Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Sweet Smell of Hay

The sweet smell of hay reminds us of Judy’s late father. For six decades, Bob Gifford took immense pride in “putting up” high quality hay.  Good hay has a unique and wonderful aroma.  We checked out why and found that the distinct smell of newly mown hay is the trademark scent of coumarin; sweet, herbaceous, with a spicy fresh top note. Sounds like the description of a fine bottle of wine!!

Coumarin is a chemical compound which is found naturally in some plants, although it can be synthetically produced as well. It has a distinctive odor which has led people to use it as a food additive and ingredient in perfume since 1882. It is among the most popular ingredients in perfumes and is included in almost 90% of them!

“The pliability and versatility of this fragrance note is legendary, accounting for a sweet and fresh facet that rises up from the bottom onto the heart of the fragrance, lingering on the skin for hours and enriching a perfume composition via its scent magic.”

Thanks to the four perfect haymaking days (sunny, breezy and low humidity) last week and the help of the Gary Miller who mowed, tedded and raked the hay as well as Chuck Hocking who baled the hay into the 75 big (755 lbs each!) square bales, we have a barn full of high quality orchard grass hay.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kid's Day at St. Brigid's Farm

We practice relationship marketing which simply means we know the people who buy our meat – the chefs, the regulars at the farmers’ market, the locals who stop by the farm, the subscribers of our Medley of Meats and the members of the Annapolis Buyers Club.  Last weekend, our customers had a chance to get to know us.
On Saturday, about a dozen families came to the farm to see where some of their food is raised.   Kids Day on the Farm was a huge success. The weather was perfect for a picnic lunch on the lawn with singing Purple Martins and cows grazing in the background.  After lunch, the kids climbed under and over Mr. Farmer Bob’s straw fort and had a chance to pet calves Janet and Rosalita.  At the next stop, which was a favorite of many of the dads, we fired up Judy’s antique Case tractor.  Once all the kids had a chance to sit on the tractor and pose for pictures, everyone took a hike though the field where the calves were grazing and saw the muskrat houses and learned how to identify poison ivy. Then it was off to the barn to watch Frolic being milked.  Finally, all the kids helped bottle feed the two calves with the fresh milk.  As you can see from the photos below, a good time was had by all.
picnic on the lawn      

Wylee having fun with Rosalita 

 straw fort and secret tunnel

kids and calves