Latest News From Our Farm

Last update : Sunday, 15-Feb-2009 18:05:49 EST

If you get tired of looking for current news, check out our blog. Less news than views, but heck. Read the blog. It seems to be replacing the news section, anyway.

We're also on Facebook! If I recognize you, I'll add you to my friends.

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Check us out at many of our winter farmers' markets this year.

We're also working on a regular email newsletter. Stay tuned.

Holiday Ordering

It's available now! We should have a good supply of cheese through the winter, and if we run out, we'll make some cow cheese to fill in the gaps.

Latest Awards

I can't help it. I keep entering the contests. Click here for a list of all our awards.

The Search for Local or at least a Good Story

I taught a bunch of workshops during the winter, and had a total blast doing it. Along the way, I made many new friends, many foodies, with whom both Brad and I share many passions. One of these new connections suggested that I order my olive oil through a local caterer, who gets it directly from Italy and the grower. So, long story short, I ended up with about 100 tins of beautiful extra virgin olive oil from Italy. Makes a much better story than the trip to Hannaford. The next challenge is to get all my garlic locally. Not hard to find garlic, just a time commitment to peel it all! Here's a new cheesemaker's malady: garlic burn.

Also, check out our (occasional) newsletters: Spring 08 and Summer 08.

Kid Count 08

Jessie came back to help with kidding this year, and ended up staying on for the whole season. I can't tell you what a blessing it has been to have an experienced pair of hands this season! We had a total of 55 kids born, from mid-March to mid-April. It made a world of difference to have the kids born later, when the weather was milder. We bottle fed each and every kid (again, thanks Jessie!), and most went to Thyme for Goats to be raised for meat. We kept 10 doe kids, and got two new buck kids to replace Puck the Buck (who knocked me down one too many times, and also went to Thyme for Goats!), Our naming theme this year is from the Harry Potter series. We built a separate hoop house just to house them. Later kids, but earlier cheese due to more milk. We'll do it again for 09.

The Latest Awards and Update

It's just a symptom of how busy I have been that I haven't managed to update the news section. Suffice to say that I had awesome helpers this summer, we sold a lot of cheese, and the summer whizzed by in a blur. We managed to attend the American Cheese Society annual conference and cheese competition in Burlington, Vermont this summer. A delegation of 10 Maine cheesemakers attended, and we took home a total of 17 awards! Appleton Creamery won a first place for our sheep milk yogurt. In October, we took home a first place for our Chevre in Olive Oil and a third for St. Bridget at the American Dairy Goat Association annual cheese competition. Click here for a list of all our awards.

Now it is breeding season, and Big Papa and Puck the Buck have moved in with the girls for a few weeks. And of course, now the girls have totally forgotten about coming in to be milked. I am looking forward to a later, and warmer, kidding season in late March. Goat cheese should be available for a little while longer this winter.

Look for an updated Holiday Ordering page soon.

Our Holiday Open House is scheduled for Dec. 1 & 2, this time to be held at our neighbor's farm, Terra Optima, right next door. They have a barn we can move into in case of bad weather!

The Farm Blog

It all started when Dairy Goat Journal asked me to write their dairy diary for the month of March. I warned them that it would be the diary of a woman going out of her mind, and they were cool with that. It turned out to be so therapeutic that I thought I should write regularly. So, I started a farm blog. Right now it is mostly rants, but as the weather improves, so should my attitude.

Read the dairy diary. Read the blog.

Kid Count 07

Well, every year is different, and this year is no exception. Although we don't have any more goats than we've had for a couple of years, they must have really, really liked the new buck we used last fall. From Feb. 24 to March 4 (that's only 9 days), 31 does freshened with 66 kids, and a record 9 sets of triplets. That's a lot of kids in a short time! I feel like I haven't left the barn in a week... wait a minute.... that's because I haven't left the barn (or the farm!) in over a week! Get me out of here!

We have a few stragglers to kid later on, so we should top out over 70.

