Our cheeses are made using time-honored farmstead techniques, combined with modern innovations in the craft of making cheese.
Our Grade-A dairy building contains the milking parlor, milk storage room, cheese making room, and two cheese aging rooms. A steady supply of clean, sweet and wholesome milk is assured by our use of diverse pasture grasses, high quality alfalfa and grain, and our healthy herd of goats. Twice daily, does are led to the milking parlor, where eight at a time are mechanically milked. Each milking session requires about two hours.
The milk is drawn by vacuum into cans and immediately filtered into a cooling tank where the temperature is quickly reduced to a constant 37 degrees F. Rapid chilling, temperature control, and carefully maintaining clean conditions and equipment allow us to store milk at peak freshness.
Every three days Ken pasteurizes the milk to be used in making all of our Fresh Cheese. He uses a 100 gallon vat pasteurizer heated to 147 degrees F and held for 30 minutes. A wood-burning stove located outside the dairy building generates heat for the pasteurizer. When pasteurization is complete, he cools the milk and pumps it into a large stainless steel vat, where it is transformed into cheese.
Culture and enzymes are added to begin the separation of curds and whey. On the second day, at just the right moment, Ken and Jenn hand-ladle the cheese into small French molds, carefully preserving the delicate curd structure and thus the cheese’s texture and flavor.
The cheeses are drained for about 24 hours, and the whey is collected in a holding tank outside the dairy and later used to fertilize the pastures. On the third day, the cheese is salted to enhance flavor and for preservation.
The following day the cheese will be ready for packaging. Other mold-ripened cheeses are made from this same pasteurized milk, using slightly different methods and a longer aging period. Throughout all of these processes, we carefully monitor cleanliness and temperatures, assuring the consumer the freshest, highest quality cheese available.