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.
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…
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.