Thank you to Anne and Bob at Sunset Acres for sending down Big Papa and making my girls so happy. Also thanks to the weather gods for sending us mild temperatures, although we could have done without that blizzard on the 2nd of March. I am too old to shovel snow.

Goat cheese is available again!

Happy Holidays!

The goats are now on "maternity leave" until the end of February -- a little earlier than usual due to a very poor hay crop this season. Goat cheese is in very limited supply, although we still have Georges Highland, our aged sheep cheese, and several varieties of our new cow cheeses, including Camdenbert and St. Bridget. We have 36 does bred, and expect to return to cheesemaking in early March.

Yankee Magazine mention

A flurry of phone calls requesting catalogs clued me in to a mention of our farm in the October 06 Yankee Magazine. We get a brief mention in an article titled: Milk Made: The finest craft cheeses in the world come from New England Farms. Can't argue with that, but we're still not open to the public...

More Awards for our Cheese!

In July, Appleton Creamery took home two more blue ribbons at the annual American Cheese Society Competition. We won a first place for our chevre in olive oil -- no surprise for faithful fans! -- and a first place for our BreBrie, a surface-ripened sheep milk cheese. The contest this year featured a record 941 entries – nearly 200 more than any previous ACS  competition – from 157 producers representing 28 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.  Twelve teams of two judges each selected the finest North American-made dairy products based  on both technical and aesthetic traits.  For details, please visit www.cheesesociety.org

In October, our chevre in olive oil placed second in the marinated cheese division at the American Dairy Goat Association competition.

Click here for a list of all our awards.

On our way to the busiest summer yet!

May 29: We're in full production now. The goats are out on woody browse, in a new section of woods opened up for them last winter with the help from our friends and neighbors at Terra Optima Farm. It is a wonderful thing to hear the goat bells from way down in the woods. The sheep at EllsFarm are on 100 percent pasture, milk production is at an all-time high, and the milk is just delighful to work with. Over at Hawes Farm in Union, the milking of their remaining handful of cows is being managed by Terra Optima, and the milk is delivered daily. The cows have gone out to pasture this week as well. Come visit us at a nearby farmers' market to taste some of our newest cow milk cheeses, the first sheep cheeses of the season, and all your old favorite goat cheeses.

We are really lucky this season to have two apprentices, who are both working very hard. We welcome Laura from Colorado, and Sophia from Vermont. Sophia is splitting her week between us and EllsFarm.


Team Creamery 06 at Sophia's farewell supper. Sophia, Laura, Fiona

In the meantime, check out www.cheesebyhand.com, and our newest friends Sasha and Michael, as their follow their cross-country odyssey visiting cheesemakers.

Kid Count 2006

July 17: Final kid count: 57. The last kids were born on the hottest day of the year, in a fierce thunderstorm that took out electricity and many old trees. This year's naming them was blockbuster movie heroines.... so we have Padme, Hermione, Ginny, and Arwen.

Feb. 27: The first kids are born. We planned the kidding to begin a week or so later than usual this year, as we are so tired of frozen ears and feet. Who knew we would have the mildest winter in years? Kids could have been born any day this winter, with no problem. Of course, the coldest day of the winter was... Feb. 27, when the first kids were born. I just can't win! We're battling frostbite and trying to be there when the babies are born in order to get them dry and warm as soon as possible. It just feels like a losing battle sometimes. By March 4, things have warmed up a bit. Mar. 10: 21 does have given birth to 39 kids -- including four sets of triplets! We are using a Boer buck on some of the does, in order to get a meatier kid for the Easter auction, and having the little white babies is certainly a fun experience after years of little Alpines that often look just the same.

Cheese should be available again by March 15.

Be sure to check out the workshops that we have started giving at the farm. The first one was a lot of fun. We are starting to interview for apprentice positions for the summer. And check out the tours our friends at Hartstone Inn in Camden are offering for their serious foodie guests: www.harstoneinn.com.

