November is here and with it comes bare trees, crunchy brown leaves coating everything, and shorter daylight hours. Even with the arrival of autumn weather, we are thankful that the sun has warmed the pastures enough this past month to get a little more growth from our grass. The cows’ milk is looking yellow enough to for them to be eating spring grass. We are still feeding them hay at night, so we don’t wear out the pastures too quickly.
October was the month of our final veterinarian check up on the cows and yearlings that will be calving next spring. We are thankful that we have 73 cows calving next year, which is a few more than we would like to have. If anyone is interested, we have a couple of cows that will be calving in May that we are looking to sell.
This fall we’ve found ourselves bringing back some old favorites in the cheese cellars. We were able to connect with our mushroom purveyors again this fall to get some chanterelles for our Wild Mushroom. When it is this young, this cheese is wonderfully creamy with just a few subtle notes of earthiness and onion.
We were happy with how the sweet potato cheese turned out so we decided to bring back Honduran Harvest for good. At this point, we are cutting everything up right away, so it is only available in 1/3 pound wedges. We are thinking of trying something with pumpkin spice this month to tie in with the Thanksgiving season.
We are thankful that our cows are continuing to produce almost more milk than we can turn into cheese this fall. Probably because of the fresh grass that we mentioned at the beginning of this post. We are running very low on storage space and we don’t have as many farmers markets to keep our old cheeses moving out as quickly as we produce more.
October was the month of tour visits to our farm. Mid-October we had sixty homeschoolers come take a tour of our farm and cheese cellars. They all got to see how we make cheese, where we milk the cows, how we manage the cows’ pasture and several of them even rode Isaiah the Ox.
At the end of October, an enthusiastic class from St. Francis University helped us make a batch of Pirate Blue. The class was learning about fermentation and wanted to come see cheesemaking in action. It is always fun to make cheese with someone who has never experienced it before. It reminds us how special it is to see a vat full of milk turn into several wheels of cheese.
Now that we are in November, we are only attending our two year-round farmers markets. Boalsburg farmers market has moved inside to the basement of St. John’s United Church of Christ for the winter months. Juniata farmers markets winter schedule is the first and third Friday of every month. We have a few fall festivals coming up in November as well: the Winter Winefest in Winber on November 12, the Bishop Carroll Wine Festival in Ebensburg on November 12, and the Ligonier Christmas Market on November 26.
Finally, we are thankful to all of you who support our family farm and allow us to keep making great products.
Well, that’s all the updates for this month. Would you like to get these 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.