Tuesday, July 26, 2011
It's really hot here at the farm. The sun has driven the gang into the shade of the trees, barns, and even onto the porch for some. Don't worry, everyone is drinking plenty of fluids, taking frequent breaks, and keeping movement to a minimum to avoid any fatigue that may come with such exposure. We've posted some great pics to show how laid back things have gotten during the heat wave.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Cow names are important features on the dairy farm. It makes it easy to say "Doctor, Belle has a sore on her leg", instead of saying "Cow X has a sore on her leg, no I mean the other Cow X". We also attempt to try to name in a series so we can quickly recall who is the calf of whom. In much the same way a horse farm might combine names of mare and sire of elite racing horses.
Having said this, I'd like to introduce two new calves on the farm. Gladys's daughter Gladiola, and Peanut's daughter, Snickers. Welcome to the farm little ladies!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
See I told you it was painfully obvious, and utterly simple!
How often have you asked, "what kind of vegetable is this" or "what do you call this cut of meat" at the farmer's market? More importantly, once you found out you were holding a garlic scape, or a piece of ossobuco have you followed up to find out how to prepare it? New culinary adventures are just within reach, that you may have passed up. Just think, your local farmer has probably prepared all the products at their booth, at their own home to great results. Many of the farmers I know are also fantastic cooks, who have access to great fresh food and are constantly coming up with amazing recipes to feed their family every day. Unlike the modern grocery store experience, farmer/producers have an intimate knowledge of their products and are more willing to share that know-how. Also adding a new recipe or expanding your knowledge of new foods makes you a better cook. Asking for recipes at the local farmers market will not only add to your food encyclopedia, but instruct you on how to cook with the seasons, and cook what is grown in your local area.
So next time you have a chance, ask a farmer!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
One of the original of bastions human civilization is the marketplace or bazaar. The open air farmer's market is the forerunner of the modern mall and even online retailers. Producers coming together in one spot to sell their wares to help meet the consumer needs of a local populace is almost as old as agriculture and commerce itself. As small traditional farmers it is our pleasure to be participating in so many great farmer's markets this year. If you haven't been out to one of these communal gatherings, now is a time to pack a little cash and a basket for food and head out to one close to you!
If you are looking for us, these are locations that currently feature Stone Cross Farm and Cloverdale Creamery products!
St Matthews Farmers Market at Beargrass Christian Church 4100 Shelbyville Road Louisville KY 40207 Saturdays, 8 am to 12 noon 2011
Dates: May 14—October 8
Douglass Loop Farmers Market at Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in the Highlands 2005 Douglass Blvd Louisville, KY 40205 Market Times: Saturdays, 10am – 2pm Regular Season: April 16 - Sept. 24 Fall/Holiday Season: Oct. 1 – Dec. 17
Lexington Farmers Market at Blue Moon Farm's Garlic Booth, outdoors in Cheapside Park near the Old Courthouse, Lexington, KY – Saturdays – 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lexington Farmers Market at Blue Moon Farm's Garlic Booth, Southland Drive near Slone’s Market, Lexington, KY – Sundays – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I love our farmer's market customers. They come week after week to spend their hard earned cash, sometimes in foul weather, on our farm's bounty. They are enthusiastic and share their encouragement for the job we do. That always means so much to self employed small farmers who work hard to bring quality products to customers, friends, and families.
I hope you loyal readers, lovely customers, and local food enthusiasts take this memorandum as intended, to remind you what is so good about buying from a local farmer.
Local is the buzz word du jour in food and increasingly in retail circles. There are many attributes that are espoused and touted as the reason to "buy local". Freshness, food miles, carbon footprints, supporting local producers, ethical practices, the list goes on and on. When it comes to food, I think all of these attributes are secondary concerns that ultimately point to one central reason why you should buy food from a local farmer. It's so simple and obvious once you stop and think about it that it becomes difficult to argue anything else. It's the same thing that is the main focus of all reasons to purchase one food over another. The painfully simple focus of all food purchases, especially when choosing a local product is taste! Taste is the king attribute of any food, and should be the soul reason one would purchase a local food product over it's mass produced cousin.
A quick anecdote that sparked this rambling post: At a recent farmer's market a young customer came up with a full reusable bag of goodies and was delighted to see we were featuring our cheeses. She said she just "loved local food" and wanted to buy our cheese. When I asked if she wanted a sample she declined saying that as long as we were local she wanted it. As I've said earlier I loved her enthusiasm and always feel proud to be a local farmer, I was still hurt that it didn't matter how our food tasted. It felt as though the thing you should value most about food was second fiddle to where our farm was located. I didn't have to work at all to be located in lovely Spencer County, that was pure happen stance. However the hard work and time I put in to bring that sample of cheese to that market seemed like it wasn't important.
