Fine farmstead cheese does not come easy. While the process is straightforward (manage the herd, collect and coagulate the milk, form and age the cheese), each piece of that process takes laser focus and effort. And it’s all for naught, if you don’t start with the highest quality milk.
Milk quality is everything. Raw milk must be absolutely clean and fresh, from fresh forage and/or high quality hay, to produce fine raw milk cheeses. Lower quality milk shows itself instantly in off flavors, and no affinage alchemy or culture chemistry will cover that up. This is where being farmstead, having total control over our milk source and collection, is to our advantage.
Everything on the farm, as in life, is a connected cycle. It takes good soil to grow good forage, lush pasture to make happy cows who give great milk. It takes proper grazing practices and nutrient management to maintain and improve the fertility of our pastures. Healthy, happy cows produce the best milk. We acknowledge each and every cow that contributes to our milk tank, but we also credit our livestock below the ground. That life inside the soil is the heart of our farm, the terrestrial community: the earthworms, the dung beetles, the arthropods and protozoa, the fungi, and the bacteria. In short, the ecosystem of our soil is the foundation everything is built upon.
Here at the farm, we protect our subterranean community by choosing to operate organically, because we all rely on one another, from protozoa to farmer, from grass to cow, from fungi to cheesemaker, to deliver the highest quality to our customers. If the circle does have a beginning, it begins with those critters in our pastures’ soil.
Fine farmstead cheese does not come easy, but it is magic: an age-old alchemy beginning in the soil.