Sometimes I have a hard time standing in a field and remembering any other season but the one that is forcing its presence on my very cold cheek, such is the manic nature of weather in Vermont. Keeps you on your tippy toes. The top photo is from yesterday and the bottom this October - AND! this photo of luke & the goats also appears in this months Martha Stewart Living as part of a feature on Big Picture Farm written by Zoe Settle!! The goats are totally giddy about it!
We regret to inform you that Elvis was too busy guarding his snow throne (and the goats) to receive his gold medal for being the best.dog.ever in all categories that matter. He would like to add though that he will happily take all snacks from your pockets as a reward when you next come visit.
So if you’ve been following our blog, you might recall that Gertrude, one of our original goats, and certainly one of our most expressive, is taking the year off from kidding. She had a difficult time last spring, and we promised her during her recovery and said, you will not have to go through any of that again, I swear. SO…she is officially “retired”—and, in case you’re wondering, her retirement package is WAY better than ours is. So while the other girls are fattening up, whispering to the kids in their bellies, Gertrude is busy acting like a young sprite.
Here she is, trying to challenge Louisa to the raisins in her pocket.
Just your standard farm diversion: digging randomly through the very frozen ground searching for your pipes so you can, you know, thaw them.
A dark cloud spent most of the day comfortably huddled on the mountain.
For the past fifteen months we have been very fortunate to run part of our business out of this old Cotton Mill along the Connecticut River in Brattleboro. We shared hallways and advice from granola makers, jam makers, pie bakers, sign makers and tons of artisans. We come away rich with friends that have helped us flourish and grow. Now the time has come though & we have rented a big truck and are moving our caramel wrapping & packing & shipping back up to Townshend to a former stuffed animal factory at the bottom of our hill. While we are sad to lose such good neighbors, it will be very thrilling indeed to have the goats, the caramel making and the shop so much closer together (and in much more space!). It is an exciting time for us here at the farm, so stay tuned!
Im a cold weather person. I am happier to wear layers of sweaters than be sweating in a tank top. BUT. This week has been just a bit too much. Luke has had to drag me out of bed to do early morning chores. And, to be honest, I let him do some of them alone this week. On top of that, even my camera has been on a it.is.too.cold.strike. So. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to introduce to you to our first goat puppet - an exact replica of Gertrude! We happen to be very lucky here at Big Picture Farm to have excellent farm sitters/goat love givers who also double as incredibly talented artists. This anatomically exact Gertrude was made by Anjie, who is a master puppeteer when she is not helping us out. Pretty phenomenal eh? It was one of the most amazing gifts ever.
It is cold out there PEOPLE! 0 degrees currently. Wind chill -9. As Louisa puts it: “Real life-feeling temperature of negative onemillion.”
The goats are keeping warm by stoking their stomach furnaces with monstrous mouthfuls of hay, cuddling up into an evolving fuzz puddle, and/or climbing all over each other.
Which of the above is your preferred method of keeping warm?
The nice thing about living with a herd of animals is that the minute you come home they come running to say hello. At most moments Elvis knows that he is so big that if he is going to come running at us at full speed it is best to veer off at the last moment or else we barrel over, but yesterday he could not contain himself and just went for it. While I had a face full of snow, it was worth it. We missed him too.
Our Goat Milk Chai Caramels did indeed win a GOOD FOOD AWARD on Friday night in San Francisco! So exciting! & so much incredible food to taste - I cant stop thinking about Under Ground Food Collective’s Goat Salami based out of Madison, WI and the gourmet candy bars Faith is cooking up at Bee’s & Beans in Portland, OR. Askinosie Chocolate, with their traceable chocolate bars has always been an inspiration to us, so it was a treat to meet them as well. All in all it was invigorating to be in such good company and we’ve come back to the farm ready to get back to work!
& good morning to you too! We are heading out to the west coast today for the Good Food Awards, wish us luck! If you happen to live in San Francisco - you should come on by the Marketplace at the Ferry Building on Saturday from 9-2 where you’ll be sure to taste all kinds of good food! Gertrude wishes she could come too, but also, she doesn’t. She’s got Michaela here to give her special love all weekend while we are gone.
Sometimes we do things like wish we lived in Paris, where the streets are filled with endless cafes, and shops have windows filled with cheese & chocolate, and the farm is very far away and I can wear a pretty dress. But sometimes the best is also just right.here. Especially on a day like today, when the snow silences everything. & on a long walk the loudest noise is that of the bison taking deep breaths.
Winnimere. A photo from November.
Let the wild rumpus begin.