Artisanal Farmstead Cheeses
All of our cheese is made with fresh milk, right on the farm. We produce each cheese in small batches, hand stirred and cut. Also, all of our cheeses are made using a microbial rennet, which is appropriate for vegetarians.
We feel blessed by the uniqueness of our home region and how it is marvelously reflected in the cheese. Whenever possible, we source our spices and wines from other local farmers to carry on the flavor tradition of our region and to support other family farms.
We love cows!!! Daniel has been passionate about the care of his four legged friends since he was just a boy. We love to see them thrive. They are the hub around which everything else revolves.
After feeding his cows conventionally for years, transitioning the cows to grass has been like fulfilling an impossible dream. But with his knowledge of herd health, he guards their well-being religiously. We milk seasonally with their best interests in mind. Hay will maintain a cow, but without concentrates, she produces milk off of her own reserves. Because our cows calve in the spring to make the best of the optimum forages we avoid milking them when the grass is done to preserve her reserves and give her a much earned rest before the new season.
Our cows have forages in season and a constant supply of hay, free choice. Redmonds salt and minerals are also always available. In the barn, the girls are treated to about 4lbs a day of beet pulp. Unless it is milking time, they have the run of the barns and pasture. They have their favorite hangouts when it is hot and they like to come in and visit their calves periodically.
Periodically one will have trouble with a bout of mastitis or other ailment. If it is a longstanding ailment we will retire her to raise calves on the farm. But for a bout of mastitis, we will generally treat the ailment naturally. However, there are strains that are deadly and we will not hesitate to use antibiotics in life threatening cases. We will then follow the recommended withholding times, doubled for added safety.
Conventional dairy wisdom calls for antibiotics when a cow is about to stop milking for the season. But we take the extra time necessary to slowly wind down our cow's lactation and let her udders go dormant naturally. We take antibiotic resistance seriously and do not waste them on healthy cows, who do need their natural bacteria.
We love these cows. For many of them, Daniel can share stories about their mothers and grandmothers. Their lines have been apart of the farm for generations! By taking good care of them, they take good care of us!
Calves are a spring delight! Bouncing and racing across the field, calves naturally like to hang out with their own age group! A mob of calves in their "teens" are a lively bunch and the most likely to be causing fence mischief! Raising these animals in an atmosphere that nourishes their natural and social instincts is important.
When calves are born to mothers on the milking line, they stay with their mamas for roughly two weeks. The milk from their own mothers and social bonding that is taking place with her will start that calf off right! Later, calves are housed in the barn so that their mothers can visit and the calves can sneak a drink through the fence! We always feed them milk rather than formula and they will be on that regimen for 2 months longer than conventional dairy calves.
Calves are never isolated in hot calf hutches. Instead they are moved out to their own pasture for the summer.
We no longer dehorn calves. It is a painful practice that requires the farmer to physically dig the base of the horn out of the skull. It is unnecessary in a grass based operation. When they are fully grown we will sometimes tip their horns if they are aggressive, but on the whole we try to leave them intact. Tails are also left fully intact.