Ellie May

I have been on the hunt for a Guernsey for a while now, a hunt which I was about to abandon as impossible — Guernseys are so hard to find around here, and expensive when you do find them. Of course, the moment I stopped looking, I got a call from one of my cow buddies who had a very nice four-year-old cow and was willing to make me a very good deal.



Ellie May is such a big girl that we almost didn’t take her, but she is a sweetheart! Selena declared her an angel the moment they met. Ellie is due to calve this spring, and we are very excited to make some cheese with Guernsey milk!



Goats, and Milkmaid Introduction

I have just been released from a day of haying, so I think I’ll take a minute to sit in the shade on the porch and introduce myself. My name is Terra, and I am the eldest of the Boss Lady’s two daughters. I suppose I am the head milkmaid. My sister does as much work as I do, but I like to think that I rank slightly in front of her, mostly because I am the one that always convinces the parents to buy more animals: only a HEAD milkmaid has that kind of clout.

This spring I convinced my family that goats were a good idea. My sister and I grew up with goats, and my mother loves making goat cheese, but we have struggled with the animals themselves. They’re like fencing cats, and they’re destructive and discontent, BUT, they make sense to have! They keep blackberries and brush out of the pasture, produce milk that is much more palatable than the cows’ for the bummer lambs that I sometimes have to raise; and, as aforementioned, Mom loves to make cheese from their milk. You know what they say about Momma being happy. (Okay, admittedly Momma is not a goat fan and was not happy at first.)

We have only ever had Nubians, so I decided to move away from those altogether, hoping that perhaps breed has something to do with our dislike of goats. I have really liked the idea of Nigerian Dwarf goats. I liked the idea of shorter legs for reduced jumping ability, I liked the hardiness of them compared to the other dairy goats I’ve been around, and we really liked their butterfat.

I have gotten to where I only want crossbred animals; not just F-1 crosses, but mixed breeds from whom I select to get animals that work for my situation, land, feeding, etc. You will probable get to hear a lot more on that in the future if my mother continues to let me use her blog! So, I was thrilled when I found a friend in Bakersville with Nigerian/Saanen crosses. I was excited about them for a few reasons (excessive adorableness aside): they had a very high producing breed as one parent and my darling Nigerian as the other; they were white, and therefore have slightly lower mineral needs; they were from someone whose herd health I trust; and, okay, they were so cute! My sister, the most adamantly anti-goat member of the family, was instantly won over and bestowed the names Image

Trinket and Rhynestone (insisting that it be spelled with a Y).

So I am hoping that these two pretty ladies will help me turn brush land back to pasture, help me feed orphan lambs, and give me lots of good milk next year!

First Cheeses of the Year!

Well, it has finally happened: we ran out of jars for milk and I’ve been forced into the kitchen to make cheese. It’s funny that I have to be forced to get started, since there is absolutely nothing I would rather do, but I guess I know that once I start, great huge chunks of my time are going to be spent in the kitchen.

Today I am salting a batch of fromage blanc I started a couple of days ago, and making a batch of bulgarian-style brined cheese (think feta, but creamy and not quite so crumbly).

The grass is coming in finally—another couple of weeks and we’ll start weaning everybody off hay and grain as much as possible.  I know Maeby does fine on all grass, but we don’t know how well Joanne and Mags will do.

Finally Spring?

I think we’ve turned a corner, with sunny skies and warm weather. The cows and sheep are thrilled, milk production is really picking up, and it is time for me to get in the kitchen and make cheese!

The sheep have all twinned this year, which is exciting news for anybody on the list to buy lamb this winter. The girls are going to milk the ewes for a couple of weeks in May or June so I can make sheep milk cheese. I will be experimenting with cheeses that highlight the specific qualities of the milk, not just throwing it in with other cow’s milk cheese. Right now I’m looking at a recipe for Ossau-Iraty.

In other milky news, goats (not mine!) are freshening all around us, and very soon I’ll have lots of goat milk to play with, too. My favorite tommes are cow and goat milk mixed, and then there’s Valencay, Chaource-style cheeses….

I think it’s going to be a fun summer!


We are so happy to see the tail-end of March this year! What a cold, dark, wet, dreary, FUNKY month it was! Everything is easier when the sun is out—the cows are happier, and show it with their milk production, the milkers are happier, I’m happier…

Getting Started

I love making cheese. There’s really nothing I would rather spend my days doing. Getting legal to make cheese is a whole different thing, though! Lately, market research, building design, septic systems—these are the things that fill my thoughts. I can’t wait to be messing around with the cheese itself again, which should be any day now.


Welcome to Laurel Farm Creamery. You may have followed us in our previous incarnation as Moonmeadow Farm, where we chronicled life on our Southern Appalachian farm, raising animals, children and gardens. Our farm has undergone many changes over the years, including a switch from dairy goats to Jersey cows, a move from one end of the county to the other, and a serious illness. Now we have changed the name of the farm to reflect its physical location, and will be using this blog to share all the latest changes as we go from a small mountain homestead to a micro-creamery producing aged raw milk cheeses for sale to our loyal customers in Asheville and beyond.