soon as the calendar turned to March, we woke up to a half inch of snow on the ground, and single digits in the morning. Looks like the weather should be more moderate this week.

Moana wearing her vestThat’s good news because we have baby calves to worry about now. Our first one arrived on Saturday morning, March 4th. Of course, she wasn’t born from any of the mothers we put in our maternity pen. She was running around the barn with her mom and all of the other dry cows. We decided to name her Moana. We dressed her up in a vest to keep here warm during the cold night. But a little boy arrived Monday to keep her company, so she should stay warm now.

To all of our raw milk customers, remember that the first three days of milk are reserved for the calves. This milk is full of antibodies to help the build up the babies’ immunities. After that, the babies still have priority for the milk, but we should have some raw milk available at the farm by the end of this week.

In the past month, we sold a few of the cows that were due in early summer. This winter, as we were planning for the year ahead we realized that we had too many cows. We aren’t selling cheese quickly enough to process all the milk they would give into cheese. With the reduced herd numbers, we are expecting just under sixty new babies due between now and the end of April. Spring is our busiest time of year. We are dealing with feeding new babies, milking cows every day again and preparing to resume making cheese.

 

one of the waterfalls in Iceland and some of the cows from the farm we visited While we took a break from milking in February, Dave, Terry, Austin and Vannika took a week’s vacation and traveled to Iceland. They toured a family dairy farm, visited a farm right at the base of one of Iceland’s volcanos and covered in ash in 2010, walked through a milk processing plant, and even brought home a few Icelandic pieces of cheese. Vannika loved the cold, northern lights, and getting to see big snow storm (since we didn’t have one here). Austin dreamed of some day playing piano in one of the beautiful Harpa Concert Halls. Dave wants to learn how to make Icelandic skyr once we have milk again. Terry enjoyed the waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, and the Reykjavik flea market

We try to not plan too many events while we are dealing with all the new babies, but we will be at Uncork the Alleghenies on Saturday, March 18 at the Blair Count Convention Center. We will be returning to farmers markets on March 14, with the Boalsburg Farmers market. We will also be at the Juniata Farmers market in Altoona on Friday, March 17th.

Well, that’s all the news from our farm and cheese cellar for this month. Would you like to get our newsletters every month via email along with our monthly cheese inventory? You can sign up for our monthly updates via the form at the bottom of our How to Purchase page.

Thank you to all of you who support our family farm and allow us to keep making great products.

Dave & Terry Rice and family