Happy New Year!

Another year winds down... the goats are officially on "maternity leave" until the end of February. We have a very limited supply of cheese to get through the winter, mostly for our local accounts, but also for limited mail order. We have 30 does bred, and expect to return to cheesemaking in early March.

Perry Ells at EllsFarm tells us that she will be freshening 70 ewes this spring. I'm looking forward to another year of turning her sheep milk into award-winning cheese and yogurt!

And our latest new project: cow's milk cheeses! Our neighbor is beginning the process to sell us cow's milk, and we hope to be able to offer cow's milk cheeses this summer at farmers' markets as well as goat and sheep cheeses. Look for camembert, gouda and washed rind varieties. Meanwhile, we're doing lots of research, which involves reading lots of new cheese books, and eating cheese.

Another Busy Summer

It seems like summer just began and already we are looking at the first day of school next week... where has the summer gone? Thanks to our wonderful apprentice Ari from Bates College, we've had help with the goats, the cheese, and farmers' markets. Our dear friend and helper Jane decided to retire in early August, so come September, we will be without any outside help. We will be seeking a new apprentice as soon as possible! In 2006, we are planning to have room for two positions.

In July, Cait traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the annual American Cheese Society conference and competition. I spoke on a panel for Regional Voices in Artisan Cheesemaking, wearing my President of the Maine Cheese Guild hat. I had a super time, meeting other cheesemakers I have admired for years, and attending workshops and seminars about all aspects of cheesemaking. We even brough home an award -- second place -- for our sheeps milk yogurt! Louisville is a beautiful city.

We are looking forward to the Maine Cheese Festival, planning this year for October 15 at the Samoset Resort Hotel in Rockport.

Kid Count 2005

March 11, 2005: The kids began arriving on the 21 of February, and continued daily for 10 days, for a total of 44. We still have a few more does to kid that were missed by the buck the first time around. The weather continues to do its best to ruin my life, and we expect more snow and colder temps for the kids born later in March! Perry Ells reports that lambing is going well at her farm, and she should start milking the sheep about the first of April. It is good to get my hands back into the curds and be making cheese again, but I sure thought the view out the dairy window would be a bit different by now. More snow is predicted over the weekend.


Busy Summer 2004!

The summer zipped by so fast and was so busy that we didn't have a moment to update the webpage. Between our wonderful helper Jane and intern Lindsay, we kept up with the cheesemaking and the farmers' markets. We even got a few days off to get out to our favorite island paradise, Matinicus Island, for Cait's mother's memorial service. Many thanks to Jane and Lindsay for getting us through!

Appleton Creamery took home some more cheese awards. In July, our Chevre in Brandied Grape Leaf took a blue ribbon at the annual American Cheese Conference. Our Chevre in Olive Oil with Roasted Garlic & Herbs took a third place. In October, our Chevre in Olive Oil with Roasted Garlic & Herbs took a first place at the American Dairy Goat Association cheese competition.

We added a new line of sheep cheese at the beginning of the summer. Perry Ells at EllsFarm in Union (five miles away) started up a sheep dairy, and we are buying her milk. Over the summer, we introduced a fresh herbed cheese, Scarborough Faire; a bloomy-rind cheese in several shapes, BreBrie; and an aged, raw milk cheese, Highlanders; as well as fresh sheep milk yogurt. Customer feedback was encouraging, and we were all sad when the sheep ended their lactation for the year in August. We're looking forward to 2005, and increased production of sheep cheese.

Breeding began in September for February kids. By the beginning of November, the goats are down to once-a-day milking and the end of their lactation is in sight. The herd will be dry by mid-December, and we all get a much deserved break from daily milking and cheesemaking until the madness begins again in February.

The holiday mail order form is posted on the web site, and we'll be taking orders until December 13, or until the cheese supply runs out. Happy Holidays from our house to yours!


