Wine Wednesday 2

Whoa Nellie!!!  This week has outdone itself!!!  Absolutely everything was awesome! And easy!

We started with a great Fall afternoon treat.  I sliced Breadfarm baguette on the diagonal and sprinkled it with our Goats’ Milk Cheddar (I grated it, slices may have been better, and certainly easier).  I topped that with sliced, peeled apples from my own tree and thinly sliced beets from my own garden.  I topped that with a bit more of our Cheddar.  Then I baked it at 350-400 degrees til browned on top. This was really tasty and was so representative of Fall here on the goat farm.

The Prep
The Pre-Cook

Oh Yum! Baked & Done.

And then for the wine selection.  Tonight we chose Purple Star Syrah 2008 from the Columbia Valley, WA.  This wine is full bodied & slightly spicy.  It brings to mind soft, ripe fruit (so what is not to love about that?).  It is a very friendly, drinkable, enjoyable Syrah.  And an even greater bonus to be had!  15% of proceeds of this wine go to Seattle Children’s Hospital uncompensated care fund. I have 3-5 really good reasons for this to be appreciated.  So go on over to our beloved John at Slough Food and try this one!

And I am sure you know by now Purple will always win with us!!!

And then, with nice wine and delicious treats, dinner evolved.

This was Eggplant Parmesan (our own from Gothberg Farms of course!), broccoli from our garden, beans & eggplant from the farmers market.   Yes indeed it was a good food evening.

Wine Wednesday

After several mild suggestions to add recipes to our pages, I have decided to take another approach.  I do love to cook, I do love to share recipes.  But let’s face it, that takes a significant time commitment.  I’m good for that, but not so much right now.  It did start me thinking about what I might really enjoy pursuing and sharing here.  Inspired by the Twitter folks, here is my less than professional opinion on wines, cheeses, beers, ciders, charcuterie, and all things associated that I enjoy.  I will make an effort here to be “regular” in posting a #WineWednesday enjoyment.  Cheeses will naturally have a focus on our cheeses, but will certainly not be exclusive.  I enjoy many cheeses, not just ours.  Most of the wines will come from our neighbors store, Slough Foods.  There will likely be occasional deviations, but always locally accessible and often locally produced.

Enough of the background thoughts.  On with our first selection.  For the wine, Alianca Vinho Verde.  This is a light, crisp white wine from Portugal.  It is a perfect summer wine.  I just discovered this gem this summer and am having it tonight as a final toast to the summer that almost wasn’t.  I am not ready for it to end, but with flannel shirt on for milking tonight, I must concede.  This wine pairs beautifully with fresh cracked crab, fresh oysters, and our chevre.  It is lovely with fresh garden tomatoes, chives, & cucumbers.  I highly recommend Taylor Shellfish Farms for your shellfish desires.  Pair the shellfish with the chevre, the wine, and a hunk of crusty Breadfarm bread, and life is just pretty dang good!  This wine is also a great value, so go see John at Slough Foods and toast one last glass to summer!

Find Our Cheese!

We are trying something new for helping our fans and customers to be able to more easily find our cheeses.  Below is a map showcasing where our cheeses can be found.  Included are our farm stand (yellow), farmers’ markets (purple), retail locations (pink), and featured restaurants (aqua).  Also, any upcoming special events are noted with a lime green push pin.  Below the map is a link to open the map up larger.

View Gothberg Farms Availability in a larger map

**Note:  There is a known issue with Google Map pins showing up in Internet Explorer.  Google engineers are aware of the bug and are working to fix it.  In the meantime, you can open the map using another browser:  Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.  .  Also, even if you can’t see the pins, if you open it up in Explorer, you can still see the locations listed on the left side of your screen.  Sorry for the inconvenience

Farm Stand and Fall Happenings

Today was the last day of the Farm Stand on Thursday & Friday.  We need a break to get some chores accomplished and time to plan and shift some gears here.

We will begin the Farm Stand again Saturday, October 29th, from 10am-2pm.  We will continue with every Saturday throughout the Winter.  More on the cheese/baking/entree offerings in a later post.

The farm is shifting into Fall routine now.  Does are coming into heat, breeding list is completed and posted. Honeymoon suites have begun.  This is how we get next years’ milk supply.  Additionally, there are fences to mend, painting to catch up on, winter feeds to procure, sand & gravel to refresh, drainage to route, gardens to weed, food to preserve……you get the general idea I am sure.

