The countryside is taking on that internal look, drier, harder, plants ripening, getting stalky, animals fattening, birds growing, strengthening for the long flight to Africa for many. To us, it feels like we are still in the height of summer. To the natural world, the hatches are starting to get battened down for the rigours of winter. The young rabbits are getting fat on the rich vegetation, and the buzzards and fox cubs are getting fat on the young rabbits.
Goat Barn Building 101
I must admit to being incredibly lucky at having the opportunity to design our barn from the ground up rather than modifying an existing building. While our start-up costs are, for lack of a better word, astronomical, in the long term this barn will hold up better, be more efficient to use, and healthier for our animals. Lots of thought went into the design of the building, and I am, again, incredibly lucky to have worked on several goat dairies whose various strengths and weaknesses directed the features included in the barn.
This blog post was written by Adriann Negreros, an undergraduate researcher in the Dutton lab at Harvard.
We work in a cheese lab, so it’s no surprise to learn that we all love to eat—and to have fun. Yes, we do have our 9-5’s, but the daily grind in the Dutton lab just isn’t all that troublesome (clearly, we need to work more). Jokes aside, when we’re not dissecting a fresh rind of Bayley Hazen Blue into 1 mm x 1 mm squares (to discover just “who” is living there), or slowly uncovering a new species via our cheeses—we’re playing with mites. Yes, mites; those seemingly scary eight-legged little critters capable of growing on cheese.
Purity and prayer
All afternoon there were six glasses and a pitcher full of perfectly pure and cold spring water standing on the sturdy wood table. When the pitcher was empty one of us would stand up and refill it at the fountain. A very simple scene? Well it made for the most inspiring and fulfilling al fresco afternoon I ever have experienced.
Cheese maker Willi Schmid had taken us to visit his friend and one of only two of his Jersey milk purveyors, Hansruedi Giger. The drive up from the dairy in Lichtensteig was curvy, steep and led us through forests for most of the ride. The moment we got out of this green awning we found ourselves on a soft looking high plateau. Bright grass, flowers, a tree here and there. And far up the narrow road two houses.
If you think the life of a writer is a bumpy one, you can well imagine being a lowly blogger is even more of a challenge.The competition is ON between me and Will Fertman for the most California-local, farm-fresh experiment-gone-right, and he is basically killing me. But what Will doesn’t know is that we’ve replaced regular household freezer items with these natural tree-bearing ones from over the fence next door... let’s see what happens. Yes, Will, come September, I will have a bevy of cheese-pairing chutneys from my bounty of fruit and herb, so start shaking in your Birkenstocks.
In the meantime, I’d like to share with you one of the many perks of writing and blogging in a focused marketplace.
Hot on the heels of culture’s Made in Japan article about the burgeoning Japanese cheesemaking industry, I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ryota Nakao, a Japanese cheesemaker who has been spending two months in Wisconsin.
Mr Nakao, who is employed by Yotsuba Milk Product Company in Hokkaido, is taking part in a training exchange program facilitated by the Babcock Institute of Wisconsin.
A non-profit organization that is part of the University of Wisconsin, the Babcock Institute was established in 1991 specifically to promote collaborative international exchange of information, research and practices within the dairy industry. As well as providing opportunities for Wisconsin cheesemakers to intern overseas, many of Babcock’s outreach programs focus on countries with newly emerging dairy businesses, helping to foster market development.
I have a rough, tough life. Aline Baly, whose family owns and operates Chateau Coutet, a 1er Grand Cru Classé Sauternes vineyards in Barsac, Bordeaux, France, dropped into the shop and opened up full bottles of their 1989, 1997, 2002 and 2003 vintages with the hopes of finding good pairings to accompany them. I was joined by cheese & food writer Janet Fletcher (who lives nearby in downtown Napa), Master Sommelier Peter Granoff, and my partner in cheeses & monger extraordinaire at our Oxbow cheese shop, Ricardo Huijon. Needless to say, it wasn't one of our hardest days on the job...