Kid Count 2004

The kids started arriving on Feb. 19 and are still coming. We cut back the herd over the last year, and retired a few elderly ladies, so this year we are only freshening 34 milkers. As of March 4, we have welcomed 48 new kids into the flock, from 23 moms. The weather has been perfect so far this kidding season, with each day above freezing, and lots of sunshine. If we are lucky, we may have a Zero Frostbite year! (we did! and ended up with over 60 kids)

We should be making cheese again by the first weekend in March.


Renovations

In January we began renovations to the dairy. The floor needed to be replaced, and all those frozen pipes needed to be mended. We are installing a walk in cooler, which will replace at least five funky old refrigerators, and make life a lot more efficient. In early March, we are almost done. Many thanks to Greg Johnson for the carpentry and advice, Nate Greenleaf of The Ghost in the Machine Refrigeration, and Brad the electrician.


Winter Break 03-04

Once again, the goats are dry for the winter, and we will all be taking a winter break until cheesemaking resumes in March. Most of our kids will be born in late February and early March (we deserve a mild winter this year!). We are continuing to cut the herd size back, so we won't be keeping any kids, and will ship all of them by Easter, and we are not offering any kids for sale this coming year as well. After some extremely bad experiences selling kids as "pets", we have decided it's cleaner to get out of a business we were never in to begin with. We are in the cheese business, only.

We are also going to take this time to make some serious repairs and upgrades to our equipment during this time.

See you in the spring!


In the News in 2003

Appleton Creamery's Chevre in Olive Oil with Fresh Basil and Pine Nuts won first place in the marinated cheese division of the American Cheese Society's annual competition in August!

Appleton Creamery was mentioned in a June2003 issue of Down East Magazine piece about Maine's Artisanal Cheesemakers.

Appleton Creamery is included in a cookbook published by local chef Michael Salmon, chef/owner of the Hartstone Inn.

I heard a report we were recently mentioned in a magazine called Cachet, although I have been unsuccessful in locating a copy.

The Maine Cheese Guild organized in 2003 to promote Maine's artisanal cheeses, and received a grant from the Maine Dept. of Agriculture for startup funds, including a web site. On October 12, the first Cheese Festival was held at MOFGA's Unity Fairgrounds, and was a great success. Appleton Creamery recieved some good publicity as a result. Look for our 2004 Cheese Festival in the fall.


Kid Count 2003

Kids started dropping on Feb. 13, 2003, and didn't stop for two weeks straight. Most of the time it was below zero, and it was all we could do to keep the poor little things from freezing. Many of them never stood a chance, and we lost about a third of all the kids born. It was the winter from hell. It only went above freezing a few times between the big snow storm on Christmas Day and mid-March, and the snow pack didn't go anywhere, just froze more solid. Good for the perennials, but bad for me. Doors froze open or shut (never the right one), the water froze four times, even the manure pack froze solid. I couldn't begin cheese production when I should have, as I had no water in the dairy to clean, or run equipment. The last kid was born in April, bringing the total count to 106, out of 59 does.


In Memory of Claymore

On July , 2002, we lost our beloved Great Pyrenees guardian dog Claymore. It's been one of the hardest things we have ever had to deal with, and we are still devasted. Months later, we still mourn him, and can't bear the thought of replacing him, so we probably won't. That great voice is forever stilled.... The night we discovered that he had passed, great white thunderclouds rose in the sky, underlit by the setting sun: Claymore's ascent to Heaven... Gone but not forgotten.


2002 Kid Count

The first kid of 2002 arrived on Monday, Feb. 4. By the time kidding was over, 52 does had given birth to 103 kids...The barn overflowed! Operation Kidding Storm.... All our previous records were broken, with more kids born in one day, 21, than ever before.

Our naming theme for 2002 is things Italian (what else!).

Check out some cute kid pictures here.

