Tag Archives: The Journey

The Summer is Starting to Heat Up

It’s been a busy time.  I picked up some new customers and have been doing Farmers markets on the weekends.  The first Saturday at Cherry Creek was slow and it rained the second one.  We will try again as we did make some money.  Parker market has been good and fun.  The customers are actually shopping for food.  One customer bought Feta, went home and made an omelet, and came back for more Feta the same day.  Many people are return customers.  I know my cheese tastes good, but it’s nice to have other people think so.

The green chili cheddar (Great White) is selling real well.  We warn people that it’s “hot” before they taste it.  One macho 15year old insisted it wouldn’t be too hot for him.  Big bite, his eyes got big, face turned red and I swear smoke was coming from his ears.  I thought his father was going to fall over from laughing so hard.

Our Stoney Bleu is also selling well.  We sell it in whole or half rounds.  It is a mild bleu that you can eat a lot of.  It looks good on a cheese and fruit platter.  The cream cheese continues to be a big crowd pleaser.

We have sold so much cheese that we ran out of some kinds.  Matt and I have been putting in some long hours making cheese.  We ran out of milk and decided to up our deliveries and get more fridge space.  I remember the first Saturday at the market.  I had been nervous for days that no one would buy my cheese.  I guess that was a waste of energy.

Still working on getting the Farm.  Just made another offer and will keep you posted.

Kind of a fun thing;  I was asked to give a “tasting” at the Italian deli I sell cheese at.  Kind of like a book signing.  I got rained out!  I will try again because I really would like to see how this works.

Changes to the Site

I just wanted to let all of our followers know that there will be some changes to the website over the next couple weeks.  These are all good things, and are just to show that we are moving to that next step of maturity.  We now have cheese wheels aging in our “cheese cave” and need to be sure that we are ready to support the sales side of the business as soon as the cheese is ready to eat.  As we move forward, please keep the feedback coming, we appreciate hearing how our decisions look from your side, and promise to listen.   Keep tuned in, and share in our trek.

Breaking News!!!!!! As of today, I am licensed to make and sell cheese!!!!!

Yesterday I secured our rental kitchen space and today I applied for and received a professional business license to produce and sell cheese.  Tomorrow I will make my first batch of legal cheese. I plan on making an asiago type cheese. I can’t call it asiago, so we are kicking around a few names for it. I would love to hear any suggestions you may have.  Just write your suggestions in the comment section. The name will be announced in the next few weeks.

I will make a giant batch of blue cheese this weekend and that should be ready in 4-6 weeks.

I’m excited and nervous. I know that my cheese is good. I’m just worried that I can’t sell it. I know that people say they will, but when faced with the wheel of cheese, will they buy it?

We are talking to the banks now to find out about financing for the piece of land that we found. We are talking to the FSA about loans and programs to get us started. As we move forward it seems like we find more and more has to be done. The list grows and I’m just trying not to let myself get overwhelmed.

I’m hoping that as we get closer to the day that we get to move onto the land, I will be able to count on more people (my brother) to help me. Ron and Matt built me an awesome cheese press. It can press up to 8 wheels of cheese at a time. The only downside to the press is that it weighs about 400 lbs. I need lots of help to move it.

As I type this, my hands are swelling and burning from the chemical burns. I am dehydrating about 3 lbs of New Mexico green chili for my green chili cheese. I had to peel and clean them to prep them for the dehydrator. I am a little sensitive to the capsaicin in them. The house, however, smells wonderful! Worth the burn, I think. I will be able to make the green chili cheese next week. That will be available in 6 months. Sorry, it really does take that long.

I will take pictures of the kitchen and the space I am making cheese in and post the pictures later. As soon as the cheese is in the press, I will take pictures of the cheese too!

BTW, Welcome to all the new people who have subscribed to our blog. For all the people who have been with me the whole time, we will soon have a new front page! I will have a link to contact me, buy now and a link to the blog. Tune in for changes soon!

Okay, I have to go nurse my poor hands now. I will post again soon!

just a small Update

As a start, this video shows the milking machine that we want/plan to have. It may take us some time to get it but if you watch the video, you can see that the cows like it and actually stand in line to be milked. We’ve done some major research on these and it seems like this is the machine we can depend on. It would leave more time in the day for me to make cheese rather than milk cows, and that is after all, what I want/ need to do if we are going to make this a profitable farm.

Here is another link for more info on the milking machine:http://www.delaval.com/en/About-DeLaval/DeLaval-Newsroom/?nid=7380

We went out looking for land this weekend. We saw some really beautiful and ideal places that we can not afford. As a result, we have re-thought what our starting point is going to be.
We had planned on finding 200-500 acres, rolling hills, maybe some trees and plenty of water. Now I think we are looking for 70-90 acres with rolling hills and plenty of water. I want to spend less on the initial outlay and spend the money on getting more cows up-front and the milking shed and the cheese room right.
We decided to start smaller and if (when) we do well, we can buy more land. Even if that means we re-locate later. In the long run I just think we can be self-supporting faster by starting small. Or smaller than we initially planned.

I made a six gallon batch of cheddar with chilies this week, it turned out beautiful, and yesterday I made a four gallon batch of one of my favorite cheeses, Cotswold. It is on the drying board right now and I’m not going to wax this one. I am planning on a natural rind. It should be JUST ready to hand out as Christmas gifts. I may have to make another one for me to eat. I LOVE this cheese.

Matthew, my brother and his wife Annabelle, and my nephew, Dante, are all moved in and getting settled. Dante lucked out that the fall break in school started this week. so he has an extra week to get acclimated to the altitude and the dryer air.

On a good note, my medication for the asthma seems to have done the trick. Today was my last dose of the icky meds and I haven’t had an attack for three days. Ron and I even went on a nice easy two mile hike (walk). We walked very slowly and took a long time, but I made it and I didn’t have an attack. I hope that means I am adjusting.

Tuesday is the meeting of my San Diego cheese group, Queso Diego. I sure am sad to be missing that. I’m hoping that I will be able to locate and join a Denver group soon.

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Our Mission, In Ron’s words……

To join with nature in creating products having the quality and value lost from years gone, yet using the advances offered by the modern world’s technology and education allowing us to share with more people.

 

For those of you that KNOW us, this seems like kind of a strange thing for him to say. However, I’ve always known that Ron cared deeply about all of this. We, for years, have been thinking of ways we could give back to our community and share the great life and happiness that we have found.

We have huge plans in this regard. While we don’t want to farm so we can be poor, our real focus is- How can we help?

I don’t want to give anything away, but in the next few years to come, we will hopefully, make some real impact on other peoples lives.

Remember, all of this started because I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a Cheesemaker.

I looked to see if there is a better word for that, there isn’t. It describes exactly what I want to do, be and become one of the best at.

We decided to have our own cows rather than buy milk because if I know what the cows are eating, how they are treated, and how the milk is obtained, I can make the best cheese possible. Our cheese will be classified Farmstead because we use our own milk. It’s also classified as Artisan Cheese because I am making small batches, by hand.