Thank You for an amazing 2019 Farm Season!
We close the 2019 farming season with a big thanks to all of our customers, dedicated volunteers, friends new and old and to the animal crew of Short Leg Farm that make it all happen!
2019 was a busy year for us at Gretta’s Goats. We made a lot of goat milk soap, Eric produced some of the freshest and most delicious batches of our chèvre and perfectly salty and funky feta with the milk from our dedicated herd of goats. We harvested almost 200 pounds of honey, made beeswax products, and sold over 80 dozen pasture raised chicken eggs per week. Along with producing farm products we taught numerous soap and cheese classes and are looking forward to expanding our class offerings in 2020.
We saw Gretta on tv as the goat yoga craze swept over our farm:) We began a delightful partnership with certified yoga instructor Laura Youngblut, who led numerous goat yoga classes that weaved relaxation with lighthearted fun as the baby goats stole the show. We will be posting our 2020 baby goat yoga schedule in February on social media and our website.
Our June farm open house was attended by 800 of our friends, neighbors and super loyal local food loving customers. Steven from Generations Brewing in Freeport helped out to quench our thirst and Ryan from Veebo’s Wood-Fired Pizza in Rockford fed us all with amazing wood fired goat cheese pizzas.
We had a great farmer’s market season. Thanks to our loyal Libertyville, Lake Forest, Logan Square, Chicago, and Rockford customers! Our farmstay cottage was booked for most of the spring, summer, and fall and we met so many unique folks from all over the midwest and even Canada! We enjoyed offering creamery tours and introducing school groups to small scale agriculture.
We hosted a wonderful late summer farm to table dinner in August attended by an eclectic group of 50 interesting people from diverse backgrounds.. Los Angeles based chef Natalie from Path and Provisions and her crew sourced local vegetables from Iron Creek Organic Farm, Sourdough bread from Madison Sourdough, mushrooms from River Valley Ranch and beef from Dietrich Ranch to create a dinner that was absolutely beautiful. Wine was carefully paired and donated by Chicago’s Meta Wine and Generations Brewing provided 3 different beers to pair with each course. Eric whipped up blueberry goat milk ice cream to top it all off, along with black garlic chèvre and other cheeses that were used throughout the menu from our farm.
During the 2019 season we were so lucky to began working with two super volunteers, Jill and Tera! Jill has a big heart for all animals. She gives Hazel and Bernice (livestock guardian dogs extraordinaire) the extra care and attention they deserve by grooming them and giving them lots of love (living with goats makes for a messy coat:). She also washes eggs, wrangles baby goats during yoga classes, labels soaps and keeps us in the know regarding all things small town Pecatonica.
Tera is a cheerleader first and foremost. She keeps us going with her never ending enthusiasm for the farm. She never stops encouraging and always keeps us smiling. She has the keenest eye for decorating the farm for events and loves to snuggle a baby goat or scratch Hazel, Bernice, and Aubrey’s heads.
Late fall brought the departure of long time employee Eryn. Eryn was with us in the early days when we milked just 4 goats at our original farm and made soap in our kitchen. Eryn left to start her own farm in Iowa and returned to Gretta’s Goats two years ago. Eryn was always up for anything the goats threw at her. Hobo, our soap workshop kitty was Eryn’s sidekick and shadow. She is a trusted and loyal friend to our farm and will be missed.
Eric and I would like to close by saying, thank you. Thanks to all of you that continue to support small animal welfare approved family farms. Together we are the change for a less industrial food system. Thank you to our family and friends that continue to support us even when we are kept close to home to care for critters. Thanks to our customers that attend markets when it’s hot or cold, rainy or fair, we can’t do it without you. And lastly, thanks to our herd of mischievous goats, Great Pyrenees, Hazel and Bernice, Aubrey, the corgi, our flock of hens and our hardworking honey bees.
We look forward to being your farmers in 2020! Happy New Year!