Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Perfect Day for a Cow Puja

 Saturday was our 4th Annual Squash Blossom Farm Fair and Cow Puja, and we were blessed with a splendid, sunny day for it.
People were greeted at the entrance of the farm by Chris and Betsy
and a sea of pretty pumpkins and squashes for sale by our farmer neighbor, Brian.  Plus, a visiting kitten from the farm across the road.
Kids were invited to paint a cow mural on the barn door with milk paint made from LaFonda’s milk! (The mural had a Jackson Pollack abstract  effect by the end of the day.)

A view of the entrance and stage from an upstairs house window. The big orange  is Tonic’s food stand. They served fresh juices, delicious wrap sandwiches,  strawberry lemonade, and ice cream - made from local ingredients.

A dozen artisan vendors sold their wares, and some demonstrated their art; here is Erin showing a family how to spin wool into yarn.
Mara, beading jewelry.
Anthony, carving spoons...
...a few of his handmade wood items.
Richard did some blacksmithing
and is wife Brenda made glass beads.
Ella and her lovely “Elements.”
A large window mandala by Rochester Stained Glass.
A glimpse of Laurel beaming through a stained glass window.
Bhavana sold beauty products made from all natural ingredients.
Mehndi hand-painting with henna.

Last year, textile artist Amara made a felted cow sculpture of LaFonda from photos I gave her,  At the Puja she got to actually meet LaFonda and see how amazingly accurate her sculpture is!

A young girl and her bear attended the puja.
Beautiful women.
A Santa Claus sighting?
The cutest family ever.
Sweet dad and daughter duo.

Our unofficial farm band, the Nodding Wild Onions.

Mary and Bob, Driven by Rhythm. (photo by John Sievers)
"The Neighbors” - Our actual, new, very talented neighbors, the Loy family.

Rahul Kashyap explains the Hindu  Puja tradition, and that we are not blessing the cows, but rather,  receiving blessings from the cows.
The cows have been waiting for tis event all day.  Some chanting...
and incense...
and jaggery, a delicious hard sugar the cows love,
followed by a smorgasbord of cow delicacies assembled by Bethany
and given to the cows by anyone who wished to receive a blessing from the cows, or just get kissed by a cow.

Happy cows, happy people.

Cows are just plain awesome.
Rog and I thank the members of the Hindu temple for leading the Puja, the extraordinary artisan vendors, our food vendor Tonic, the wonderful musicians, our kind friends who volunteered to run the store/greet people/help set up the event  and even make a custom cow cookie cutter, our dear invaluable  interns past and present who showed up to help, and of course the cows, LaFonda, Jitterbug and Splotch. We could not have pulled off this event without all of you.And finally,  thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Two Men and a Truck arrived this afternoon, delivering an awesome Vulcan stove for our commercial kitchen!
Two guys had managed to load it from a garage with a steep driveway, but they called in reinforcements to help unload it.   Josh wondered how the heck just two of them were able to get it loaded by themselves. It has 6 burners a griddle and two ovens - it is a behemoth!
Four men expertly unloading the Vulcan. This range came from gourmet friends who used it for many years in their home kitchen but were remodeling with something smaller.  They kindly thought of us and our Commercial Kitchen project! We didn’t think we would be able to afford a commercial range until well after the bakery part of the kitchen was finished and earning revenue. How wonderful we won’t have to retrofit the space for a stove!
Zinnie supervises.
The range is carefully wheeled through the doorway.
The strong moving crew in front of the beautiful range, set in a temporary spot  in the barn.  These fellows will be back in a month or so when the kitchen construction, plumbing and wiring are completed, to move it into its designated place.
Maybe we will celebrate by making them some wood-fired pizza!