Life flies by quickly when you are having fun on a farm…


Whew…I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 months since Angus arrived. Life has been nothing less than hectic and wonderful. The farm is coming along. We’ve run into some issues with the pastures that were meant to hold the sheep…they seem to be eroding due to the big spring storms of 2011…so getting sheep has been put on hold…which in turn puts our cheesemaking adventure at least a year behind. But don’t fret…we are still keeping busy. The chickens are due to start laying any day now…and the turkeys are getting to know their new Tom…so hopefully we will have free range Royal Palms to sell to friends/family come the holidays.

Simon has also decided he would like to raise rabbits…so we are doing our research on that….the gardens are being planned….putting up a hoop house this year to start seeds early and extend the growing season. I have plans for a HUGE herb garden close to the farmhouse that I’m really excited about…

All the while…Angus just keeps growing and growing…..

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Sauce Magazine – From Downtown to Down Home


Sauce Magazine – From Downtown to Down Home.

We were so happy to hear that Sauce Magazine (a local St. Louis food and bev publication) wanted to do a story on our farm adventure! It’s a beautifully written article! I hope you take the time to read it and get to know alittle bit more about how Simon and I came to the decision to move to the farm. I will be writing a monthly blog column for Sauce Magazine, keeping everyone abreast of what is happening down in Bloomsdale!

Burning down the house!


JUST KIDDING! That is not even our farmhouse, don’t worry….BUT we are officially starting the demolition process on the farmhouse. And by WE…I mean Simon. He was able to remove the back deck that spanned the length of the farmhouse yesterday! He’s my hero. We will be able to reclaim the wood for use on the chicken coops. It looks like when the deck was built, they used lumber from the property. It’s untreated and that makes me feel better about building with it. While it was unsafe for us to walk on, we think it is plenty sturdy enough to build the coops from. I don’t have any pictures to share right now but Simon and my Dad are at the farm as I type this post snapping photos of the ‘before’ ….we hope to take some ‘after; photos of the deck next week.  It was imperative that we get the deck done first as we can use it as a workspace when we demo the interior of the farmhouse. The farmhouse is only 1000 square feet…but with the huge deck we have a great workspace while we tackle the interior.

So fingers crossed! Life will soon get crazy busy and super fun!!!!!!!!!! Photos soon, I promise!

Oh, and one more thing. The cows are having babies! All this week, Simon has been part of some births and saved a calf when it got stuck in the spring. Of course, I missed all the fun. I love baby cows. The cows currently on pasture belong to Dan the Farmer. He rents some pasture we are not using for the time being. It’s nice to have animals out there even though we aren’t living there full time. Just proves to us that the farm is a great place to raise animals.

We’ve yet to pick a name for the farm. Still accepting suggestions! Don’t be shy!

American Artisanal Cheesemakers: Introducing Baetje Farms


**cross posted at Menuism

Artisanal cheese can be found in pretty much every state in the union. I dare you to try and name a state that doesn’t have at least one dairy or creamery. Even the island of Hawaii is home to some great cheesemakers! Over my next few posts, I’ll talk about some of these great American cheesemakers, starting with my home state of Missouri. Continue reading

It’s really , really real…


Well, we started work on the farmhouse this past week. And by WE…I mean The Cheesemonger. I am busy working at the hospital these days. Things are falling into place and before you know it we will be living in Festus. Next on the agenda is to paint the exterior of the house and replace the wrap-around back deck. We are going to extend the deck to connect the bunk house with the main house. After that: internal demo.

I have been scouring over loads of design magazines like Dwell and other periodicals such as Beautiful Home and Cottage Living. The farmhouse is very small. It is about half the size of the loft give or take a few 100 square feet.  I keep forgetting that we have two barns and a bunk house to store things in…that is good. But I am worried about our clothes and shoes. We have ALOT. And if you know anything about The Cheesemonger…you know who has the most shoes…I have been trading kitchen ideas with a friend of mine for the last week or so. I think he may be more excited about the renovations than I am at this point. He can be…he won’t have to live there.

There are other tidbits to consider at this time as well…like for instance: A NAME for the farm/dairy. Right now it’s just known as THE FARM. But I want to come up with something a bit more catchy and fitting. I don’t necessarily want Festus to be in the name as it reminds me of the word fester, like a festering boil. I know that is gross…but it is what it is.

Lehrer Family Farms isn’t bad…but people have such a hard time with that last name! So, if anyone has any suggestions…lay ’em out there. I have my people working on it as I type this post.  It was also brought to my attention that I need to hurry up with this ‘naming’ project as I need to secure my domain name/website. All of these little things are on my to-do list that I have filed back in my brain…but I think we are going to need to knock this part our sooner or later.  We have lots of folks asking about THE FARM and wanting to get the word out…and yet, I can’t even tell them what we call it.

We won’t have sheep until the spring. We will start with chickens.  The Cheesemonger is making the plans for the coop and we are trying to figure out the best place to put it. They will be pretty free to roam the farm. I’m hoping they will help keep bugs away.

I’m excited. I’m scared. I’m hopeful. I’m nervous. I’m just all around ready for this adventure.

 

Hey?!? Who’s a graduate school graduate?


ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That’s right kids. This cheesemonger’s wife graduated. No more 12 page papers on hemodynamic monitoring…no more midterms and finals…and best of all…NO MORE 4am wake up calls! Whew….thought this day would never come. But, I have to be honest. Now that it’s over….I’m having a bit of separation anxiety. I don’t know what to do with myself. I still feel guilty spending hours down at Gelateria Tavolini or Foundation Grounds NOT studying Nursing but blogging, catching up on my aimless internet browsing and reading my Kindle. Continue reading

Filmmaker/Photographer Needed for farm project!


To all my friends in film/photography: I am in search of someone (or a group of someones) to document the start of our life on the farm. If I haven’t talked about it enough already, my husband Simon and I are embarking on a new journey of sorts. We’ve been given the great gift of a large parcel of land in Festus, MO to start a farm and cheesemaking business. We have grand plans for the farm and are looking for someone to document the process from start to finish. It is an opportunity for you to film us from the very first planting to when the animals arrive and we start making our own cheese.

If you know me, you know that I am a city girl at heart….so this is going to be a major departure from my norm….but I have to be honest ans say that I am VERY EXCITED about this new venture.
So, who’s up for the job? This would be a great opportunity for a film student to do a project…or a novice photographer to get some experience. We won’t be able to offer a salary/payment for your services. But you will get as much veg/cheese/wool that you can use as the years pass. It would also be necessary for you to be in the southeastern MO area/St. Louis area.

Drop me a line if you want to give it a shot!