Using the milk from our herd of Nubian and La Mancha goats, we produce mostly French influenced cheeses that have their roots in our deep dark prairie soils.
Our fresh chevre is as fresh as it gets—we make several batches each week, so what you're eating is usually one to three days old! We gently hand ladle the curd resulting in a creamy, fluffy cheese. Taste the hints of lemon and savor the luscious mouth feel.
Our two bloomy rind goat cheeses, “Angel Food” and “Little Bloom on the Prairie” have traditional white mold rinds. Angel Food is a ladled curd cheese with a thin rind and deliciously gooey interior. It is aged about two to three weeks.
Little Bloom on the Prairie is a cut-curd, camembert-style cheese with a dense, creamy core and gooey exterior. It is aged three to four weeks. Taste the mushroomy rind and slightly tangy yet creamy interior. This cheese pairs well with tart berry preserves and honey.
Moonglo is a raw goat milk tomme-style cheese with a washed rind. In addition to ripening cultures, we wash the rind with a “tea” made from Moonglo Pear leaves. Aged three to four months. Slightly tangy and nutty with notes of ripe fruits and truffles.
In addition to our repertoire of french inspired goat milk cheeses, we are now making some wonderful sheep milk cheeses. We get our sheep milk from a small Amish sheep dairy in Arthur Illinois, about 45 minutes south of our farm. Eldon Plank's East Friesian-Lacaune sheep are raised sustainably and humanely. They produce milk from March through September and are pastured for most of the growing season.
Ewe Bloom is a soft-ripened cheese made in the style of an Italian Robiola. The curd is ladled into either square or round forms (square form pictured below). It has a very delicate and crinkly white mold rind. It ages for about two weeks. The flavor is tangy and grassy.
Black sheep is a close cousin to Ewe Bloom. It is made in the shape of a round and the surface is coated with a salt-ash mixture the day after it is ladled. The ash neutralizes the acidity of the cheese, resulting in a slightly more mellow and buttery finish on the pallet. We also make a goat milk version of this style of cheese (ash-coated, ladled curd with geotrichum rind) called "Black Goat."
Krotovina is a soft-ripened pyramid shaped cheese with an ash layer in the center. The name is inspired from Leslie's soil science roots. