In Closing …

The wise Pasture Elm

The wise Pasture Elm at sunset

Writing a closing paragraph is often the hardest.  How does one summarize all the important aspects of a multi-faceted work so the readers will recognize being a part of all that’s happened,  be satisfied that the story has ended, while also being happy for what’s ahead?

We’ve made the decision to close Crystal Brook Farm Goat Cheese.   With almost twenty years of raising and milking goats, and making and selling cheese,  the time has come to go in a different direction.  Playing an active role in Massachusetts agriculture has been a humble honor with serving customers all over the state (and beyond).   While the journey hasn’t always been easy, we appreciate the experience and lessons.   We are truly thankful for all the wonderful friends and loyal customers we have met through these past two decades.  Your support through the beginning, middle and now end is profound…….. IMG_0384

An absolute and sincere THANK YOU!  to all that have made Crystal Brook Farm Goat Cheese a great gig!    Its gonna be a hard act to follow as helpers, supporters, customers, vendors, fellow farmers marketeers, townspeople, agriculturalists, chefs, farm visitors, inspectors, students, cheese colleagues, family members and friends truly enlivened this story & made the work worthwhile and meaningful.

IMG_0343Producing nutritional food for others is a life passion and mission.   We do all need to eat.  I feel so blessed to have grown up on a multi-generational farm, Had educational opportunities to learn and professional experience to DO.   The goat cheese biz was born out of needing more income for our farm.   The biggest reward is the rich life experiences shared with others.   Farming – and especially those darn cute goats – opens paths and connects people in a way that is unique and special.

Goat paths lead us onwards.

Goat paths lead us onward.

Farming today isn’t the simple life pictured in French pastoral scenes.  Not even in France.  As my French farm friends say, “C’est pour les touristes”.   We that farm in Massachusetts today are blessed with many golden opportunities, including an appreciative customer base that is basically at our front door.   Quality & aesthetics remain very important – as it should be.  Openness, integrity and honesty needs to be at the forefront also.  Every industry has the “behind the scenes” difficulties.   Farming is hard work –  and changes are constant.   How I cherish the bits of time when I could take my herd of 60 goats out into the woods for a forage, thinking ….”Wish this is how I could spend every day.” …   but reality quickly carves into this idealism with the challenges of business, weather issues, food safety regulations, and animal illness/ death.  Yep, ”farming looks nice… from a car window”  says the faded Boston Globe refrigerator mounted quote.

Farming feeds us in so many ways – first and foremost for us to grow and live as nutrients for our body, mind and soul.   And we at Crystal Brook Farm are proud to have been the goat cheese provider to so many for all these years.   IMG_0308

What’s ahead:  Short term is some well needed rest and relaxing!   Having a summer to ENJOY summer is a strange phenom.  I don’t know what to do with the increased daylight, as my evenings were always spent milking goats!!!

There are speaking engagements for a goat conference and workshop.  I will finally have time to devote to The Dairy Goat Handbook –  the goat management book that I authored in 2014.   I look forward to setting up talks at local libraries, fairs, farm centers, and groups in the fall and beyond.

Farming isn’t an option for me — its in my blood — so I’ll be back to raising animals, growing plants, and solving daily problems before long.   As we all learn,  “the only constant in life is change,”   and we are truly blessed.       Respectfully,   Ann

"Get your GOAT here!!"

Go for the GOAT-titude!

Cherish new beginnings

Cherish new beginnings








Ann’s recently released Dairy Goat Handbook is available by ordering here.


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