I Want Cheese and I Want It Now!

| 5/12/2017 11:34:00 AM


We usually start our cheese making workshops here at our farm The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms/Micro Dairy in the summer. Ours is a goat dairy. We have pure Saanen, Nubian and a mix of Saanen/Nubian. The Saanen gives volume where the Nubian gives high fat content and the Saanen/Nubian mix gives the best of both worlds!

Waiting for the Milk

Breeding season, for us, starts anywhere between October and December. We decide when we want the goats to kid (the does and kids do better when it starts getting warmer) usually the last of April. We take that date and count backwards 145-155 days (approx. gestation period) to see when we want to breed the goats. This also depends on estrus of the goats. If they have gone past their estrus cycle we will have to wait another cycle (approx. 21-28 days).

We do not take the kids away from their mothers. We leave them until they have been weaned. We do take any excess milk they have during this time.

Now ... it's Time for Cheesemaking

Milking and cheesemaking starts in earnest for us around the last of May to the first of June. In years past we have only milked by hand. As arthritis sets in, we are now using a milking machine. We can conduct workshops on making different types of cheeses but are only licensed to make/sell aged cheeses. We do have a "farm kitchen" where the milk and cheese are processed. The milk goes directly from the milking parlor to the farm kitchen. You do not want to leave your milk out for too long before processing or refrigeration. This can cause "off" flavors in your product.

Some of the cheeses we make here are our Homebrew Cheddar, Chived Cheddar and Hopping and Wining Tomme. The Hopping Tomme and Homebrew Cheddar are brine washed in a beer made from our hops to reduce mold growth. The Wining Tomme is brine washed in wine made here from Wineberries. After developing a hard rind (about 3 days of air drying) we use beeswax (wax we save from our honey harvest) to coat. We make a Chevre that we use in our poundcakes. One of the most simple and versatile cheeses we show people how to make is our Queso Blanco...or vinegar cheese. You can start this in the morning and have it for your evening meal! This cheese doesn't require rennet or culture.

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