We gain some; we lose some. In memory of Dundee, Daisy, Bonnie and Gilly, four dear ladies we lost this past couple of years. They provided the foundation of much of the milk in our herd. Sadly missed, but they live on in Chutney, Jet, Aster, Islay, Diamond and Bon Jovi.


Winter Break for winter 01-02

Jan. 13: Surprise snow storm, taking out our power. Shades of the ice storm of '98! We don't get power back until Jan. 15, and it goes out again on the 17th. I hate winter.

Dec. 18: First snow of any amount. No school today, so we're working on a Christmas card for the web page....

Dec. 9: The goat herd is officially on winter maternity leave until kidding starts in early February. Today we are down to milking just 4 goats by hand (from a high count of 46 this past season). Since this amount of milk is just enough to keep the house in milk for cereal and coffee, we are on a cheesemaking hiatus for a few weeks. We do have plenty of cheese curd frozen to fill cheese orders during this time.

Happy Holidays from our house to yours.


Appleton Creamery Goes to Italy

Believe it or not, we went to Italy. Although the events of Sept. 11 delayed our trip by a week and shortened it by a day, in the end we decided to go. Friends and family and co-workers greatly encouraged us to continue with our plans, and indeed, we could not have gone without their support, moral and actual, back at the farm.

Slow Food USA decided to go ahead with plans for American cheese to go to the festival, offering plates of samples for a donation that was given to the NYC disaster relief. Several others of the cheesemakers chose not to attend, so only three of us cheesemakers were able to make it--all goat cheese producers!

We had a totally fabulous time; total immersion in Italian cheeses. There were over 150 cheese booths, scattered throughout the beautiful little Italian city of Bra, representing mostly Italian cheeses, but with representation from France, Spain, Holland, the UK and the USA. Something like 130,000 people attended the four-day event. Samples of wine were offered along with samples of cheese; very civilized! When you tired of cheese, there was a bakery or gelateria conveniently located nearby.

All the American cheese were well accepted by the Italians, who were very disappointed that they couldn't actually buy any of the cheeses (due to customs restrictions). I think that American cheeses can proudly appear alongside any European cheese!

After the festival we visited our friends Dave and Dory in Milan, who encourged us to make a whirlwind sightseeing trip to Florence and Venice. Our last day we visited a small family vineyard. Not bad for people like us who have a hard time making plans to go out for dinner!

We returned home refreshed, rejuvenated and reinspired. Next project: a vineyard. How does Appleton Estates sound???

When I have time this winter, I'll scan some more of the photos for a gallery of our trip. Click here for a few.


An Invitation to Italy

Appleton Creamery has been invited to send cheese to Italy to help represent American artisanal cheese at the annual Slow Food Cheese Festival being held Sept. 21-24 2001 in Bra, Italy. Thanks to the help and encouragement of family and friends, we are going to Italy to attend the celebration!

The Press Release:

ARTISAN CHEESES OF AMERICA ARRIVE IN EUROPE

America's reputation as the land of Velveeta and Cheez Wiz is at an end! From September 21-24, ninety artisan cheeses made by fifty-two producers from seventeen states will represent the United States in the world's largest cheese show, organized by Slow Food International. Thanks to the dedicated work of two convivium leaders, Jeff Roberts (Vermont) and Gregory McClarren (High Desert Oregon), Cheese '01 presents the largest grouping of American artisan cheeses ever displayed in Europe.

Slow Food estimates 100,000 people will attend the four-day celebration. For most of them, this will be their first experience sampling and tasting artisan cheeses of the United States. We showcase America's great cheese diversity and accomplishment with four workshops that feature twenty-two American artisan cheeses and one butter paired with beers, hard ciders, and American wines. Our speakers include: Rob Kaufelt, Murray's Cheese Shop; Allison Hooper, president of Vermont Butter & Cheese Company; Peter Kindel, Artisanal Restaurant; Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery; Ben Watson, author of Cider Hard and Sweet; and Luca Currado, owner of Vietti Vineyards, Castiglione Falletto, Italy.

