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OUR SHARE FORWARD PROGRAM IS ON HOLD

JANUARY 1, 2019

 

Many of you may remember this post!

“First, a thank you for all your generosity this year! In 2018, we passed along well over $7500.00 to all your favorite charities, and had a delicious time doing so!

Very sadly, I also have to let you know that the powers that be—governmental and the insurance industry—say we must cease and desist the Share Forward program. In California, diary products—especially raw—are under strict laws that make gifting it illegal and invalidate property liability coverage. Who knew? I guess I’m glad I checked.

This has taken a bit of the wind out of my sail…”

Well, good news! A little adversity spur us into action! We are currently in the process of permitting and licensing for a tiny farmstead creamery where we can produce legal cheese!

I will keep everyone posted!

Also, my bread is covered by a Cottage License, and is currently for sale most Saturdays at Patisserie Angelica in downtown Sebastopol. Go grab a loaf!!!

 
 
 

wild and Raw

 

When I started making cheese, I didn't know what I didn't know. All I knew was I needed to find a bulk supply of milk, and then someone to teach me how to make a wheel and age it. But the true magic of the cheesemaking was beyond my comprehension until I was well into the process.

Honestly, I was becoming discouraged. Soon after I realized the difficulty of finding beautiful, raw milk suitable for making cheese, I came to another daunting conclusion. There was no compelling reason to copy the authentic, existing cheeses already made so well by others. Produce a less interesting replica of Stilton? Not very inspiring to me! When I was learning to paint, copying the Mona Lisa was considered a good exercise, but not the basis of artistry. I found this even more true about making cheese—an effort that would eventually involve starting a herd, setting up an expensive workspace, then turning and brushing aging wheels for months on end. 

Fortunately, just as my resolve began to wane, I traveled to Vermont to work with master cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Rachel Schaal at Parish Hill Creamery. During their class on Artisan Cheesemaking, they let the genie out of the bottle!  My backyard, plus microbe-rich raw milk combined with wild starter-cultures propagated from my own herd's milk, would allow me too make cheeses uniquely representative of my animals, my property, and my practices: original cheeses.

This freedom transformed my role as a cheesemaker. Instead of working to replicate an industry-determined "Standard of Identity" for a pre-existing cheese—say, Gouda—I could instead embark on a creative journey of discovery. My own cheese was out there somewhere waiting to be found in the grasses of my fields, in the raw milk produced by my animals, and in the elbow-grease applied in my make-room. How fantastic was that!

I'll try to put it all into words, but, better yet, come and taste the cheese!

CLick here to meet our cheeses!

 
 
Raw milk coagulating

Raw milk coagulating

Hooped curds draining

Hooped curds draining

A few of our cheeses

A few of our cheeses