I’m closing up shop on Moonmeadow Farm. It’s been a good run for a few years, and I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, and have met a lot of wonderful people. The farm is still fully functional, and I am starting a new blog to document the changes as we go from our little family homestead to a full-fledged microcreamery (and possibly a micro-charcuterie, too!) The new farm name we have finally settled on is Laurel Farm, and the dairy will be called Laurel Farm Creamery. I am archiving this blog at https://rosemoon.wordpress.com/. I hope to see you at Laurel Farm Creamery blog!

Edit: Our new blog is up at Laurel Farm Creamery!

 

The yellow cheese is an all-cow’s-milk Tomme, made back in May. It’s very buttery and melty, with a distinctive sharpness that all my Tommes seem to have. The white cheese is a goat cheese that was meant to be (don’t laugh) a Reblochon, but I never washed the rind, or really took care of it in any way, and it turned out to be this lovely, mildly goaty, somewhat meaty tasting cheese. Look at those different colors!

 

Both Pearl and Maeby went dry while we were off attending to other things—for different reasons. Pearl was in year two of lactating and was ready to have some time off and get bred, and Maeby  perfected the art of not letting her milk down, except for her calf, which became a real problem when we sold her calf! So she essentially withheld her milk until she dried herself off. Rotten cow!

ED was not happy at all about the prospect of a winter with no milk (or cream, or butter—though I do have a pretty nice stash of cheese).  So she bought these two beauties: Joann and Madge.

So Pearl and Maeby are off at the neighbor’s getting bred, and we’re back in the milk!

The Moment

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

— Margaret Atwood

A beekeeping neighbor dropped off this gorgeous honey today. It looks like a jar full of sunlight, doesn’t it?

I have no idea what the new normal is, but I’m trying to find out! For now, it consists of sunny fall days, DH set up in his “office” on the front porch, so many friendly, kind, loving, concerned, and helpful friends, food—lots and lots of wonderful food, trips over the mountain to doctor’s offices, and long de-stressing walks along the river with Split, my faithful, neurotic Border Collie.

Mostly, these days, I’m full of gratitude for all we have. Thanks for everything, I have no complaints.

 

 

 

DH had a backache all summer. Not real bad, just enough to bug him, like a catch up between his shoulder blades. At some point his fingers and feet started tingling, and then his legs started getting weak. Then one day while working down in Atlanta, his legs couldn’t support him, and he fell, after which he had very little use of his legs. He drove himself home (!), and we took him for x rays, which didn’t give us any answers—the doctors were looking for a pinched nerve or a slipped disk. We ended up in the emergency room at 4 am, and long story short, turns out he has stage 4 prostate cancer which has metastasized to his bone, and the problem with his back and legs was a tumor on his spine that was compressing his spinal cord.

We ended up in Johnson City, TN for (I think) 11 nights in the hospital, and after surgery, he’s slowly recovering the use of his legs, and his prognosis is good with radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatment.

The girls held down the fort while we were gone, and did an amazing job of it. They cooked and cleaned and butchered chickens and milked the cows, and fielded phone calls and emails and visitors. I have such a wonderful sense of confidence in their abilities and adulthood. I want to make sure they get lots of downtime and rest now!

Our family and friends rallied around us, making us both feel loved and supported every minute of this little ordeal. DH had texts and phone calls every waking minute of his day, and we had lots of visitors, and gifts and food and flowers…

The hospital staff was wonderful, too. I can tell you right now, nurses don’t come close to making as much money as they’re worth!

So we just got home yesterday, and I find myself beginning to speculate on what this means for our family and farm. This has been a big change for us, and I suspect the changes have only just begun.

ED and Bernard bought a cute little Morgan gelding today.  It sounds like he’s a lot more fun to ride than lazy Marlene. Speaking of Marlene, she’s smitten.