Saturday, January 30, 2010
I follow the Farm on Facebook and Twitter, and decided it was about time I visited the place that Udder Delights comes from. And also? I've never actually met a cow before. They give tours twice on Saturday, so we ran over there this morning at 10am, paid our couple bucks, then were sent in back to meet the 'babies'.
They have an area with 'rescued' animals where you are welcome and encouraged to pet and feed these guys. They have bunnies, chickens (I held one!), goats, a sheep, a tiny donkey, two horses (one is 32 years old. THIRTY TWO! that's unheard of. the other horse was 'rescued' from riding lessons because he kept falling asleep with kids on his back. ha!), and two BABY COWS. Babies! We'll get to them later.
When the tour started, we took a hayride around the farm, and the official farm dog, Toby, jumped right up on the trailer and right into my lap. I think he was tired from Ryan throwing the stick for him so much earlier. When he got tired of me, he moved on to ryan.
We got to see all the cow pens on our tour. The cows are all separated by how pregnant they are (yes, just like humans, milk cows must have babies to produce milk). There's the normal prego areas, the 'vacation' areas (they're due in a few weeks and need a little break), and the maternity area. The maternity area is a little more comfy with a soft bed for them to lay on, and their only job is to become mommy cows. Superstition Farm has about 5 calves born a day, and one was born about an hour before we went through!!
Listen, these cows are treated really well. They are milked two times a day (for which they automatically line up because they're so anxious to get rid of the weight in their udders) and they are bathed two times a day. When they are being milked, their 'homes' are being tended to, including removing manure, which is given to nearby farms to be used. We were really impressed with the fact that Superstition Farm works with local producers to use 'recycled' food for these ladies. They eat the wheat bi-product from a pasta plant on the West side of town mixed with cotton seeds left over from nearby cotton fields. And hay of course.
On to the stars of the show... These two little guys haven't been shipped off to the 'nursery' farm to be bottle fed until they get older because these two are special. This little brown guy is a boy Jersey. Jerseys are smaller and make less milk, BUT the milk they produce is higher in milk fat content. Translation: yummier.
And this little girl, she's here because the owner of Udder Delights thinks her mommy produces the best cream for ice cream. She's a special little girl, and at only a week old she's just getting used to all the attention.
Both these babies are still drinking off the bottle and when they're thirsty, they'll suck on your finger.... or anything else they can find.
If you live in the valley, I cannot more strongly recommend that you visit this amazing little farm. It'll change the way you think about the food you eat, and it'll show you why supporting your local farmers is so important. Oh, and also? Superstition Farm sells cheese (of all sorts), milk, butter and any other thing you can think of right in their store. AND, farm fresh eggs. I can tell you, there's nothing in the world like farm fresh eggs. Oh, and the Farm supports other local guys too. Ryan and I bought a container of Farmer John Milton's salsa and I'm not ashamed to say that we ate that whole freaking thing as soon as we got home, and we're still trying to figure out what the magic ingredient in this stuff is. Salsa crack I tell you...
*Note: if you live in AZ, make sure you buy Shamrock or Lucerene (at Safeway) to ensure your milk is local and fresh. Also, did you know that on average the eggs you buy in the store are already about 30 days old? And they've had the protective layer of 'stuff' removed from the outside to make them look prettier? Buy local. Buy fresh. The end.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I've also been pretty busy in my personal life as well. Ryan and I took our first cruise in December. Oh boy. It may have been our last. And right after the New Year I took a solo trip to visit my family in Florida. Of course it was during the coldest cold-snap they've ever had. Of course I took my camera along with me on both of these trips, so I'll be sharing some of those pictures soon.
And now on to the big news! Drum roll please....
First, Nemec Photography won a Bride's Choice Award from WeddingWire.com! I can't believe it! I am so honored and overwhelmed. And it's all thanks to my amazing brides and grooms. I've loved working with all of them, and it means a lot that they loved working with me too!
My second big news is that one of my photos was featured on a national TV show! Little Susie, who's session was back in the fall, was on Lifetime with her parents, and they chose to use one of the photos I took to introduce her. Isn't that amazing? You can watch the video here (go to this Sunday's show and click on the video for "Loving a Child with Epilepsy").
Thanks for checking in with me! Happy 2010. I have a good feeling about this year.
Labels: photography awards
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Ryan and I took our very first cruise in December. We decided on a short one to see if we liked it. Here's the mistakes we made: 1) Picking Carnival Cruiseline, 2) Thinking we might get over our "we are NOT cruise people" attitude.
We took the 4 night cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada with a whole 'fun day' at sea. It was equal parts "um, which lame activity should we force ourselves to do next" and "this food is terrible! but we have to eat..." and "omg, I am SO SEASICK!". Ok, that's a lot of quotation marks, and a lot of negatives. But look at how happy we were when we first got on the boat!
And look! Life jacket!
We don't have many pictures of the first night or the Fun Day at Sea because, again, SEASICK. (side note: found out after the fact that Carnival is the worst offender of SAYING they have stabilizers, but they don't actually USE them because it uses too much precious fuel) Walking down the hallways you could look ahead of you and see people fighting to walk a straight line. It didn't help that I was stupid enough to believe that the inside cabin was the best for seasickness. Seasickness + claustrophobia. Ugh.
But look! Cute towel animals!
First stop: Catalina. We got downstairs as soon as the tender boats started running, thinking it was going to be a stampede to get off the boat. Huh. No one here. Cruise lovers are so interesting! It really seemed like more stayed on the boat then got off. Anyway... we got to the island and rented at golf cart. This was a really good idea because we got to speed around at our own pace, and the views were gorgeous.
Ha! I couldn't resist. I was so excited to see a deer that I didn't realize he was pooing until after I took the picture. The best part of Catalina (besides the absence of rocking under our feet) was walking through the town looking at the houses. They are adorable! And the people seem to really like it there.
When we got back on the boat, we decided the best course of action to fight the rocking was...
Ensenada was the next day and we booked an excursion. Horseback riding. I've only been once and I was about 10 years old. So yeah, I was nervous, but excited to try something new. Until I met this:
The horse from hell. First off, this horse HATED Ryan's horse. Our horses got into a biting fight with us on them when we were posing for the traditional "Yay we're horseback riding!" picture in front of a giant wagon wheel. Then we get going and it takes no time at all to figure out that my horse used to be the leader of the pack, but now he's been relegated, with me on his back, to second from last. He was PISSED. And oh did he love to take off and run through tall, mean desert bushes. For two hours he did his best to make a run for the border with me attached and the trail guides flanking us from either side.
Ensenada itself is fine. Predictibly lots of beer and tequila. THAT is a sport I'm good at.
So that's it. Sad, huh? Do I sound like a spoiled brat? Truthfully it wasn't fair to this particular trip that our last big trip was the most amazing ever. The cruise didn't have a chance. But really, if I'd JUST had good food, or a stabilized boat, or less sugar-loaded kids running through the adults' only area.... But let's be honest, I could always have fun with this man, no matter where we are.
I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.