In addition to the workshops, a USA market stand will present ninety of the highest quality cheeses during the four-day festival. Of the fifty-two cheesemakers represented, thirty-five producers have won awards at various competitions in the United States in the past three years.

Cheese '01 provides an opportunity for American cheesemakers to celebrate their products at an event that brings together leaders of the cheese industry from around the world. We hope the U.S. presence will contribute to changing the popular perception of American cheese from slices wrapped in plastic to the great taste achievements being produced in this country.

Cheese '01 USA is sponsored by Bandon Cheese-Bandon Coast Foods, Inc., Cabot Creamery, California Milk Advisory Board, Capriole, Inc., Crystal Foods, Grafton Village Cheese Company, The Great Cheeses of New England, Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, Vermont Cheese Council, the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, and generous contributions from Slow Food USA members and many of our sixty-five convivia around the country.

For more information on Cheese '01 or to receive the event program please contact the Slow Food U.S.A. national office or visit http://www.slowfood.com. Slow Food U.S.A. is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America

 


March 2001

Leaving the Portland Public Market

We are very sorry to announce that we will no longer be attending the Portland Public Market. After attending since the market opened in October 1998, we have to stop and reconsider our options. Sales and attendence at the market have been dropping steadily for over a year, and it is a very expensive market to attend. Additionally, the market kept moving the location of our day table, without giving us the option of warning our customers, making it very difficult to maintain any kind of consistency for our customers. The latest move was to make room to sell personal care products... not really in keeping with the Market's mission to bring you produce fresh from Maine's producers, but we aren't the ones making that decision.

We have decided to put our efforts this year into developing more wholesale accounts in Portland. Currently, in the Portland area, you can find our cheese at the Whole Grocer, Browne Trading, AJ Kennedy's Marketplace, Miranda's Vineyard in the Old Port, the Natural Grocer in Gorham, and Lois Natural Foods in Scarborough. Please ask your favorite establishment to consider carrying our cheese.


1999 American Cheese Society Contest Winners

Shelburne, VT &emdash; Appleton Creamery's goat cheeses in olive oil recently won two top honors in the American Cheese Society's annual cheese competition here.

Appleton Creamery's chevre buttons in olive oil took first place in the marinated in oil division, and their chevre in olive oil with roasted garlic took second place.

These awards underscore what Appleton Creamery's faithful customers at local farmers' markets already know: Appleton Creamery's chevre in olive oil is a local favorite both with customers and restaurants.

The American Cheese Society Championship Cheese Contest brings 24 expert cheese evaluators together from across the US who select the finest cheeses and butters in 41 classes. This year, a record 76 entrants participated in the competition.

At the American Cheese Society competition, cheeses are judged not only upon their technical merits, but also on flavor, aroma and texture. The goal of the Society is to give recognition to the best American-made cheeses submitted for the annual judging.

The event was staged in August at the Society's 16th annual conference at Shelburne Farms, a non-profit educational organization on a historic 19th century working farm. The farm is dedicated to teaching students, teachers and the public the principles of conservation and land stewardship.

The educational event brought together the nation's top specialty cheesemakers and included a wide array of seminars, panel discussions and workshops in addition to the ACS's annual competition.

 


Portland Public Market 1998

Appleton Creamery has a regular spot at the new Portland Public Market, with a once-a-week "day table" on Saturdays. We are having a great time meeting new friends and customers in Portland! And, we've been featured on Channel 8's regular market report on Wednesday night, and Channel 13's noontime cooking show.

"Team Creamery" Team Creamery ...Photo by Perry

That's our new friend Mo Terry (on the left) helping Caitlin at market. She's a chef/restauranteur currently taking a break to raise daughter Maeve (being held by Fiona) and brand-new daughter Grace. and giving us a hand. We're planning a cookbook together ... if you have a recipe or serving suggestion you would like to submit for consideration, please email or write.


We Survived the Great Ice Storm of '98!

