Ah, the joys of living with new viruses…. masks being the accoutrement of this space and time…. I wonder if they’ll become part of our new normal? We’ve always used them for cleaning the chicken house, but for mingling with other people? Hmm.
Seen here are some folks who came to the Willits Farmer’s Market to pick up pizzas for a slew of other Emandalians in their area…. an outing to the hinterlands for delicious sustenance.
Once we figured out we couldn’t safely open for the 2020 season, in a reasonable fashion, Kashaya and I determined that we had to do something to keep the farm going. A few years ago we did a soup and bread subscription during the fall and winter, to utilize what we had in our storage places. And, we figured we could possibly make and freeze pizzas and sell them. Upon discussing with the farmer’s market manager, what he would like to see, he immediately grasped the pizza idea, and said, “When can you start?!”
You’d think it might be a relatively easy concept… we have the oven, the kitchen, the freezers (since all the fruit from the jam was put into jars by January…)….. but didn’t have an online presence, packaging, pop-up tent, signage, or all the ingredients. Decisions were made, products purchased, permits acquired, date set, online store created. Whew! And so we began!
We put the word out to facebook, instagram, bulletin board, and an email list of locals I had…… Our first Farmer’s Market, we took orders for 100 pizzas, brought 24 extra, and sold out almost instantaneously! Hurray! And found out we reached our maximum per day, then and there.
Here’s the line-up for our pizzas a few weeks ago. We’ve gotten much better with our deliveries now….. long lines are a thing of the past, I hope!
After our first market in April, we stopped at the Northspur Brewery and left 2 pizzas for the bartenders and owners…. and the very next day, a collaboration was born. We now do pizzas for the brewery on Wednesdays and Saturdays… different varieties. What a perfect combination! Great beer, great pizza!
Our week works around making pizzas these days. We still have Tiffany in the garden, Tom doing what Tom does, Casey part-time, and now Marion (former staff, part-time) in the garden and putting together bouquets for market. Kashaya and I do pizza on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for delivery on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (Clean-up on the in-between days….) Along with the eggs and jam we take to Mariposa, it’s quite the food route!
Sweet Peas are always a hit! As are peonies. Last week it was roses. This week…. zinnias are just starting, along with a few sunflowers.
As soon as we got our pizzas up and running, we managed to get our jams and hot sauces up onto the website: emandalgeneralstore.com
Since then, we’ve gotten a few orders, and are now ready to do more! The front porch of the General Store serves as our shipping department. You can see boxes ready to be sent to Southern California and Florida (Claudine ordered some for her and Buffalo). You’re welcome to order any number, of course…. but think in increments of 12. It’s the much better shipping deal.
Our Rose Jams are ready!
Pear Rose, Apricot Rose and Strawberry Rose.
And speaking of strawberries!
Tom….. not only has he been preparing for the fire season by putting sprinklers on the Dining Room roof, the Farmhouse roof, Otter’s Cove, and the garage and Bunkhouse roofs, he’s been dabbling in all sorts of fun stuff. Check out the new steps up to the perch in the apple tree on the pizza lawn.
Builders abound: Sign of beaver between Swallow Rock and Robin’s Pool. So far, we’re still enamored of having them around. Perhaps when they take ALL the trees down on the river banks we’ll get frustrated with their need to chop everything!
While removing branches and trees from around all the buildings in the farmhouse area, trying to become more fire-safe, ever so many balls showed up! How in the world could so many kickable orbs get lost in the outskirts surrounding the pizza lawn!?
We’ve gotten a few photos from people who have entered our Eminent Emandal Emulation (flower power, indeed..) So far, planting and first flower/smallest flower are in the running…..
The clouds…. certainly we’ve had HOT days, but the glorious ones for me, are the cloudy, not so hot ones…. Without as many planes flying, not as many cars running, what an amazing sky!
Flowers abound…. I think I’m going to ask people to send me the Amaryllis Bulbs they grow for Christmas, and then toss…. Perhaps a cemetery for spent bulbs…. We planted a few, and two years later, what an amazing display! Patience is the by-word!
A few weeks ago, when the lilacs were blooming, Swallowtails… oh so many!
And right now, lilies by the scads are starting to break out in every flower bed. This one is under the Linden Tree, right in front of the Dining Room. Glorious!
I know I mentioned Sweet Peas…. but this is just the second year I’ve finally been able to get my fill of it’s extraordinary aroma! Combine that with roses and peonies…. Wow! It’s spring!
I trust you’re taking care. It’s lovely on the farm, in so many ways…. but it’s not the idyllic retreat you’ve come to know. The cabins are dirty, there’s no water in camp, poison oak has climbed up on both sides of the trails, all hammocks and hoop chairs are still in the barn, covered with dust, bathrooms aren’t open, the cooler isn’t on, noone’s here to do the pots, pans and dishes but Kashaya and me. We depend ever so much on great young staff to take care of everything that goes on here. We don’t have them. And our county is not open yet for tourists. That comes in Phase 4…. we’re in Phase 2.5.
Next summer, we’re planning on things being more normalized….. I truly don’t know what we’ll do about eating in the dining room, serving family style, using salt and pepper shakers, wearing masks, social distancing…… keeping fingers crossed that we all will be looking at some rolling back, easing off, re-interpreting. Ideas and thoughts are encouraged…..
May you be well…. may you be grateful…. may you do all you can to make this a better world for all of us.
Oh yes…. order jam!