As we shift into “official” fall, I am feeling grateful for a full summer. The Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival was last weekend and Dean and I had a great time! We are winding down our milk and cheese production right now and it’s bittersweet. The sheep will get a rest from milking for the winter until the lambs arrive again next March. We, too, will get a break from our daily dairy routines (although there are a lot of winter projects to get done before next season!). I am grateful for the change, but I will miss my stints in the milking parlor and creamery. Honestly, Nancy’s expression here is about how I feel this time of year, so I know it is time to slow down, catch up on paperwork, and plan for 2020!
“Are we done yet?”
I’m feeling very grateful for all the folks that helped us out this season, from farm hands to babysitters to relatives lending their time and sweat. Specifically, I wanted to give a special mention to our main milker Melissa. If you were wondering, this is what 6 am in this milking parlor looks like! This is not an easy shift! We appreciate Melissa’s commitment to the farm and her attention to the sheep and their well-being. After our pilot season last year, it became very clear that we needed to bring in help this season (Dean and I were both spread too thin), but I was nervous about how to find the right people to help take care of the sheep. Thank you Melissa for jumping in this spring and bringing such enthusiasm!!!
This is 6 am!
So, off we go into shorter days and cooler temps, and all the delights of this beautiful season. We have already had quite a wet September, but we are going with it and continuing to harvest herbs and plant new pasture.
Morning views from the creamery
I look forward to writing more this fall and winter, so keep an eye out for more blog posts from me in the off season about farmstead cheese, sustainability, and, of course, sheep! I’ll miss my time in the parlor and creamery, but I am already getting excited for this seasons ahead.
Happy Fall Equinox to ewe!