August is almost over, and the kids are back at school. It has been an astonishingly gratifying month for the farm. In the first week of the month, we featured twice on NPR and were filmed for ABC.

Sharina never got off the ‘phone, hearing your comments and taking bookings for tours and events. We were awarded a $33,500 grant for our irrigation project, of which more later! And we won a blue rosette at the 2009 American Cheese Society competition for our fresh goat milk cheese. That is, a national first place for our basic farmstead cheese!

We consistently win national prizes for our plain cheese. It has the delicious taste of our town: the Pacific breezes, the rich loam and nutritious pasture, our healthy herd of goats. I thank the judges, and all our visitors and friends, for their support. But this is not my prize. It belongs to Salud and Roberto and their family.

I met Roberto when I was very young. I had moved out of my yurt and in with my husband, and was working at Jacobs Farm in Pescadero. Roberto and I would drive a flatbed truck to the produce terminal at SFO at night, and pick up and deliver boxes of tomatoes and herbs. We got on so well for seven years that of course I asked him to join me in restoring the dairy farm where I lived.

Roberto's wife Salud had followed him from Guanajuato, with their two younger girls. She looked after my baby with such a strong work ethic it was obvious she could run the new dairy business. Salud began traveling to Davenport two or three times a week, for a year, to learn the art of cheese making from Nancy Gaffney, who had sold me her goats. Roberto and Salud's older daughters, Norma and Rebecca, joined her in the dairy.

It is the consistency of Roberto and Salud's work, and that of everybody else on the farm, that earns our prizes. Every action on the pasture, with the goats, or in the dairy, is exact and timely, as it was the day before, and will be tomorrow. The blue rosettes are theirs.

Norma's hands. See the rosette on Salud here


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