Wednesday, July 23, 2008

YAK TRACKS: Summer at the Yak Farm - Video Vignettes

Anyone who farms will tell you. The list of chores is endless. On the list right now, on top of daily herd maintenance:

TO DO: Get the hay in (if the durn rain would stop for even 24 hours); brushhog the fields; cut fence line grass and burdocks; test the headgate; tag the new yaks; emasculate the bull calves; prepare for "Taste of the Valley" event on August 4...

But what fun, especially when you can farm with your neighbors and friends.

Here's a few video vignettes for you of summer on the farm:

Ted, Kate and Nick test our new head gate (big shout out to Dave and Ted for spearheading this project):

Bottle feeding the yak calves (yak milk maidens are indeed a glorious sight):

And we finally got our Vermont Yak Company sign posted up on Route 100 (Big shout out to Susan for painting the sign - a woman of many talents) - look for the "Local First" white flag and Dave's red "Hartshorn Farm Stand" sign, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

YAK TRACKS: Yakking with the C.I.A.

That's the Culinary Institute of America. Not the other CIA, featured in this photo.

(Those other guys sure get around, though, don't they? I won't make any "Yak Water Security" jokes. Promise. Though to deflect any verbal assaults, I am wearing my "yak jacket" while blogging this morning.)

Back to the story of the food-focused CIA...

We met CIA chef/professor Michael Pardus exactly one month ago at the Hudson River Clearwater Musical Festival, when Anneka and his daughter Sierra hit it off while playing soccer together.

Mike is very modest, but it turns out he is a bit of a legend in the cooking world, and with a particular interest and expertise in Asian cooking, Mike is excited about getting involved with Vermont Yak Company, and helping us yak about the yaks. He stopped by Vermont Yak Company last week with his daughter Sierra for a visit, and we ended up spending time on the farm and at the butcher's, where he gave us some good advice about preparing yak meat.

Here he is working his magic in our kitchen - welcome aboard, Mike!

Monday, July 21, 2008

YAK TRACKS: Burlington Free Press Yaks About the Yaks

Here's a rare shot of all six of us (or, our backsides, anyway) - from left to right, Kate, Susan, Paula, Dave, Ted and yours truly behind the camera - moving the animals down from the "upper west side" - last week, prior to our monthly business meeting.

Thanks to journalist Lauren Ober, photographer Alison Redlich, and the "Burlington Free Press," Vermont's largest daily newspaper, for yakking about our yaks today on the front page of their Monday "Business Monday" section.

We are excited about our new business venture, and we appreciate Lauren telling our story with such gusto.

A side note, as many folks have asked: the best to time to stop by for a visit at the farm is week days around 5:00, when we bring the herd into the corral for our daily "yakking" session - grain and good company. It never hurts to call ahead, either - as no one day is like any other.

Hope to see you at the farm.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yak to the Future: Yakking It Up at the July 4, 2008 Parade!

What a blast we had on July 4, 2008 at Mad River Valley's annual Warren independence parade. It was a family affair - Tashi, Midnight Sun and Roxanne (3 of our 4 bottle-feds - our youngest yaks) rode in the hay wagon with Dave, Kate and a potpourri of kids through Warren's narrow main street, lined with throngs of independence day revelers. We handed out "Yak to the Future" bumper stickers, and afterward, parked the hay wagon up at Brooks Field so folks could come and visit with the yaks. That afternoon, we spent 3 hours up at Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak with the yaks - greeting visitors and enjoying what was truly a stunningly beautiful July day in Vermont.

The following morning found us with our three calves at the Farmer's Market with record crowds - and more curious well-wishers.

We are hoping that this July 4th "Yak Party" will become an annual affair here in Mad River. Thanks to everyone who came to talk with us, meet the yaks, buy T Shirts, and learn more about our four-hooved friends.

And thanks to our neighbor Amalia Veralli for the photos here!

Here's some video!