BY VICKY BROWN
December 2, 2015
I’m back at market! It feels so good to get to see everyone again. I think I underestimated how valuable being at the market was to me. Bayview Farmers Holiday Market runs from the Saturday after Thanksgiving until the Saturday before Christmas, and I am back.
We stopped selling at the market in September. We simply didn’t have enough cheese, with our sabbatical, to make it possible to continue vending. At Holiday Market we bring our world famous Laughing Bellies Toffee. I won’t bore you with the details of this toffee. If you know it, you know it. If not, well… you have three weeks to remedy that.
I’m especially sorry if you miss it this year because I have a related announcement.
I’ve been trying to find the right venue to make this official. I haven’t been able to pull the words together and here I normally only talk food and recipes and local agriculture. I hope you might forgive me for getting a bit personal here.
The Little Brown Farm dairy is closing.
We may still have a precious few aged cheeses available during the last two holiday markets this year, but we won’t be promising anything.
We will have a few cheeses showing up with local chefs as we empty our cave.
Other than that I will only be making cheese at home, for pleasure, for us.
I’ve been making cheese for over a decade now. I’ve been studying cheesemaking for 12 years. I’ve been milking goats since 2004. I love it.
I love my goats, I love cheesemaking, I love teaching and learning about dairy animals and processes.
But the farm is closing.
Don’t be sad for me. I am closing the door on a business I love, but I have no regrets. I still get to keep my knowledge and share it with new dairies I’m mentoring. I get to teach classes (like recently at the Orchard Kitchen or in a classroom at the Waldorf School.) I still get to pursue knowledge (after all, it’s found sometimes in the most unlikely places… like from my students). I still get to keep a more reasonable herd of goats. Less than 20 is the goal. One day I will have just four or five… but not soon.
I have been mourning the loss of our dairy because it is certainly a loss, but I am not sad. I will miss what it has been for our family and for our community, but I will not miss the insane hours, exhausting work or the steady, unstoppable financial drain.
I will miss the cheese, and the weekly visits from my friends and supporters at the farmers market. Oh, how I will miss that.
So for now, come see me at the Holiday Market… and stay tuned here. While I figure out our next move I will keep writing blogs for Whidbey Life Magazine…and maybe more. You know, there is always something cooking at the Little Brown Farm, and even if we aren’t running a dairy I will remain the Chief Milkmaid of our little herd and homestead.
With a full heart I am grateful for this generous, supportive community. Thank you for your support of the Little Brown Farm and all of our endeavors.
Vicky Brown, Chief Milkmaid at the Little Brown Farm, puts her passions on the page writing about food, agriculture and the tender web of community.
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