Welcome to August. The month where the return of school starts to loom in the not-so-distant future, to the rejoicing of parents and the terror of children. Or, in our case, the rejoicing of students because they will have an excuse to avoid some of the farm and cheese chores.
The first week of August is always Morrison’s Cove 4-H Dairy Show. Austin and Vannika were the only ones to show this year. Austin showed his Lineback Spring Calf Jokull (pronounced YO-koolt), and Nika showed her Milking Shorthorn five-year-old cow, Holly. They woke early every morning and stayed up long into the night to make sure their animals stayed clean and looked their best. It worked. Nika and Holly won Grand Champion of the Milking Shorthorn breed. Austin and Jokull won Reserve Junior Champion of the Lineback breed.
We had our first pregnancy check the at the end of July. One Friday, while Anthony was at market and Jesse, made cheese, Dave and Yolanda helped Dr. Kendra check our herd. So far, we have 38 cows due to calve in March. We’ll have our next check the end of August. At that point, we will have a final count for how many calves to expect next spring.
Every year around this time we start looking to sell a few cows. These cows either did not get pregnant or are due too late in the spring outside of our seasonal system. We are also considering downsizing a little bit this year to be able to make all of our milk into cheese without overflowing our coolers. If you or anyone you know are interested in buying some pasture-raised cows, please contact us and we’ll try to work something out.
Ever since we purchased our larger cheese vat in 2014, we have tried to process all of our milk on our farm as cheese or raw milk. For the past three years, we have stopped making cheese for one month and shipped milk to our dairy co-op. This year we are taking off during the month of August because our cheese cellars are full to bursting. Our cheese carts are stacked high and squished tightly together to make as much room as possible. So for this month, we are taking a break from making cheese and putting our efforts into caring for and selling the cheese. We’ll be back making in September, but until then we’ll enjoy the brief break, as much of a break as there ever is on the farm.
This time of year as the tomatoes are ripening, our family always enjoys bruschetta, a sliced tomato flavored with garlic and basil on a slice of french bread. That’s why we make a cheese that includes all those ingredients: Bruschedda, our basil, garlic, and dried tomato flavored cheddar. It was our most popular cheese during the month of July. Our mild cheddar, Clover, was a close contender.
Our summer farmers’ market schedule continues for a few more months. Boalsburg Farmers’ Market is in the Boalsburg Military Museum parking lot on Tuesday afternoons. Huntington Farmers’ Market is held on Thursdays at Portstown Park. Juniata Farmers’ Market is inside the Station Mall in Altoona every Friday. Ligonier Country Market is every Saturday morning.
Well, that’s all the news from our farm and cheese cellar for the month. Would you like to get a monthly email every time we post our newsletters? 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.