What's New at the Farm
Come celebrate Earth Day this Sunday, April 22nd at a special pre-season farmer's market hosted by The Golden Arrow Resort and Generations Restaurant in Lake Placid. There will be food, music, entertainment and a local foods menu to follow at the restaurant. We will be there, along with other great farmers and vendors, selling our award-winning farmstead goat cheeses--including a batch of our delicious fresh chevre that won't be available again until May!--pastured eggs, pork, beef, chevon, handcrafted soaps and even some of our wildly popular goat milk caramels. If you've been missing some of these goodies and the fun of the farmer's market, come get your fill on Sunday!
Sunday, April 22nd 1-4 pm
parking lot of the Golden Arrow Resort, 2559 Main Street, LP
A brief break to catch our breath and then the fun begins again with our second round of does due to kid starting March 31st!
Barely two days into our kidding season, and we've already got 17 little goats running around! The kids are happily nestled in the barn while the next batch of expectant does take in some of today's gorgeous sunshine. Stop by this Thursday between 2 and 6 pm to see the kids in person (and pick up some meat, cheese, eggs and soap!).
Don't think you're gonna fit through that door, Honey!
The Emerson House at Asgaard Farm & Dairy is available for your next Adirondack vacation. Come experience life at the historic estate of Rockwell Kent, well-known artist, writer, adventurer, political activist and farmer.
The Emerson House was designed and built by Kent in the 1930s, originally for his son Rocky. It eventually became the home of Gladys and Tink Emerson, who managed Asgaard for more than four decades and raised their family here. In recognition of their years of hard work and devotion to the farm, we have carefully renovated their house, so it can be appreciated and enjoyed well into the future.
Today Asgaard is a diversified family farm with a goat dairy and creamery at its core. Revolving around these activities are grass-fed and grass-finished beef together with pastured pork, poultry and eggs. You may be able to help with some of the farm work during your stay in The Emerson House, or you may choose to relax and watch from a distance. In either case, you will surely gain an appreciation for the sustainable agricultural practices that lead to healthy, delicious food. Kent devotees may also soak up the magic of the stunning landscape that inspired many of his paintings as well as the ambiance of his secluded studio, still on the property in its original condition.
Beyond the boundaries of Asgaard, the Adirondack region offers a wide variety of year-round recreational and cultural pursuits. Options range from world-class fly fishing on the Ausable River, Olympic skiing at Whiteface Mountain and spectacular hiking in the High Peaks to current and classic movies at the Champlain Valley Film Society, concerts at the acclaimed Meadowmount School of Music and tours lead by Adirondack Architectural Heritage. The area also boasts several fine restaurants with cuisine featuring local ingredients.
The Emerson House is fully equipped and available throughout the year for weekend and short-term rentals. Accommodations include two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs, a spacious entrance, sunny kitchen, open sitting room and half bath on the ground floor and a full basement with laundry facilities. There is a barbeque grill next to an outdoor dining area. Cheeses, meats, eggs and vegetables produced on the farm can also be provided.
Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve The Emerson House for a vacation unlike any other.
from the Crew at Asgaard Farm
We have a ton (literally!) of delicious whey-fed pastured pork in our freezers. Our pigs were raised on a diet 100% from our farm - whey from our creamery, sprouted organic wheat grown right here, and plenty of room to roam and root in the woods and pastures. Come by the farm to check out our selection of:
Sausage - Hot, Sweet, Andouille, and Kielbasa
Bacon - cured and nitrite-free available
Hams & Hamsteaks - for an easy heat and eat meal
Pork chops, Sirloin Chops, Country Style Ribs
Rack of Ribs
Shoulder and butt roasts
Smoked hocks and shanks
Leaf lard - for the flakiest pie crust
And for the more adventurous cooks, we have heads, trotters, tails, hearts, liver, tongue, and neck bones. Homemade headcheese, anyone?
Our pigs don't fly, but our pork sure does, so come by our usual store hours on Thursdays (2pm-6pm) and Saturdays (9am-1pm).
See you soon!
You know you're farming hard when your summer newsletter doesn't go out until the first day of fall! Here's a belated update on the happenings at Asgaard Farm & Dairy this past season.