To that customer I say thank you, for your love of what we do, and your trust that we were making a delicious product. Next time you try a delicious piece of locally farmed produce, meat, cheese, honey, or jams enjoy it fully as that customer did. But remember this little article and think not of how close that farmer is to your house, but how darn good that product tastes!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Spring has brought us a great deal of rain. We have so much grass and clover growing that sometimes it's easy to get lost. The guineas and the the cows took to the field for some tasty bites the other day, and I was there with the camera to document. Enjoy!
Friday, May 6, 2011
Last night we had a chance to try out the new Harvest on East Market. A really awesome dinner was had by all. Very cool to eat at a restaurant with a singular focus of delivering fresh, local, sustainably grown food in a great atmosphere to every customer. They use classic southern comfort food as the basis of there entire menu and serve it up with a micro gastronomy twist. We enjoyed an entire fried chicken picnic on a single plate, and a whole barbecue cook out in one bowl. We even had to give the sorghum cookie with bacon a try. We loved our meals, and are as always so pleased to be supplying such awesome restaurant partners with our product!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Since we started making cheese, getting on at the local Liquor Barn chain of stores, has been a top priority. Their cheese selection is fantastic, and their beer and wine selection (obviously) is top notch. They do a lot of tastings, local events, and are the destination du jour for all your party needs. We are happy to be doing business with the best liquor store chain in the market finally!
If you are in the neighborhood, swing by grab a sixer, and some cheese! Tell Jackie we said hi!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Our friends at Grasshoppers Distribution did a great story about one of our favorite ladies here on the farm in their latest newsletter. Peanut made a splash for her ornery ways and fence defying personality. Take a bow!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Every single move here on the farm is closely supervised, monitored, and recorded by a very specialized team. Nothing you can do goes without close scrutiny. There is not a single act, or instance that occurs outside of most of the buildings here at Stone Cross that is not closely followed by our resident flock of chickens.
For over fifteen years we have raised a flock of various breeds of hens. These birds were at first brought on for their superb egg laying ability and we launched our farmer's market career with a steady stream of all natural, free range eggs. With much modern suspicion placed on the term free range with the crazy legal loopholes and technicalities exploited by major factory farming practices I should stress how free these birds are. These birds are never caged, or quarantined. Though they do have a roost with laying boxes that are always open and available, they often prefer to lodge in the rafters of the barn and lay their bounty behind bushes and tool sheds. There is nothing to tie these birds down. They spend most of their time monitoring our cheese creamery hoping for dropped morsels or minding the small grain bin where we keep extra feed for the cow's when they have a sweet tooth and desire a change from there regular pasture salad. To be painfully honest they also enjoy rummaging through the pasture and picking through our herds droppings, a strange act for the non-farm initiated I'm sure, but none-the-less and natural act that provides wonderful egg laying nutrients.
They are constantly following all the human members of the Stone Cross staff around hoping a scrap or tidbit might fall from a bucket or hand into their waiting beaks. The bird with it's side mounted eyes has a strain judgmental look about it as it eerily watches you cross the lawns, fields, and pastures. Their propensity for constant chatter amongst themselves lends to the notion that they may be comparing notes about your activities amongst themselves.
They are odd creatures at times, yet still beautiful, and with a valuable place on the farm. They are always fun to watch, but just remember, they watch back.
Friday, February 4, 2011
On a recent visit to the farm sponsored by feed supplier Alltech, several of their international clients were surprised to discover Percy Nacho. Alltech was taking dairy farmers from Ireland, England, Germany, and Australia around to unique dairy farms in Kentucky to highlight different farm models. The Irish contingent was shocked to discover a dairy farm would have one lowly donkey in with it's Jersey herd. We had to explain that Percy was a vital part of our strategic farm plan. Here in Spencer county the influx of coyote to the area makes for a situation where the herd needs constant protection from intruders. Enter our handsome coyote alarm Percy. A "rescue" donkey from a neighboring farm, Percy sounds his loud honking alarm whenever danger is near, not to mention literally putting his foot down on any would be predators who may enter the field.
He lives and feeds amongst the herd as if he was one of them. Often staying close to the fence, he knows that if he let's you pet him he can be rewarded with an apple or carrot for his vigilance and long hours. Keep up the good work Percy!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Also yours' truly, Adriel Gray (Louisville sales rep, cheese wrangler, head of marketing, web guru, and all around fun guy) will be heading off to the St. Matthews Farmers Market at Beargrass Christian Church to help expand our presence there. I'll be bringing our farmstead cheese for the first time to a farmer's market. It should be a lot of fun, and if you play your cards right I may give you a free taste!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
So as you think of the snow covered fields here at Stone Cross this winter, just imagine us keeping warm over a hot pot of fragrant soap, stirring the chill away!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Visit them the next time you're on Market!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Blind Pig is a pork eater's paradise housed in the heart of Louisville's historic Butchertown. Exotic pork recipes, a killer wine and cocktail list, all mixed with a bare bones (pun intended) presentation makes BP the hot new Louisville meat eaters destination du jour. Not to mention it's currently featuring the best local pig's money can buy from right here at Stone Cross Farm!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011