Marble Creek Acres

Craft wine & tasting room, farm store, and quality Kiko goats!!!

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Getting Out There

By Kathy Crise
Magnetic signs to promote Kiko sales

Magnetic signs to promote Kiko sales

Featured in the August issue of Goat Rancher (page 20-21).

Featured in the August issue of Goat Rancher (page 20-21).

Josh and I moved our family to Lee during the fall of 2000. Amelia and Kevin were just a toddler and infant! Lee is the town that I grew up in and where the majority of my family was still living. Josh began commuting (flying) to NYC from Maine each week for work and the kids and I settled into my parents’ home for the winter. Each week Josh would fly home Thursday afternoon and return to the big city Sunday afternoon! Who knew that this beginning so many years ago would lead to our need to explore our own state for goats, new ideas to promote our business, and different approaches to goating?

All he wanted to do was relax and spend time with us when he returned to rural Maine! On the other hand, I wanted to get out of the house after spending the week at home with 2 small children! Compromising at its finest as we agreed to take a ride somewhere in the great state of Maine. Our brother-in-law Paul introduced us to a very specific brand of donuts that was new to Josh, being an “out-of-stater” and we all loved them. I told Josh the only place to get them was a little convenience store just over an hour away. So many roads were discovered as we explored our way around northern Maine in search of the best route to the little store with the world’s best bag of sugar-covered chocolate donuts.

Imagine Josh’s surprise in the local grocery store while shopping one late April afternoon when there on the shelf was this bag of donuts that was supposedly only in one specific convenience store. No longer did we have to take a 3-hour ride just to get a bag of donuts! However, the rides continued! Traditionally, my Maine family always found joy in hopping in the truck and heading out to look for wildlife or explore a new road or whatever the excuse used that day. My parents were quite fond of taking Amelia and Kevin for candy and Bug Juice and letting them ride in the back seat of the Ranger around the back roads of the area. One time Kevin even pulled the pin on the fire extinguisher in the back seat of Papa’s Ranger and filled the cab with fire retardant while they were out looking for wildlife in the great outdoors.

Fast-forward to present, Marble Creek Acres, Amelia and Kevin are young adults, our house is home to 3 grandparents and guess what our entire family still enjoys doing? Going for a ride! My 81-year-old dad has found as his body ages, going for a ride is sometimes the less painful way to spend the morning! Thursdays are “pig” day as his ride takes him by a pig farm and he checks on their pig-pen and growth. Riding with dad provides perspective and history that no phone app or web site has yet to capture. Recently while on pig patrol, a new piece of my dad’s history came to light. He was able to show me the exact location of the old farmhouse where he watched his very first television program in 1951 spending the weekend with cousins!

Josh’s parents live here too and they are still exploring all things Maine after retiring here from California 5 years ago! They have new friends that are life-long Mainers and they take them to places that even us seasoned “Mainuhs” haven’t discovered! Sitting around the dinner table each evening we compare notes, so to speak, on where we’ve been and where we need to go!!! Imagine our surprise when they took us recently to see bison! Yes, we are still in Maine, yes I said bison!!!

Here in Maine, you never know what you will discover! Bison in Maine? Still, to this moment, it blows my mind. “Why are there bison in Maine?” I kept asking myself. So I did what is so natural to us now! I Googled it! There are a few farms raising bison in Maine but this particular farm also has elk, red stag and fallow deer. It is a hunting preserve where you can arrange the “ultimate” hunt for one of these fine animals.

Recently on a scroll through Facebook, I discovered that there is a lavender farm nearby where we live. So Amelia, Grandma, and I visited the most peaceful, beautiful, purple farm in Maine! And of course, I researched it on the internet just like the bison farm and so many other little Maine places trying to make a go of it as a local producer, hobby farmer, or small business in these trying times.

Marble Creek Acres is one of those little Maine places trying to make a go of it! How do we get our name out there? A recent addition to our by-the-road veggie stand is a sign proclaiming “USDA Goat Meat”. About once a week we have foot traffic stopping by to ask questions and purchase (and usually try for the first time) goat meat! It’s sold typically to locals under private label and in 1 lb. vacuum-sealed packages. The veggie stand will be open in a few weeks selling 10+ varieties of garlic, ranging from mild to spicy, and we will also be advertising our goat meat. We also make sure our web-site address is present everywhere in the stand and on signage that is out for the stand!

Another way we get our name out is Josh’s license plate! KIKOS is what it says on a Maine veteran plate. And do we get looks because in rural Maine, who knows what KIKOS means? To help those lookers we have magnets on that truck with our logo and website address! This generates conversations sometimes regarding goats and we are always ready with a business card or an invitation to take a photo of our magnet!

Just this past Friday, Josh and I made our way to coastal Maine to pick up some supplies from a local distributor. Along the way we were checking out every field, every fence, every big and small sign looking for ideas to promote and better our ways! From the huge 7-day a week farm-stand to the kids with their lemonade stand, mental notes were made that may never find their way to our ranch. However, they are there in our files for future use if we want!

The measure of a successful ride through our beautiful state used to be a score of at least 1 moose, or 1 bear, or several deer but now the Crise Crew make their ratings based on seeing goats on someone else’s farm or discovering something that helps us promote the farm that gets us “out-there”!

(Josh and Kathy Crise, and their grown children, Amelia and Kevin, operate Marble
Creek Acres in Lee, Maine. For interest in a future year’s Kiko waitlist, questions or if you
have topics you might like to read about in a future Goat Rancher, we can be reached at
207-619-3758, email [email protected] or