Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tours and more drama

Eat your greens (or russian kale)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The party never stops, the saga continues. Steve put a call in to Chris, a local welder who built the old pasteurizer. Chris now has his own stainless steel fabrication and repair business.

The two Carries spend the morning packaging orders for Goat Lady Dairy's distributor, Cornucopia. I unmould, trim and brine the Providence cheese that I helped make yesterday. I then get to turn all of the bloomy rind cheese that is aging in one of the aging coolers. They're coming along nicely. Each one is enveloped in a robe of fluffy white mold. They're almost totally covered now. Some of them will be ripe this weekend. I can't wait! They look and feel right. My cheesemonger's eye says they'll be velvety and mild. Not too goaty. Perfect.

Carrie Carrie loves to tell stories about her family while we are in the cheese room. She and her family like to go camping every summer. One summer, Tommy, her father decided they were going beat the heat. He's a tinkerer and a pack-rat. He lets nothing go to waste. They have a pop-up camper that they use every summer. This particular year, he took a spare air conditioner, mounted it below one of the over-hangs and ran several silver heating/cooling ducts into their camper. The ducts were standard ducts like you use in a house. Carrie said it looked like a lunar space station, silver tubes reaching up from the a/c unit and surrounding the camper. People would drive by on golf carts just to see how the rednecks like to camp. Tommy was pretty proud of his innovation. They felt right at home parked next to the deluxe, super-expensive tour bus style RV with their satellite TV.

Chris the fabricator arrives around Noon. Steve isn't around, so I show him where the pasteurizer was leaking. He looks at it and immediately finds a few cracks. Bobby and Tommy show up and fill him in some more. Chris looks it over. Not only has it split a seam or two, the bottom has buckled and the insulation has gotten wet. The thing is ruined. It will cost thousands to fix.

Chris, Tommy, Bobby, and Steve continue to pour over the machine. Chris manages to take the jacket off and peek at the internal workings of this thing. Apparently, all is NOT lost. He might be able to fix it. He installs a valve that will release the air from the system. They replace the faulty pump. It just might be fixed and NOT cost thousands of dollars. Tomorrow is another day. We'll just have to see what happens.

While this saga is going on inside, a tour group arrives. A group of fifth grader exchange students are here from Portland, OR. They go to Summit School. I guess there are a bunch of kids from North Carolina running around PDX right now. Ginnie led them around the farm, telling them how the garden feeds us and how it is kept up all year round. Next she took them into the chicken enclosure and let them pet chickens and look at their eggs. The piggies were a big hit. Finally, they got to play with the baby goats. The kids love them. The goats were as curious as the kids. Everyone got to hold a goat, pet them and get to know them. I talked to some of the kids and told them the names of some of the goats. They finally got to try some of the goat cheese. Some like it. Some looked like they had just been poisoned.

The rest of the afternoon was quiet. Wrapped things up by feeding 45 squirming, hungry, baby goats. They growing every day. Now they're eating lots of hay in addition on their milk rations. Our kids are growing up. Next year they'll be on the milk line along side their mothers.

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