Now that its winter again, it’s the busy season here in the olde corral with lots of goat-y new news and happenings to report!
First a huge, warm, overdue welcome to Tyron Demich & Vanessa Parada, our amazing ranch caretakers who hail from Saskatoon Saskatchewan & Vancouver, respectively. Ty & Vane bring with them a wealth of skills and enthusiasm to the ranch with their combined backgrounds in cooperative sustainable living, alternative building techniques, hospitality services, and much more. Ty & Vanes are also both certified yoga instructors with hearts and spirits as big as Mexico!
Welcome, welcome, welcome Ty & Vane! Your presence at the ranch has been brought us many, many gifts in an incredibly short time!!!
Also arrived at the ranch in recent months is a raft of more than a dozen, adorable, baby chivas. The most recent additions, Bart, Lisa, Dotty, Amazing Larry, and JoAnne (born on Holly’s mother JoAnne’s birthday) are all up and jumping and doing fine. Unfortunately, about a month ago we had a rapid string of 4 babies die, all within a week of one another. Consequently we brought in a vet from Tomatlán, about an hour away, who helped us with inoculate the herd, plus a ton of much needed advise, including instruction in giving injections, parasite control, and more. The herd seems back to full health and the current count is 39, up from the original 12 only slightly over a year ago, with several more moms getting ready to pop.
Other visitors of the human variety have also been steady in coming. Aja & friends Kim (a.k.a. Ninja Chicken Bandit”) and Maggie (a.k.a. “Balloon Dancer”) spent ten awesome days parked int he pop-up camper and participating in all things ranchito. The horses have never been so well attended to, and Kim culinary talents fattened us all up quite a bit. It was also fantastic to have other family members Josh, Carmen, Wayne, Jude, & Graham staying at Casa Jardin down at the beach for a week.
LOVE THAT MUD!
We had a great, productive “mud party” putting a final “enjarre” red clay finnish coat on the bath house. Thanks go out to Bob & Diane, over visiting from nearby Hakuna Metada, plus Ty & Vane’s friend Jordon plus Josh, Carmen, Wayne & Jude for helping get us most of the way there. Thank you all for your invaluable help!
The bathhouse is looking terrific, if we do say so ourselves, with the plumbing now complete and solar hot water heater installed. We expect to be laying the tile & stone floors this coming week. After that we just have a few finishing touches to do such as installing the light fixtures and the outside sinks. Clearing for the campsites is going well, and we hope to have the camp sites laid out, landscaping started, and water & electric lines run by the later this spring. At this point it looks like we’ll be ready for a soft opening this summer, and a more formal launch later on in the fall.
LET THERE BE CHEESE!
On yet another exciting front, Holly & Vanessa have thrown themselves headlong into the rarified world of making cheese & cajeta (think: dolce de leche). So far they’ve made fresh panela, ricotta, and an incredible feta. Plans are underway for health certification for the herd and conversion of part of the bath house facilities into a full-on cheese cave for the production of more advanced, aged cheeses. After attending the incredible farmer’s market in Vallarta with its 2,500 enthusiastic weekly visitors, we’re completely stoked to make cheese production a long term part of the Rancho Sol y Mar mix and are beginning the process of applying for a table there.
So, all good. Thanks you to all the other visitors (Camille, Elisa, Gary, Jerry, Brian, Beth, and many others) who have all stopped by in recent weeks to tour the ranch and lend their help, ideas, enthusiasm, etc. We hope you will all stay tuned for future updates, pass the word along to others you know are headed this way, or think might be interested!