Friday, December 19, 2008

Humility is its own Reward

Yesterday we had a lot of snow and now it has settled into an icy sheet out on the roads. Ordinarily we would say, how lovely, but of course the first thing that happened when it got down into the 20s was the furnace went out (again), followed by the pellet stove (again), leaving no heat in the farmhouse. Tonight it is supposed to get down to 16 degrees. So everyone is hoping that the man who fixes the furnace will be able to get up the steep icy driveway in his big van.

If he can't, the farmer said threateningly, Willen the Haflinger is going to have to go down and pull him up. Willen kept eating stoically as if he didn't care when he was informed of this.

Anyway, as I may have mentioned, everyone has been jamming into the barn lately to make a communal goat ball of heat, and it's really quite cozy. The farmer keeps piling more and more bedding, and by now we have about a foot of straw.

In other news, even though I am by nature humble, modest, and unassuming, I must point out that my well-deserved personal fame continues to grow. I have just been interviewed by the blogmeister from the excellent blog Pacific Northwest Cheese Project, which keeps track of all the small farmstead and artisan cheesemakers in the Northwest.

There are more and more cheesemakers out there all the time, which is encouraging considering the dreary state of things in general. Some of them are very well known and not so small; people like Kelli Estrella, who has become in a few short years one of the premiere cheesemakers in the country, if not the world. The Estrellas make beautiful cheeses. The best one, of course, is the Grisdale Goat.

Some of the farms are teeny-tiny (almost as small as ours) but make wonderful cheeses. Rhonda Gothberg up in Bow makes lovely goudas but she only has about 15 LaMancha milkers, so it isn't easy to find her cheese. The people down at Pholia Farm in Oregon make all of their cheeses from Nigerian milk. So even though I haven't been able to try their cheese yet, I'm quite sure it is the best.

Anyway, Pacific Northwest Cheese Project has links to all the farms and lots of great cheese information.

And, of course, right now it has an interview with me, humble me the humblebee, a little goat from the country with a big dream. Power to the Goats!