Sunday, August 31, 2008

YAK TRACKS: Yakking at the Labor Day Farmer's Market

How fun is working at the Farmer's Market?

So fun, and you know you've had a good day when you work for Vermont Yak Company, and you meet a customer named Janet Onyak.

"On Yak." 

I'm not kidding.

Here's Janet, holding on of our signature bumper stickers. Good to meet you, Janet!

In his book Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, author Bill McKibben observes that farmer's markets serve as vital social and communal "glue," where folks have significantly more conversations than they do shopping in large corporately-owned commercial grocery stores. After one month of working at the market, this has certainly been my experience - we cover a whole range of topics related to local news and world events, from the weather to politics to food/cooking (of course) to - well, you name it. 

And we get to feed and sell to folks good, healthy, local meat in the bargain. Here's a look at our three kinds of sausage - Beer Brats, Vermont Maple and Sweet Italian (from top to bottom) - we sold out of all of the links, but will have more in just two-three weeks.

And thanks to Susan for the beautiful white board sign - very good to have an artist as a business partner - and Dave for the giant zook.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

YAK TRACKS: Behind the Seams, Yak-Wise

Our neighbor Dennis Derryberry passed on some interesting information related to "yak couture" - apparently, yak (and Asian fiber generally)  is making some waves as a fabulous fiber in higher end fashion circles. 

Check out Stewart Brown for Mongolian goat, and Shokay for yak - two very different companies using Asian fiber as part of their fashion vision.

YAK TRACKS: Yakking up at Knoll Farm

Our good friends up at Knoll Farm purchased some yak last week, and turned Chef Chez loose - she did some really nifty cooking for their guests.

Read her "yak attack" entry here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

YAK TRACKS: "After the Yaks Of Summer Have Gone..."

You remember that ole' Don Henley tune, right?

It fits.

"I can see you, your brown hair shining in the sun
You're walking real slow, smiling at every one..."

OK, work with me here. 

We "retired" our first three yaks one month ago - humanely, in a family-owned small scale butchering outfit within 30 minutes of the farm - and have spent the last several weeks "debuting" our yak meat here in Mad River. August events have included:

1. "Taste of the Valley" at Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak lodge and resort - thanks to Dave and Paula for spearheading this event.

2. "American Flatbread": One of Mad River Valley's favorite eateries featured a "beer braised yak" menu item on their early August menu - they moved more than 60 of the yak specials in two nights, a goodly number, we're told. The yak flatbread was made with poblano peppers, local corn and other local items. We showed up to give it a try and celebrate.

Here's chef Paul from Flatbread telling us about how to create beer-braising yak:

3. Farmer's Market: We've sold yak meat and sausage for two weeks running now at the Waitsfield Farmer's Market - a wonderful privilege, to be able to share our yak meat with our neighbors.

We plan to "retire" 3-4 more of our four-hooved friends for the fall harvest - and feel honored to be learning so much about animal husbandry and raising local food.

Here's to a bountiful fall harvest coming up, and much yakking ahead.