Sunday, February 22, 2009

YAK TRACKS: Yak Feed, Snow Storm

Our yaks are never more happy to see us then when we provide the dried grass that makes winter so flavorful.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

YAK TRACKS: Ode to the Sugarbush Yak (Yak Poetry)

Thanks to neighbor Dennis Derryberry - who sampled the yak special at Timbers a few days back, and was so inspired he wrote a bit of "yakkerel."

I would gladly go back
to that Timbers shack
to sample the yak,
yes, to sample the yak!

His "take" on the meat:

The yak at the Timbers was excellent!

Remarkably lean, served tender without being undercooked, fine to the knife and tooth with a texture neither stringy nor fatty.

Pleasant flavor - somewhat like I remember my mother's cube steaks - and dressed up with fabulous side offerings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

YAK TRACKS: "Yak On The Loose!" - Student Scott Miley Yaks About Yaks

Thanks for the visit and the film, Scott!

Glad we could arrange a "yak escape" for you! (Go Lila.)

YAK TRACKS: Yakking About Winter

What do we do while waiting for the green grasses of spring to return?

Take a look...

YAK TRACKS: Sugarbush Serves Up The Yak - So Fine!

The Williams family wandered up to Sugarbush's "Timbers" restaurant last Friday to take in Cafe Noir's "Cole Porter" show.

The special on the menu, to our surprise, was...

You guessed it.

And man, that yak was good. Kudos to Gerry Nooney for his fabulous chef work. And kudos to 9-year-old Anneka for filming most of this little restaurant video.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

YAK TRACKS: Dreaming of Yaks In Spring...

February 1 marks the "hump" of winter here at Steadfast Farm and Vermont Yak Company.

Our primary concerns going into our first cold season - Will we have enough hay to feed our four-legged friends? Will the water remain flowing to the trough despite the cold weather? - have been alleviated in the face of direct experience. Other than the new year's loss of little Bebe to pneumonia (our best guess), our first winter has been pleasantly uneventful. The rhythm of each day blends one into the next - Susan and Ted handle the early a.m. feeding chores, and Dave, Kate and Rob handle the afternoon feeding. The water pipe froze up a few times in sub-zero temperatures - but our electrical heat wrapped water pipe with has held up well. We even managed to "worm" the yaks on a relatively warm January day as a team - moving all of them in and out of the corrals with surprising ease.

Famous last words, of course - the nature of farming, we are learning, is that just when you think you've figured everything out, a new problem or challenge presents itself.

Having a team of five of us (plus kids), though, makes the unknowns much easier to navigate.

My son Theron said to me this morning, as we were looking at some yak photos for a new 2009 "rack card" brochure, "I miss the spring and the grass with the yaks."

It being February 1, I'd say that sentiment's right on time.

We'll separate the bulls from the rest of the herd in a few weeks, to avoid "yak on yak action" that would result in calves nine months later, at the very beginning of winter 2009.

Until then, though, we'll enjoy the late winter days, as the light stays a bit longer, the sugaring season approaches, and we prepare for our first full spring at the farm.

Yak to the future!