It's the typical story! Our family fell in love with dairy goats so we purchased a couple for our pleasure. The herd multiplied and produced more milk than we could use. We experimented with different cheese and found the fresh goat cheeses were complemented by the milk our goats produce. Diana became the licensed cheese-maker in February 2004.
In 2013, Dreamfarm added a beautiful Jersey cow to our farm. She joins our herd of dairy goats who are raised on pasture, where they can browse and graze and enjoy the sun and fresh air. We supplement their diets with certified organic grain and alfalfa hay. Their rich milk develops into a smooth, creamy, full-flavored cheese.
Our goats and cow are milked twice a day, their milk is stored in the bulk cooler for 4 to 6 milkings, then it is transported to the cheeserie. Fresh style goat cheese is crafted over a three-day period. The milk is pasteurized, starter culture and rennet are added, and it is left to develop into a yogurt-like curd. The following morning the curd is carefully hand ladled into clothe-lined baskets and the whey is allowed to drain until the following morning (whey is fed to our pigs and chickens). The fresh cheese is weighed, salted and flavored, packed into containers and refrigerated.
Aged cheeses are made with the goat milk and cow milk. These cheeses are typically made from raw milk and aged for a minimum of 60 days. Our Jersey cow has rich creamy milk which creates a delicious mozzarella cheese.
What is farmstead cheese? A farmstead cheese is made from milk produced from only the animals on that farm. The cheese is crafted in the creamery (we call it our cheeserie) located on the farm. Farmstead cheeses are made in relatively small batches and many steps are done by hand (such as turning the cheese, wiping the rinds, cutting, and packaging). Because farmstead cheeses are made in a specific place, they tend to develop unique flavor profiles based on the feed the animals receive, the climate in which they are made, and the natural microbes in the air where they are aged.
Fresh style goat cheese can be enjoyed in many ways. Find a good cracker and dig in! Use it as a substitute for cream cheese and cottage cheese. Create savory or sweet cheesecakes, add it to eggs. It's a wonderful complement to the superb fresh vegetables offered throughout the season.