Thursday, March 31, 2011

Frozen Lumps, And Sleeping Dogs

"Pizza By The Pond" is closed until May 1st, perhaps by then the snow will be gone!
The weather stations claim that rain is coming our way for the next day or two, so there is actually a  possibility that this white stuff may be gone by this weekend!!!!! To kind of quote Laura Ingalls Wilder "This has been one VERY long winter."!

Walking outside is a challenge, if walking is actually the appropriate term for the way we pick our way across the back yard from one lump of frozen slush to the next...with vacuum sucking mud in between. Our  guardian dogs lay slumped about the  barn yard, lazily  gazing across the road at the  neighbor's incessantly barking  dogs.  The penned up bored beasts  attempt to  goad  our guardians into action.. seemingly desperate for  a distraction from the mundane mud and snow. The guardians are too tired from nighttime patrols to bother with their silliness, their nights having been filled with relentless harassment  from the local coyotes. They have no time for such nonsense, not when sleep is waiting.

The geese are back, honking loudly during their courting antics, and cock pheasants are seen gliding proudly over the marshes.Everyone it seems, is waiting for the green of spring

Friday, March 25, 2011

Of Lions and Lambs

The roar of the lion is drowning out the baaaaa of the lambs!
Fifteen inches of new snow  with three foot snowdrifts, and it's the end of March ACKK! 
The wind blew so ferociously for three days running with the end result being  super concentrated  lead weight snow pack which  has us stymied. Our equipment is so antiquated that it is going to take a short eternity for us to move it, so we are shutting down for this coming Sunday and for the month of April. We are hoping that during the next month  that the snow will just go away and take the mud with it, and then  when May1st rolls around everything will be green and pretty with lambs  running and jumping on  the fresh pasture once again.
So mark your calendars for May 1st which will be our springtime  (hopefully!) re opening for Pizza By The Pond!  In the meantime, I will still be at the St Paul Farmer's market every Saturday during the month of April selling some very unique and flavor packed  cave aged cheese. Just check out the "Cheese Currently Available" tab on this newsletter to see what this week's inventory looks like!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A " Winnie The Pooh" Kind of Day?

Yowza!!!!!  It's the first day of SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Even though there is still the threat of pending snow for later  in the week, today... it is SPRING!!!!!

Pizza By The Pond will be cranking out great pizzas along with great artisan cheese  this Sunday even though  it looks like it's shaping up to be  somewhat of a  "Winnie The Pooh " kind of day....

"Tut  tut, looks like rain!". 

The forecasts  swing back and forth from rain to no rain,   but at this time of year it is always a good idea to get out  the old mud gear, most importantly of all, the  rubber boots.

The "Grotto" is undercover, but the walk to the grotto from the parking area  is a dirt road which can be very interesting this time of year, especially if you are a six year old that LOVES to splash in muddy puddles!..(or a "wannabee" 6 year old that still loves to splash about!) 

Even though it is a bit sloppy, this is an exciting time of year on the farm and in the refuge! 
Any little piece of new life in the woods is a stark contrast  against the crumbling  old leaves and musty dank forest a newborn baby cradled by the old weathered  hands of "grandpa". 
I especially enjoy the bright  green moss that seems to glow against spotty  patches of old snow   as if to be waving a banner of victory after the battle of winter.

If  you  listen carefully you can hear the distant call of the  sandhill cranes as they migrate high  over head towards their nesting grounds, announcing that new life is beginning once again!
We are still in the process of lambing out the flock, they are growing  in numbers by the day...sometimes by the hour! ..and yes, the puppies and goat kids  are still as adore able as ever.

 In order to enjoy a farm visit at this time of year, dress warm with rain gear and and plan on a muddy visit to the lambs and also a quiet trek  through the woods, it's a great meditation for the day.

Of course,  you dont have to stay for a farm or woodland visit,  the wood fired pizza and our artisan cheese  is a good enough reason for a visit to LoveTree!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Trumpeters are back!

Stood outside at the St Paul Winter Market today...wind gusts of up to 30 mph driving the temps down to 8 March! GADS! I still dont understand why urban  Minnesotans dont wear long underwear...I mean, it isnt like they never go outside!

(Yes, I have  no shame,  I actually took my own poll and NONE of my customers don "long johns") 

I personally think that if someone started a fashion trend for quilted clothing so that everyone looked poofy in winter, even the most ardent fashion slave would secretly be cheering  for their new found warmth! 

The wind has FINALLY calmed down and it looks like Sunday will be a gorgeous day!

Lambs, lots and lots of lambs! Puppies! and of course great PIZZA!!!!!
(no, Eric, NOT puppy pizza! )

 And...the first true sign of spring... the Trumpeter Swans are back!!! (time to duck and cover !!!)

There is still snow for x country skiing, but the trails are fast, if you are a skate skier that is great, if you are a classic skier it may be a bit of a challenge, but still fun! The sledding hill is wickedly fast right now!!! Yippeee!!!
Dont forget to bring your snow toys and your appetite...and your sunscreen!!!!:-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prelude to Spring......

Yippeee!!!! After a gloomy gray week, we finally have sunshine!  We need all of the sunshiny days we can get since  we are now creeping up on the full peak of lambing season! It may not look look like  it outside, but spring is doing it's best to emerge here at LoveTree!
We currently have a   couple dozen lambs on the ground, tough little critters that were born at near zero!  Soon they will be accompanied by a couple of hundred wooly bouncy buddies to keep them company. 
This is a GREAT time to enjoy  LoveTree's  "Pizza By the Pond" ...cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or even just walking about enjoying the prelude to the change of seasons while visiting with the lambs, goat kids and puppies!!!!  And , of course, dont forget about the delicious and unique pizza and cheese!

Every Saturday you can find me OUTSIDE at the winter version of the St. Paul Farmers Market (on the west side of the market on Wall Street)...alongside of the various meat, honey and bread vendors. Come enjoy the vigorous weather with us, after all a fresh  cup of coffee  never tastes as good as it does on a brisk winter morning :-)   If your cold weather endurance  just isnt what  it used to be, you can take comfort in knowing that Golden's Deli is directly across the street from us,  a great place to sit down and take the chill off. Of course, you can also purchase our cheese while visiting the farm during Pizza By The Pond!

The cheese that I currently  have available are:

The Big Holmes( in goat)a young soft herbal goat cheese

The  Black and Sassy: (aged version)a 4 month old aged soft goat cheese dusted with maple blossom ash, amazingly complex 

Sweet Young Thang: a firm pasted goat cheese that in this youthful stage has a very milky/grassy finish.

That Funky Thang: an more aged frim pasted goat cheese with a robust  beefy and pungent profile with a sharp nutty finish

Gabrielson Lake: A rich buttery raw jersey cow milk cheese aged since October. Very buttery with a mushroomy finish.

Ancient Blue Cedar: a limited edition of the native blue raw sheep milk cheese , the paste is hard and flinty, very grate-able .This cheese is simply loaded with native blue molds but the dry ness of the paste allows for a more "back seat " flavor  profile allowing you  to taste the complexity without being overblown by sharpness. A subtle tartness in the background  highlights the complexity of the various blues.