I am happy to report that our building permit is FINALED! It was Aristotle who said "patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." Yeah...I wonder if he endured a creamery build-out, because that pretty much sums up what it is like. Just to recap, we started the permitting process with the County of Marin back in September 2012; they finally issued a building permit to us on January 15th; we were done building the creamery and got licensed by the state of California 40 days later on Feb. 23rd; it took another 60 days after that to wrap up the septic issues in order to get the final blessing from the county; so from permit issuance to permit final, it took exactly 100 days. The County of Marin has lifted all the holds, done their last site inspection, and given their final approval, closing the book on this project once and for all....at least as far as they are concerned. We, on the other hand, still have a long to-do list!
Yes the creamery is almost done for real, no April Fool's joke! It’s been quite a while since I last posted about our creamery project. Valentine's Day has come and gone, the annual California Artisan Cheese Festival is behind us, and I survived another birthday last week. In between all of that, we’ve been busy trying to wrap up this creamery project once and for all so we can focus on making cheese! I know the creamery will never really be DONE done, I’m not completely delusional. There will always be something - some new or unanticipated problem or need, always requiring more time, more energy, and more money, all of which are running pretty low for us right now. It’s been 75 days since getting our building permit, and so much has happened, I don’t know where to start. I have both good news and bad news. Which do you want first? Let’s start with the good.
Once again, true love found a whey in our 2013 cheese-love poetry contest.
wendyleek was the soul of brevity with her three line pun-fest, while Coffee Lover charmed some of our judges with her innocent simplicity. Finally, monger Gordon Edgar's elegant sestina took the prize for its deeply felt examination of a life working in cheese.
It’s been 20 days since we finally got the building permit, and there hasn’t been an idle day since. After all those months of waiting and trying to navigate through red tape and overcome bureaucracy, it’s actually happening. The creamery is really coming to life. The action has been fast and furious as we rush to bring the creamery into a functional state. We are pretty much working at a pace that pushes the limits of our budget, and especially our physical and mental stamina. Our muscles & joints have ached in new and interesting places, and we’ve only sustained minor cuts and bruises. It’s amazing though how the body can be so dead-tired, but the mind keeps racing. Well, mine does anyway. To paraphrase the lyrics of “Gin & Juice,” one of the greatest rap songs of all time: I’ve got my mind on my cheese and my cheese on my mind. Here is a recap of the big accomplishments of the past 20 days…
It's a new year here at Georges Mill Farm, and one we are sure will be filled with exciting new things- including opening our doors as a licensed creamery! In the whirlwind of researching and buying materials, the holidays, the arrival of new goats at the farm, moving, and the various everyday crises and solutions that come with all of that, 2012 completely got away from me. And just when I felt like I had finally gotten used to it being January, its already February! Time is flying by, which is both exciting and scary for me as I look forward to opening in a couple of months, and then think about all that still must be done.
It's that time again! Time to pen your poetic verses on the subject all of us know and love: cheese. That's right, our annual Valentine's Poetry contest is officially underway! We're appreciative of any style -- send us your haikus, free verse, limericks, sonnets, pantoums, whatever. Silly or serious, we'll take it, as long as it's inspired, and full of cheesy goodness (or hilarity, irony, declarations of love, whatever).
To submit your poem, sign in or sign up for the website, and leave a comment on this blog! All entries must be received by Monday, February 11th. The lucky winners will recieve a Fresh Goat Cheese Heart from Coach Farm (pictured). Need some inspiration? Check out last year's winners.
Today is January 15th. This is the day that I’d originally hoped the creamery would be completed. So of course, in a remarkable case of situational irony that no one could have predicted, today was the day that we finally obtained our building permit. You just can’t make this stuff up! This morning, Dave drove to the County of Marin offices to present the final piece of paperwork, an authorization for our project from the County Fire District. After paying more fees, they issued our building permit. Dave and I took a moment to celebrate with a couple of pints of beer over lunch today but before we toasted, I made him show me the permit. It felt a bit like the scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie shows his family the Golden Ticket, and overwhelmed with happiness, they break into song and dance. We didn’t have time for singing or dancing because Dave had to rush off to check on some creamery work that is already underway….but maybe later.
Let’s just get this over with: NO, we do not have our building permit yet. We are still waiting. I’ve entered the New Year with the realization that our creamery will not be completed by my fantasy deadline of January 15th. I’ve accepted this, but here’s hoping for February 15th, which is more than the original 100 day goal (by 30 days), but we’re sticking to the $100,000 budget no matter what!
I’m glad the holiday season is over. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a scrooge or a grinch, but the holiday season is not very compatible with a construction project. Building a creamery requires the full focus and attention of not only the proprietors, but also the various officials, professionals and vendors associated with the project, and the holidays are both distracting and non-productive. Places and offices have limited hours, or days when they’re totally closed, and people take extra days off on top of that. It’s 2013 now, so let’s get to work!
As is required by a civilized society bent on projecting introspection (aka Will made me write this)...I've rounded up 5 things I found curious and captivating about 2012. I could run down a list of bad crap, but we've had enough of that for now, yes? So, here they are, in order of how they dawned on me:
In a world gone mad...
1. I'm surprised by how few surprising things there were. This probably either means I'm clueless, inured, or too quirky myself to see quirky for quirky. But if you take a look at Epicurious' prognostications on 2012 (delivered at the end of 2011) you'll see homemade dairy and cheesemakers sitting proud on their list of things to watch for this year. So I guess the fact that 'new trends' scooched a little closer to my reality in 2012 tamps down the 'surprising' factor.
The kraken slithers in its watery realm and the dire wolf scents the air...yes, indeedy, HBOs new season of Game of Thrones is amassing its vast marketing army for full scale invasion in Spring. Of course I started it with my garden picks for the characters (ok, that's a lie. HBO probably came up with merchandising ideas on their own...) and now HBO has (reportedly) tapped Ommegang to produce Iron Throne Blond Ale to coincide with the start of season 3.
GoT Geek digression...while various reporters seem to think the beer is a clear reference to Joffrey, I think it could just as easily be Cercei, or even Tommen.