Thursday, December 20, 2007

I love it when a plan comes together

I was going to label this post "BIG NEWS" because that's what it is to us. Until I realized most of my friends might think I was announcing that I was expecting. Nope. The only one in our family that is expecting is Laverne... next month, baby lambs, I am so excited.

So I changed the label, because this old A-team quote works here too. Let me tell you the dramatic version, because it's no fun to just get to the point!

As most of you know, our chickens started laying eggs. I swear in a matter of days, it went from one or two eggs a day to 2 DOZEN. Yeah, we put up some make-shift nesting boxes, and the girls went nuts!

So in November a few things happened. We had more eggs than we could eat and more than our friends were buying from us. I also finally got around to planting my tulip bulbs, and found a bed of carrots that were hanging out in the cold soil. Dang. They tasted GOOD. So Larry and I spent a weekend harvesting carrots and planting bulbs in the same bed. We had more carrots than we could handle, too! Being wiped out from a weekend's worth of work, we decided to have dinner at the Wayside Inn, our favorite Berthoud restaurant. We thought, just because we liked the owners and love the restaurant we would give him a dozen eggs and a bag of carrots so he could check them out, and as a thank you for serving good, organic food in Berthoud.

We got busy, again, as usual... and never really followed up. I guess it didn't matter! Jeremy (the chef and co-owner) called us this week and asked us how many eggs we had available, how much we would charge... and Larry and I both just lit up like a Christmas tree!! We met with them last night and talked more about the farm and what we can produce.

As Joel Salatin said in his book, chefs LOVE pasture raised chicken eggs. The consistency is better, the flavor is better, the yolks are gorgeous and they cook and taste better. Jeremy agreed. We will now be taking him eggs EVERY week! Next month, we'll be ordering 50 more chickens (plus my "fun" chickens) so that we can replace all of his in-shell egg needs! We also talked about what produce he would want from our greenhouse, so we took a list of herbs, fruits and veggies that he wants us to grow in the house that he will buy from us! We have a restaurant for a customer! Jeremy even said he'd take cut flowers for displays around the restaurant. Can you believe it?

This is really it, folks! We are a real farm, we have a real name, we have a real, large customer. And I know that if I fill my greenhouse with tomatoes and cucumbers, I won't have to eat them every day in case they go bad. Jeremy wants everything we can get to him! This is so exciting!

So, folks, if you're in northern Colorado, check out the Wayside Inn, in Berthoud - they'll be cooking our home grown, natural food. If you aren't in the area, but come visit us in Colorado ever - we'll be sure to take you into town to eat at our favorite restaurant!

Larry says:

The really cool thing is Jeremy's Menu has on the bottom "We support our local farmers and the idea that food should come from your neighbor. We buy from local farmers in season to bring you the freshest food we can." The guy really means it. Jeremy and I are on the same page so much its not even funny. We agree the government is owned by corporations that make laws for their own enrichment (USDA/FDA). We agree that the current model of food raising is not only unsustainable but a sin. Literally sacrilegious. God made the Earth and we are just screwing it up as fast as we can. That is a sin. OK, well I don't know if J-Dawg thinks it is a sin, but he agrees with me it is evil... close enough.

By the way, we get lots of crap from people about moving to "The Sticks". Longmont is the nearest city and people in Boulder refer to it as "Long-Tucky". (Not everyone in Boulder is a pretentious ass but the few that are sure make up for the others by being loud and obnoxious) Well I like Berthoud a lot. Do I wish I lived close to my job? OF COURSE! Its kinda hard to be a believer in peak oil and drive 30 minutes to work. What is my point? While we were in the Wayside Inn waiting to meet with Jeremy, we got Caroled. No kidding. Old School style Christmas Caroled. 10 or so folks came in and sang Silent Night to the bar area. I sang along and even got thanked for being the "requisite deep voice in this corner". I say, "Man, I love this town. You wouldn't get Caroled 45 miles to the South." (Which would be where Denver starts. Deb (Jeremy's Co-owner and girlfriend) and I said at exactly the same time, "You might get mugged!" I'm no Jimmy Stewart but man..... I REALLY REALLY like the people in my town.

Kristin again: I have to admit, I've never ever been Christmas Caroled before. But I have to say, growing up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, I was tempted to lean over and ask the singers if they knew any Chanukah songs. I guess I can pull up Adam Sandler on my iTunes if I want some of those... It was still very nice and quaint. I'll take rural hospitality and fresh food from the farm over big city lights and excitement, and feeling invisible, any day.