It is the end of a very long year…..there have been a lot of lessons. In the hope that we have learned from our mistakes we head into 2015 with renewed courage and HUGE plans.
Black Sheep Creamery will have a home in town.
It will be several months as we need to get through lambing season as well as do some major construction to the manufacturing area for the cheese. But, drumroll please, this means we get to move the cheese production facility….out of the floodplain!
Will the flood of 2007 ever happen again? Who knows, but it is a worry every winter. We also will make the FDA and WSDA very happy as they do not like the cheese being made on the farm itself. The Cheese room will be far removed from the animals. The move was precipitated by a common desire to milk sheep more economically. Willapa Hills Farmstead Cheese and ourselves milk our dairy flocks each season hiring people in partime split shifts. It was sometimes hard to find people to fill these positions and even harder for them if they were not occupied all day. by combining our flocks we will be able to utilize employees better, and we will use less chemicals to clean up; twice a day on one farm rather than 4 times a day on two.
Brad will be able to concentrate on making cheese. We hired a cheesemaker this year hoping Brad would be able to get to more farming and the cheese was still taking over. This way we hire a farmer who already knows how to farm and the learning curve will be shallower….He will still need to learn to milk sheep, not many folks have that on their resume!
All very scary and totally exciting at the same time!