Premier: Small Farm Rising
Mountain Lake PBS presents Ben Stechschulte’s exciting new look at small farms in the Adirondacks, with a focus on Fledging Crow, Essex Farm and Asgaard Farm & Dairy. The movie will premier on Saturday, October 1st at The Golden Arrow Resort in Lake Placid. RSVP TODAY to attend the event, or catch the movie on PBS at 9 pm on October 6th or at the Willsboro Central School on November 12th under the auspices of the Champlain Valley Film Society.
We're Animal Welfare Approved!
It's official - we've been certified through Animal Welfare Approved for our goats, cows and laying hens. The AWA program holds the farms it certifies to high standards for the humane treatment of animals. We are very proud to be recognized for the quality of life we provide for our livestock and know our customers can tell the difference. Check out AWA’s website for more information at www.animalwelfareapproved.org.
Here at Asgaard, we know that healthy goats make the best cheese, so we stop at nothing to ensure the wellness and happiness of our milking herd, which is largely a function of what the does eat. Goats are browsers, so in addition to grazing them on our organic pastures, we take them into the woods every day to eat branches, bark and all sorts of leaves. Just to take our efforts a step further, we worked with a livestock nutritionist this summer to create a custom organic grain blend for our girls when they come into the milking parlor. This supplement is specifically designed to compliment the pasture and browse our goats consume, so they can have a totally balanced diet and produce the very best milk.
Our herd of Devon, Red Angus, and Hereford beef cattle continues to grow with the arrival of 9 calves this season. The addition of these cute little guys is all the more reason to come take a tour on either Thursday or Saturday at 1 pm. Kids, especially, love to see the baby animals so feel free to bring any little ones along.
Au Sable Valley Tomme is ready!
Rounding out our selection of farmstead goat cheeses is the return of Au Sable Valley Tomme – an Alpine style cheese made with fresh, raw goat’s milk and aged a minimum of 60 days. It has a natural, straw-colored rind and delicious nutty flavor. Our tomme is lovely served on its own with either a soft Pinot Noir or a bright Riesling. Furthermore, it’s guaranteed to make your mac ‘n’ cheese elegant and unforgettable!
Meat Season Approaches
As the summer season comes to a close, we can heartily enjoy the fruits of our labors, including lots of delicious, pasture-raised meat. We still have two more batches of chickens to harvest, one on September 29th and the last at the end of October. Contact us to reserve your broilers, as we will not have chickens available again until June. However, the first pork from our heritage-breed pigs will be coming back from the butcher at the beginning of next month. We worked very hard to ensure our pigs had everything they could desire: meals of sprouted wheat (grown here on the farm) mixed with whey from the creamery, mud-pits to lounge in and huge parts of the woods to root up (although every so often the pigs managed to escape their fences and take a stroll down to visit the neighbors). The payoff will be exceptional pork, which will be for sale during our store hours here at the farm. In addition, as we did last year, we will be offering a winter meat CSA beginning this January. Monthly shares will consist of pork, 100% grass-fed and finished beef, chevon, and pastured eggs. Keep your eyes and ears open for more specific information in the next couple of months, but if you know you definitely want a share, send us an email since space is limited and it will be first come, first served.
Rent the Emerson House
If you’ve come to take a tour this summer, you may have gotten to see the red house adjacent to the back pasture with stunning mountain views. Known as “The Emerson House,” this beautifully restored 1930s farmhouse will be available for weekend and short-term rentals beginning November 1st. If you have friends or family coming to visit for the holidays, consider putting them up here. They will not only enjoy comfortable accommodations in a gorgeous setting, they will also get to experience a real working farm. It will be an unforgettable vacation! Email email@example.com for more details.
Last Farmer’s Markets
The farmers market season is coming to a close, with the Au Sable Forks market already ended and Keene Valley, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake concluding on October 9th, October 12th and October 15th, respectively. However, your chances for getting farm-fresh food are far from over. The Lake Placid market will resume on Saturday, October 22nd inside the LPCA annex and will continue through December 17th. In addition, our farm store will remain open on Thursdays from 2 to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm all year round.
Thanks to everyone who made this summer great!
We had quite a busy and successful summer, which we never could have survived without the assistance of some wonderful interns and hired hands. Although they have left us in order to return to school, both Garth Benway and Trevor Sheehan were a tremendous help, and we are fortunate to have Jenna Burgess, Claire Dilworth, and Caleb Ducharme on board until the end of the year. We couldn’t have accomplished all that we did this season without the efforts of these awesome, hard-working people. We also couldn’t have made it through endless hours in the creamery making cheese, or on the tractor getting up hay, or in the barn mucking out pens, or bent over the garden pulling weeds without the support of our customers! Thanks for your ongoing commitment to local agriculture - we hope it’s as fun and delicious for you as it is for us!
