Cheese

I originally got into goat keeping for two reasons: (1) goats are incredibly cool animals, and (2) goat milk makes wonderful cheese! As a home cheesemaker for many years, I knew that a cheese is only as good as the milk you make it from. I was always in search of really high quality fresh milk – great cow’s milk is hard to find in most retail groceries and it is almost impossible to find really good goat milk for making cheese. So getting my own herd of dairy goats opened the door to making all kinds of delicious cheeses and experimenting with new types of cheese that best suited our milk. Cheese is one of the oldest foods – archaeologists have dated cheese making artifacts to as long as 6,000 years ago! From one simple ingredient – milk – thousands of different artisan cheeses can be made, using techniques handed down from generation to generation and honoring the unique terroir of the regions in which these cheese are made. All though most cheese made for sale today in the US is made in large-scale manufacturing facilities, making cheese was originally a farm art practiced in the farmhouse kitchen as a way to capture and preserve the nutritional benefit of milk. Some of the world’s best cheeses can be made on a small scale in a home kitchen. We offer hands-on classes in our farmhouse kitchen that cover all the steps of preparing the milk, culturing the milk, coagulating the culture, cutting and draining the curds and finishing the cheese. Students will learn a bit about the unique properties of milk that enable the diversity and complexity of cheeses. We discuss the important role of bacterial cultures and ripening agents, cover food safety and handling issues, and discuss the benefits (and risks) or raw milk in cheese making. A list of our current class offerings is on the Classes and Workshops page. Cheese is the original ‘slow’ food, and making cheese offers a chance to slow down, pay attention to details, learn the classic techniques of making cheese, and, as you become adept, to create some delicious and original cheeses of your own.