What's New at the Farm

Posted 5/2/2011 3:01pm by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

 

Asgaard Farm & Dairy
Spring Newsletter 2011

Welcome spring!  We’ve been very busy here on the farm this month moving all of our animals to their spring locations, making room for the chickens and pigs, which arrived this past week, and last but not least, tending to our 65 new kids.  We’ve cranked up the milking parlor and we’re back in there like clockwork at 5:00 AM and 4:00 PM seven days a week milking the 31 does that have already freshened.  We’ll have more does giving birth over the next month, but the initial burst is behind us.  Here’s what we have in store for you this season!

New Product Alert!
If you were lucky enough to try our prototype goat’s milk caramels last fall, you know how good these little treats are.  We’re adding caramels to our product line this season and already have a delicious selection of flavors including vanilla bean, sea salt, cinnamon, and maple.  Come by during our store hours to try some for yourself.

Goat’s Milk Soap

For the last six weeks, we’ve given our office yet another role as the base of our soap-making operation.  You may have tried our goat’s milk soap in years past and come to love its gentle, moisturizing lather.  This year we have all sorts of new scents, as well as some old favorites including: lavender, honeysuckle, balsam, rose, lilac, oatmeal & honey, unscented and lemongrass-sage.  We are also piloting some new soaps specially crafted for farmers and gardeners and one for hikers—check out the “soap” section of our website for more detailed descriptions.

Farm Hours
We maintained our open farm hours all winter long – a huge thanks to our regular customers who braved the weather to visit us each week!  We will continue with the same hours for the 2011 season.  We are open:

            * Thursdays 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
            * Saturdays 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Farm Tours

We had quite a demand for farm tours last season, so we’re going to offer guided tours every Thursday at 1:00 PM and every Saturday at 1:00 PM.   The farm is quite spread out, so plan to walk about ½ mile or so.

Watch a Milking

Ever wanted to see how we milk the goats?  We have an observation window into our parlor so you can see what really drives our farm.  Come by on Thursdays at 4:00 PM sharp to see for yourself!

Au Sable Forks Farmers Market

Did you know there’s a new farmers market this year?  We’ll be in Au Sable Forks every Friday evening this summer from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Come see us and stock up on farm fresh goodies for the weekend.  The market will be in Riverside Park behind the Grand Union starting June 24th.  We’ll still be attending farmers markets in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and Keene Valley.

Pet Goats

If you’ve ever considered having a pet goat, now is the time!  They make excellent stable mates for your horses and great hiking partners and lawn mowers.  We sell 10-week-old goats in pairs for $60 each weaned, vaccinated, and neutered.  Goats are incredibly social animals, so we can’t sell you just one lonely goat.  Contact us if you’re interested.

Farm-Stay Vacation

We’re putting some final touches on our newly renovated “Emerson House.”  Imagine an evening of relaxing on the porch with a view of grazing goats and stunning mountains, and waking up to a breakfast of eggs laid that morning just steps away.  A farm-stay will bring new excitement and experiences to your Adirondack vacation.  Stay tuned for more details…

Egg Prices

Our laying hens will continue to forage on our certified organic pastures, but this season we’ve also made the switch to organic feed for the hens.  This switch will be reflected in our egg prices effective April 15, 2011.  We’ll be increasing our on-farm price to $4.00 per dozen and $4.50 per dozen at the farmers market.

Hope to see you soon! 

Posted 2/1/2011 11:12am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

We joined other farmers at the Grass-Fed Beef Conference in Latham, NY, this past weekend attending workshops led by experts and sharing knowledge and experience with other new and innovative farmers who aren't afraid to challenge the rules set by modern agriculture.  We spent some time discussing how “conventional“ agriculture isn’t conventional at all – organic, pasture-based agriculture is how humans have grown food for 10,000 years and it is alarming how quickly that accumulated knowledge has been lost. What we now term “conventional agriculture” has only become the standard in the last 50 or 60 years.  The resurgence of the small, diversified family farm has spawned an interest and a need to delve into the history books to figure out how to rehabilitate our land.  By and large, the answer is to attempt to mimic nature – for example, feeding only grass to ruminants and mob grazing more like the native bison.  Proper use of these more natural livestock management practices will improve the health and quality of life for the animals and consequently yield healthier cheeses and meats.  Though these techniques require zero chemical inputs, they are a bit more labor intensive.