Welcome spring! We’ve been very busy here on the farm this month moving all of our animals to their spring locations, making room for the chickens and pigs, which arrived this past week, and last but not least, tending to our 65 new kids. We’ve cranked up the milking parlor and we’re back in there like clockwork at 5:00 AM and 4:00 PM seven days a week milking the 31 does that have already freshened. We’ll have more does giving birth over the next month, but the initial burst is behind us. Here’s what we have in store for you this season!
New Product Alert!
If you were lucky enough to try our prototype goat’s milk caramels last fall, you know how good these little treats are. We’re adding caramels to our product line this season and already have a delicious selection of flavors including vanilla bean, sea salt, cinnamon, and maple. Come by during our store hours to try some for yourself.
Goat’s Milk Soap
For the last six weeks, we’ve given our office yet another role as the base of our soap-making operation. You may have tried our goat’s milk soap in years past and come to love its gentle, moisturizing lather. This year we have all sorts of new scents, as well as some old favorites including: lavender, honeysuckle, balsam, rose, lilac, oatmeal & honey, unscented and lemongrass-sage. We are also piloting some new soaps specially crafted for farmers and gardeners and one for hikers—check out the “soap” section of our website for more detailed descriptions.
We maintained our open farm hours all winter long – a huge thanks to our regular customers who braved the weather to visit us each week! We will continue with the same hours for the 2011 season. We are open:
* Thursdays 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
* Saturdays 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
We had quite a demand for farm tours last season, so we’re going to offer guided tours every Thursday at 1:00 PM and every Saturday at 1:00 PM. The farm is quite spread out, so plan to walk about ½ mile or so.
Watch a Milking
Ever wanted to see how we milk the goats? We have an observation window into our parlor so you can see what really drives our farm. Come by on Thursdays at 4:00 PM sharp to see for yourself!
Au Sable Forks Farmers Market
Did you know there’s a new farmers market this year? We’ll be in Au Sable Forks every Friday evening this summer from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Come see us and stock up on farm fresh goodies for the weekend. The market will be in Riverside Park behind the Grand Union starting June 24th. We’ll still be attending farmers markets in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and Keene Valley.
If you’ve ever considered having a pet goat, now is the time! They make excellent stable mates for your horses and great hiking partners and lawn mowers. We sell 10-week-old goats in pairs for $60 each weaned, vaccinated, and neutered. Goats are incredibly social animals, so we can’t sell you just one lonely goat. Contact us if you’re interested.
We’re putting some final touches on our newly renovated “Emerson House.” Imagine an evening of relaxing on the porch with a view of grazing goats and stunning mountains, and waking up to a breakfast of eggs laid that morning just steps away. A farm-stay will bring new excitement and experiences to your Adirondack vacation. Stay tuned for more details…
Our laying hens will continue to forage on our certified organic pastures, but this season we’ve also made the switch to organic feed for the hens. This switch will be reflected in our egg prices effective April 15, 2011. We’ll be increasing our on-farm price to $4.00 per dozen and $4.50 per dozen at the farmers market.
Hope to see you soon!
We joined other farmers at the Grass-Fed Beef Conference in Latham, NY, this past weekend attending workshops led by experts and sharing knowledge and experience with other new and innovative farmers who aren't afraid to challenge the rules set by modern agriculture. We spent some time discussing how “conventional“ agriculture isn’t conventional at all – organic, pasture-based agriculture is how humans have grown food for 10,000 years and it is alarming how quickly that accumulated knowledge has been lost. What we now term “conventional agriculture” has only become the standard in the last 50 or 60 years. The resurgence of the small, diversified family farm has spawned an interest and a need to delve into the history books to figure out how to rehabilitate our land. By and large, the answer is to attempt to mimic nature – for example, feeding only grass to ruminants and mob grazing more like the native bison. Proper use of these more natural livestock management practices will improve the health and quality of life for the animals and consequently yield healthier cheeses and meats. Though these techniques require zero chemical inputs, they are a bit more labor intensive.
Celebrity farmer, Joel Salatin, was the featured speaker at this event. You may recognize his name from “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “Food, Inc.” His solutions to some of the more perplexing problems on the farm are so simple and obvious they make you slap your forehead and shout Eureka! As Albert Einstein said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”