Hello friends,

Happy October and many wonderful greetings after another sunny weekend.  The days are getting shorter but the beautiful autumn weather is helping our fall and winter succession crops gain a big jump start before the rain and cold sweep in.  Our bodies, minds and hearts couldn’t ask for anything better.

We’ve come leaps and bounds this weekend after Maribelle took her first bottle of milk.  We wanted to keep calf and cow together for as long as time would allow but as Maribelle is getting bigger and stronger it’s time to really form that bond as farmer and cow.  She turned one month (for adorable calf photos, click the link) on Saturday and since then has been on the bottle full time.  She has already begun to eat some grass and grain for protein and within a few more months she should be well on her way to eating that diet full time.  It will be wonderful, as Maribelle gets older, when Ellie and her will be able to roam together in the same pasture and be the best of friends (although I have a feeling I know who will be the boss….)

Self Sufficiency: Dairy. We have also been busy trying our hand at making new dairy products.  Some of our list includes raw yogurt,  milk soap, soft & hard cheese.  So far, the yogurt has been the best we’ve ever tasted.  Perfect consistency and delicious creamy flavor (and it only took 12 hours overnight!)  We’re looking forward to the week ahead when we try our hand at making mozzarella, extra sharp cheddar & soap!

Self Sufficiency: Veggies.  I recently purchased this book which has been of high interest to me as we try to work smarter, not harder here on the farm.  It’s a collaboration of old world techniques and recipes using drying, cold storage and lacto fermentation methods from the folks at Terra Vivante.  It inspired us to make our first drying rack for herbs, peppers, etc in the barn.  We are using the resources around us to make less frequent trips to the grocery store.  If it involves a few more steps in the process of harvesting the bounty then so be it (that’s what it’s there for, right?)  Last night, before, after and during dinner, we canned 27 more quarts of sauce.  It came out beautifully and we can’t wait to put away a few more before the long road ahead (sans tomatoes) is upon us.  *Speaking of which.. has anyone had luck canning, fermenting, or freezing salsa without it changing too much?  We are always craving heirloom salsa in the winter months…

Helping Hands.  We’re happy to have a few friends of mine (Jules & Jared) visiting from my home state of Massachuetts as they make their way down to California for a change in scenery and way of life.  They will be here for the next few weeks so give them a friendly greeting if your paths cross.  They’ve been helping to fill the gaps on the farm and they are making a big difference in their time here.  Many hands make light work… and really nice company.  We’re definitely feeling blessed for a little extra help when it’s hard to feel caught up on rest!  ( winter = should be farmer rest time.. perhaps for a few weeks, we hope!)

Fall CSA.  If you are thinking of signing up for the Fall CSA, let us know!  We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.  Feel free to spread the good word to friends or invite them along for the ride for NEXT season.  We’ve had such a blast growing food and getting to know you all.  All of it is just pretty amazing….

Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you all during the week!

p.s. If you have forgotten or are unable to bring back your crate this week, please bring a bag.   We are short again and it looks like the brown bags will be making an appearance again at the pick-ups!

Faithfully yours,

your farmers

dirty hands, clean hearts

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