Celebrity farmer, Joel Salatin, was the featured speaker at this event.  You may recognize his name from “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “Food, Inc.”   His solutions to some of the more perplexing problems on the farm are so simple and obvious they make you slap your forehead and shout Eureka!  As Albert Einstein said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

Posted 1/26/2011 12:44pm by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

We attended the Northeast Organic Farming Association conference in Saratoga this past weekend and we’re back at the farm now feeling inspired and longing for spring.  The theme of diversity through the weekend’s workshops and events certainly struck a chord with us.  We heard many innovative farmers, old and new, talk about the intricacies of the relationships on their farms and how they’re able to put them to use.  If you raise livestock, consider growing grains for feed and bedding while using the manure to fertilize the fields.  If you make cheese, raise pigs too, so you can turn your “waste” product, whey, into pork.  If you graze your animals, then graze a few different kinds of livestock so that they each clean the fields of parasites, protecting one another.  This diversity becomes a kind of insurance against the risks that are inherent in farming.  It also enables us to embrace seasonality.  Just when the beef runs out, fresh chickens are back on the table.  Just when you think the season for fresh cheese has come to a close, our prized aged cheeses come onto the scene. This is the beauty of a diverse farm and precisely the model we are building here at Asgaard Farm.   From new grazing methods to better pig management strategies, the conference introduced us to quite a few new and exciting ideas to employ as we continue to grow over the coming seasons.  

 

Starting in April, we’ll offer twice weekly guided tours of the farm on Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:00 pm.  Come and see how we’ve harnessed the power of diversity!

Posted 12/20/2010 11:11am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

 

Happy Holidays!

Winter has arrived and our daily routines have eased considerably. Last Saturday evening marked the seasons final milking. The goats are all about two months pregnant and will appreciate the rest as much as Rhonda will relish her winter hiatus from the creamery. The milking parlor is quiet – a drastic change from the almost deafening sounds of the vacuum pipelines being sanitized and cleaned like clockwork twice each day. It feels as though the farm itself is stepping on the brake.

The animals are slowing down, too. The goats are content lounging in their barn, protected from the wind as they adjust to their new schedule – or lack thereof. The cows are tucked in the trees staying out of the snow, coming out only for hay and water. All summer long, the hens stayed outside all day and we fed them in the grass. Last week, they went on a hunger strike until we finally acceded and moved their feeders inside the coop, along with a heat lamp, for good measure. Our horse, Freya, is being introduced to her new box stall so we can tuck her in each night. So far, she’s happy to spend some time in there, but seems to enjoy sashaying through the new fallen snow.

The last farmers market was this past weekend in Lake Placid but we'll continue to host our open farm hours. Though our fresh cheese selection is finite, our aged cheeses - Feta and Tomme - are almost ready to sell. The ten hogs we brought to the butcher last month are (astonishingly) nearly sold out, but we’re expecting our first beef and chevon back from the butcher any day now. So, just as our daily routine has changed, so have our products. We’ll be open here at the farm on Dec 23 and 30 and we always love visitors.

It’s easy to be lulled into a winter nap, but we’re too busy planning the upcoming season, which will start with a bang upon the arrival of the first kid expected on February 27. We’ll just have to put the pedal to the metal from there.

For now, wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

David & Rhonda

 

Posted 11/23/2010 9:30am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

We will not be holding our usual open hours on Thursday & Saturday this week (Nov 25 & 27).  We'll reopen on Thursday, December 2nd from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  We'll have our first beef (grass-fed and grass-finished) and chevon (goat meat) for sale by the cut right here on the farm later in December.

We wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Posted 11/10/2010 9:21am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

It's harvest season here on the farm when we reap the benefits of months spent caring for our livestock to give them all happy, healthy lives in the great outdoors, in fresh air and sunshine.  We've moved animals and fences (and waterers and shelters) every few days all summer long to ensure our cows, pigs, goats, chickens, and turkeys always have abundant forage on their organic pastureland.  Healthy soils grow healthy grasses grow healthy animals make for healthy people.  Now we get to share the harvest with you!  

