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Life is like aged cheese. From milk to solid to something tremendously different from grass - wow! Some times the recipe works and on any given day it doesn't or it just wont. As we prepare the dry the milking herd off for the 2016 season I'd like to reflect on where we started (grass) and where we are (cheese). One day I brought a goat into the house. Yes, into the house. I built a milk stand out of old lumber and mixed matched screws. Looking back it was super dangerous. The goats had to jump two feet off the ground to their grain which put my face at kicking distance. I was terrified and then very disappointed at how long it took me to milk that little goat. I only got maybe a cup of milk in my little measuring cup. I even counted every time I squeezed a teat to keep both sides even. WOW!

Nowadays I'll milk 15 does in 15 minutes if I have to or milk, trim feet and give shots to 15 does in about an hour. Milking once a day has proven to be better on the animal and my work load. Making cheese once a week will certainly change next year to two or three times a week. Have I mentioned I also just applied for a full time job? What was I thinking!? I'm thinking change. I'm thinking my own gravel driveway and my own yard and path to the barn. My own kitchen window sink with rosemary hedge below it outside. My own barn that WILL have hay storage, feed storage, kidding areas and cleanable floor. MY OWN.

Our new cheese have become their own in many ways. There are other American cheese makers making the same cheeses but in different ways and shapes. Our new cheese did exactly what I wanted it to do - create it's own personality. Kick Ash Goat Cheese made it's debut at Rockbridge Vineyards and although some people can't get over eating something black, it's sold it's self out for four weeks now. Creame Cache Goat Cheese is right behind Kick Ash. It's a more feminine (not choosing sides here) and appealing cheese to some. The tangy, lemony, white pepper punch in the face paired with Rockbridge Vineyard's Vd'Or is to die for.

With only four more weeks of cheese I have big plans for next season to introduce two hard cheeses that use local grapes and hops for their rinds!

Happy Cheese Hunting!

Cream Cache and Kick Ash Goat Cheese on display at Rockbridge Vineyard's Fall Festival. They were demolished!

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