Outdoor farmers’ markets begin – May 2017

Running on tractor powered genoratorThe grass on our pastures is growing as fast as the cows can eat it. The trees in our yard have sprouted leaves last week and the flowers are growing around our buildings. We are back to running to three or four farmers’ markets each week. Even though we don’t enjoy going to market in the rain, we were grateful for the showers that keep the grass growing.

We don’t like the storms bringing the rain, though. A violent storm tore through Morrisons Cove on May 1st, blowing down trees and branches. One of the trees in our yard fell down and we had to spend one evening picking up branches so that we could mow the grass in our yard that’s growing like crazy. Another tree fell down over the entrance to the cows’ pasture, which we had to push out of the way for them to come in for milking Tuesday morning. We are still cleaning up two other trees that fell down on our fences this week.

The storm also knocked out our power for almost 22 hours from around 6 pm on Monday until around 4pm on Tuesday. We had an impromptu candlelight meal Monday night. Luckily we have a generator so that we could milk the cows and bottle milk on Tuesday morning. Between the storm, making cheese, attending three farmers markets a week and the regular farm work, we haven’t had time to get the newsletter out until now.

The oldest calves out on pastureCalving season is complete. Our last cow calved on April 30, so we actually had all of our new babies in March and April this year. We had right around half girls and half boys. We have 30 heifers and 25 bull calves. The bulls are for sale if anyone would like to raise some grass fed beef for next fall.

We moved the oldest 20 calves out to pasture two weeks ago. We are starting to wean them off of whole milk and transition them to eating grass and drinking the leftover whey from cheesemaking. Once they are weaned and used to fences, we will move them down to our calf pastures and move the next twenty calves out.

The oldest calves out on pastureWe are making cheese two or three times a week right now. We’ve sold out of Pirate Blue from last year and the new batch from March isn’t ready until May 24. Smile key Galens was our most popular cheese in April. Uncle Joe’s popularity is growing this spring as well. Everyone loves the aged asiago flavor that twenty months of aging has developed.

Spring has gone by fast when we were busy with making cheese and taking care of baby cows. May is the month for our outdoor farmers’ markets to start. Boalsburg Farmers’ Market moved outside to its summer location on May 2. Huntington Farmers’ Market began on Thursday, May 4. Juniata Farmers’ Market is inside the Station Mall in Altoona every Friday. Ligonier Country Market’s first day is on Saturday, May 20.

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