We survived the Ice Storm of '98, as they are calling it on the evening news now. We were without power for 6 days, minor compared to a lot of people. It turned out to be a good week to have sent the tv in for repair, as not only were we without power, but the public television AND radio systems were down. So much for the Emergency Broadcast System! Had this been a real emergency, what would they have done?? We didn't lose any major trees or buildings, no fallen branches on the cars. We have wood heat, and only lost the food in the house refrigerator. The chest freezer was in an unheated room, so it stayed frozen. The worst was lugging water for all those goats. After four days we ran out of lamp oil, batteries and candles, so although we were prepared, we weren't prepared for the long siege. Luckily it was a time of year when most of the goat herd is dry and I was in winter production mode, so I only lost a couple of days' cheese production. There are people who still haven't gotten their power back, and another storm bearing down on the state. There were people who couldn't get out of their houses because of the falling trees. It was something else to be outside, and all you could hear was the sounds of trees falling in the woods, and ice falling from the trees. The poor goats couldn't go outside for days because of the falling ice and trees, and the glare of ice on the ground.

Let me tell you, this is NOT why I live in Maine. I'm ready for spring!


My husband, the midwife

I work off the farm in an office. My husband runs a business from our home. Although sometimes our reversed roles confuse our daughter, the goats have it all figured out. I may be the one who feeds them and milks them, but it is unto Brad's hands that they deliver their babies.

It hasn't always been this way. The first year we had goats together, we both missed all the kiddings. The goats hadn't figured us out yet and they pulled the classic kid-while-we-ate-breakfast routine--on a weekend no less. The next year they all kidded the same day, so I missed a minimum of work.

By the third year, however, no one kidded on the weekend. Or on the same day. Or on the day they were due. It didn't matter that I took sick days and days off. They waited for the sound of my car leaving the driveway. Even the day that I only went out to take my daughter to school.

Brad grew to anticipate my cheerful "It won't happen this morning!" which really meant "...but probably will before I get home from work..." I grew to anticipate the call as soon as I arrived at the office. In the beginning, we pretended that I would turn around and rush home when I got the call that things were imminent. "Don't bother coming home!" he crowed cheerily, after the first doe delivered her kid (we were only expecting one). "I've got her all cleaned up and I gave the mom some molasses water. Everyone's fine." Ten minutes later, he called again. "There were two!" A buck this time. Brad really bonded with those two.

After the sixth doe kidded in the time it took me to get to the office, I began to detect a note of weariness in my best beloved's voice. "You did it to me again," he said.

Don't get me wrong. He loves the goats. He checks them during the day, and bottle-feeds the babies and cheerfully builds barns and stalls and barn additions and hay racks. He calls around and finds the best hay deals. He drags total strangers in off the street when they stop at the fence to admire the goats. When it began to be difficult to remember whose baby was whose, he made them color-coordinated collars. In short, he makes our goat venture possible.

He says he's going to spend the whole month of April on a fishing trip next year. I bet the goats will wait til he gets home...

Brad is a sailmaker by profession, although lately he has been making a lot of goat collars.

*I wrote this story in 1993 ... and it continues to be true. They absolutely wait for Brad before they have their kids....



Appleton Creamery wins five awards



MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN--At the 1996 American Dairy Goat Products Association products competition held in September, Appleton Creamery brought home awards in five categories.

The competition was judged by chefs and other food specialty experts and was cosponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food from a field of over 90 entries of domestic goat cheese, including some of the biggest producers in the US.

Appleton Creamery won bronze medals for its "Classic Plain," a traditional chevre used in many local restaurants, and for its "Crofter's," a semi-hard cheese developed by Appleton Creamery and introduced this year. Crofter's also won a silver medal for total presentation.

A silver medal was awarded in the specialty cheese division for "Cheese in Oil," a local favorite at Farmers' Market.

And finally, a gold medal was awarded for "Chevre in Grape Leaf," for total presentation.


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