Our freezers are currently brimming with pork chops, bacon, ham, pork shoulders, and tenderloins and more is on the way soon. If you're interested in purchasing a whole or half hog from us, it's not too late - let us know before Nov 12th so we can have it cut to your specifications.  Our all-natural pastured pork comes from heritage breed Tamworth pigs, raised on whey from our creamery, organic wheat grown right here on the farm, and grain from the local mill. 

Beef and chevon will be available by mid-December and we'll be sure to get the word out on that as well.

We'll be selling our meats through our usual open store hours, at the Lake Placid Harvest Farmers Market (Sat 10-2), and online through the new Plattsburgh Fall Farmers Market.  Come and get it!

Posted 10/7/2010 11:48am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

 

11/23/10 UPDATE: Shares are SOLD OUT.
Asgaard Farm is delighted to announce that we will be offering our first ever Winter Meat CSA share this coming season.  This is an excellent way to ensure a steady supply of delicious pastured meats all winter long - without the need for a chest freezer.  All of our animals are pasture-raised on an intensive rotation.  Our CSA share will include 100% grass-fed and grass-finished Red Angus beef, pastured whey-fed pork from Tamworth pigs, and pasture-raised chevon from 8-month old goats.  We'll include at least 6 dozen eggs per share as well (2 dozen per pick-up). We welcome visitors to the farm during our open hours, so come down and see our livestock management practices in action.  Shares are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
CSA Share: $400
20 lbs each month for 3 months (approx $6.65/lb)
Includes pork, beef, chevon (goat), and eggs
Payment due in full by December 31, 2010 by cash or check.
 
Pick-up available on farm only during open farm hours on the following dates:
January 6 or 8
February 3 or 5
March 3 or 5
 
We anticipate our farm store hours will remain unchanged through the winter.
Thursdays 2pm-6pm
Saturdays 9am-1pm
 
Contact us by email at info@asgaardfarm.com or by phone at (518) 647-5754 to sign up.
 
Best regards,
David & Rhonda

 

Posted 10/1/2010 11:35am by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

For those of you who like experimenting with new recipes to shake things up, we asked some fans of our cheese to share with us their favorite (and easiest) recipes.  Here's a little culinary inspiration without even having to pick up a measuring spoon.

From Gail Brill: Carmelize some onions. Boil some linguine. Toast some walnuts.  Toss together with chunks of goat cheese for a creamy, delicious dinner in a snap!

From Judi Scavotto: Love goat cheese with chopped basil spread onto thin sliced boned chicken breast rolled and tied, dropped in beaten egg, then bread crumbs. Lightly turn in olive oil. In a dutch oven, cover chicken with marinara sauce and wine. Let them nap in a hot oven till everything is bubbly... the goat cheese simmers into the sauce. Yummy!

From Tyler Eaton: Dill Fresh Chevre, smoked salmon, caper, cracker - bon appetit.

From Brooks Reynolds: Roast beets whole. Peel and slice horizontally into 1/8" rounds.  Layer each round with maple goat cheese and reassemble.

Enjoy!

Posted 8/31/2010 3:37pm by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.

The American Cheese Society held its annual cheese competition in Seattle, WA, last week.  This competition is often touted as the largest and most influential cheese competition in North & South America.  The award ceremony took place on August 28th and the complete and highly anticipated results were posted yesterday.  We are delighted with our 3rd Place award for our unflavored Fresh Chevre.  This cheese is the simplest, purest cheese we make – no aging, no flavoring.  It is the clearest reflection of the integrity and vigor of our dairy goat herd and our pasture management practices.  Congratulations to Rhonda & Tali for crafting this fine cheese!  Come by the farmers market to try some for yourself!

Posted 8/12/2010 1:42pm by David Brunner & Rhonda Butler.
Dear friends of Asgaard Farm,

We'll be processing our next batch of broilers on Tuesday, August 31st, and this time we have 50 birds up for grabs.  They are $15 per bird.  You can pick yours up here on the farm or at one of the following farmers markets: Lake Placid on 9/1/10, Saranac Lake on 9/4/10, or Keene Valley on 9/5/10. Please email info@asgaardfarm.com or call 647-5754 to reserve yours.  Please include your name and phone number.  We will contact you to re-confirm the date in case of any changes.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

All our best,

Asgaard Farm
www.asgaardfarm.com
info@asgaardfarm.com
(518) 647-5754



 
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