Monday, March 26, 2007

Warm days and Triad Farmers Market

Friday, March 23. 2007

Happy Birthday Shelby!

Another morning spent in the cheese room. Today I helped Carrie Carrie make about 100+ 1lb chevre logs. We also packaged up the truffles that we made on Thursday. The rest of the fresh curd was used for the flavored fromage. Three cheeses from one batch of curds. Great use of product.

It is warm today. It is in the 80's and sunny. The sun feels so much hotter here. It must be the more humidity. San Francisco never feels this hot at the same temp. Then again, it rarely gets into the 80's in San Francisco proper. Too hot for me to work in the garden. Oh well. My fair skin doesn’t do well in the sun. I turn into a crispy critter.

We have new neighbors. Caleb and Luke, two Jersey steers. Bobby moved them last night into the small pasture next to the white house. I can sit in bed and watch them graze. When my window is open I can hear them talk to one another. When Bobby appears, they get very excited and make lots of noise. Bobby gives them more food. They like him.

Little Carrie is off today and the entire weekend. She is attending a environmental networking conference. I get the White House all to myself. I like having some alone time. I can be loud or quiet and nobody cares.

A plan is made for the farmer's market. I get to accompany Steve at the Triad Farmer's Market, on the west side of Greensboro. We're leaving at 6:45am. Must go to sleep early.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Up at 6:00. It is still dark outside. I crawl into the shower and try to wake up. I didn't sleep well. I had my window open and woke up ever time the local dogs decided to bark at each other. Then one of the roosters decided it was time to crow. It was 2:15. "Kill that bird," went through my head over and over again as I tried to go back to sleep. I eventually closed my window and fell back asleep. I got dressed for another warm day.

I walked up to the barn in the dark. Bobby was in the cheese room helping Steve dip fresh chevre curd. He also helped pack the coolers for the farmers market. We were ready to go by 7:00. I stepped outside into the dawn light. The sun was hidden behind some high clouds but the temperature dropped by about 10 degrees. "It's colder now than when I got up," I say to Bobby. "The sun's up. It's always colder now. " Steve explains it's because the dew has fallen. I guess I never really perceived such a distinct drop in temperature before. Then again, I'm rarely up and outside before dawn.

We arrive at the vast state-run complex and drive over to our spot. It is just past daybreak. We set up and customers start drifting over to nibble on samples and buy some cheese. Steve is greeted all day long by a steady stream of regular customers. He knows most of them by name. The nice weather has brought out lots of people. Fortunately there was a nice breeze. The morning warmed up quickly and became beautiful. The sales gain momentum as the morning progresses and the crowd swells. Steve sent an email to his customers, notifying them that the market is in operation again. It seems to have worked. Lots of folks mention the email. They snap up the crottin. The Jersey Girl gouda also sells out. The wash rind Providence has ripened well and sells out, too. The smoked rounds don't sell as fast. The flavored cheeses are the biggest seller. Basil and garlic as well as roasted red bell pepper seem to be the most popular. The flavored cheese definitely pay the rent. The chocolate truffles are eagerly sampled but don't sell as fast. I like seeing the buying patterns. Direct feedback is a good thing.

It is a very long day. Seven and a half hours of selling. We wrap up around 2:30 and go get lunch at Steak and Shake. We both want burgers. Yes, we had shakes. What else do you get at Steak and Shake? Breakfast was a long time ago.

The rest of the afternoon is occupied by a long nap. Can’t do much else after that.

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