Farmers markets are winding down.  Everett for 2 more weeks and Anacortes for 5 more weeks.  Bellingham will continue as long as it remains feasible-probably until early-to-mid December.

This time of year also brings lots of fun Fall cheese tasting & presentation events. We kicked it off with West Coast Kneading Conference this week.  Wow! 250 bakers in one place….happy time.

We have some new best friends at Fat Cork Champagnes in Seattle.  We will be doing a champagne & cheese pairing next week.  There may still be seats left, but not many, so sign up now if interested.  The champagnes are all from grower/producers, which means they grow their own grapes, make their own wines, and generally follow our same philosophy of providing good, responsibly produced food for our valued friends.

We will be participating fully in the annual “For the Love of Cheese” festival at the Metropolitan Markets in Seattle.  Stay tuned for more details.  This is always so well presented and well attended.  We are just proud to be a part of it all.  This kicks off September 28th.

Our cheese will be double represented at the annual Skagitonians to Preserve Farmlands dinner & auction.  These folks are all about keeping Skagit rural AND farming!!!  I appreciate their good work.

Bitters Co. will have their 4th annual farm dinner Oct. 1.  Again, we have been featured on the menu.  These awesome sisters invite us farmers to this dinner, celebrating us and our hard work.  Thanks to all who attend.  I meet such a diverse group here every year. The setting is phenomenal, the food delectable featuring Skagits’ best, and an overall fantastic evening for everyone!!!

We will then move on into Thanksgiving and the annual wine debut party at Compass Wines.

There is more I could share, but you are probably getting the idea we get busy even now.  Thank you for another year of support and friendship. 

Cheesemakers, Camaraderie, “Competition”, and Confusion

When you are a cheesemaker, a goat milker, or a woman of agriculture in any capacity-you have a pretty small peer group.  As a general rule this is perfectly fine because those you do have in your circle are such awesome folks, you can’t imagine your life being much richer.  We all thrive on the quality we produce, the community we feed, the animals we love, and our supportive customers who prop us up in so many ways.

Recently I was interviewed at length by a WSU accounting student for her final project.  She was amazed at my attitude of not seeing my local cheesemakers as competition but as as enhancements to our overall community and food system.  She was just sure I might see them as “threats”, but I don’t.  I know I am not able to feed everyone-heck-none of us can.  I think it is awesome we can offer so many LOCAL choices here to our eaters.  We are all unique, we all work hard, we all do our best.

There is the rare occasion of someone with a very different outlook and approach to mine.  They tend to make it ugly and unattractive.  Thankfully they are the rarity.

To ALL of my fellow cheesemakers-God Bless Us All!  We, along with our animals, give our all to feed you the most delicious, nutritious, responsibly produced food we know how to do.

Thank You for your loyalty and continued support.

Giant Marshmallows

June 2011

We finally got the chance to cut the hay field for the first time this season!!! JUNE!!!  It has been such a late year with too much rain and too cold weather.  We fortunately got 55 giant marshmallows (aka haylage) in this cutting (about 18 acres).  This will go to feed beef cattle locally.

Had the field man out from agronomy center today making recommendations and assessing the grass.  It is generally healthy, just needs a little nourishment. And some HEAT would be good.  We have not yet hit 70 degrees here this year.

Last year we we had too little rain on the new seed but it did grow anyway.  The weed load was heavy in spots, but we were able to eradicate them with frequent mowing.  No pesticides and no herbicides.

We work with local farmers on projects like this.  We do not have the skill or equipment for planting or haying, but gladly work with those who do.  We have the land. Our “hay guy” Charlie, is so good to work with over the years now.  Our way of supporting a young farmer and also feeding our goats and his cattle.  Love win:win.  This way of life has a way of bringing really good people into our lives.

Milk Test Preliminary Results

Just added up the amounts milked from today’s test.  We won’t have the fat and protein counts until the end of the day.

Most milk-Topaz with 14.1 lbs of milk.  First timer Zippy (9 days fresh) 7.5 pounds (despite being stressed at having her babies taken off her).

We are milking 16 right now. Our herd average is 10.70 lbs. which includes first timers and the one milking through.  Most of our older girls are at 10-13 lbs. A gallon of milk weighs about 8.4 lbs. We won’t win the top awards in the LaMancha world, but I think we do dang good for a small commercial herd.  I am proud of them, of their vigor, of their daily willingness to work, and for their companionship.

OK, off to do OB checks on Eliza and Joe Zell.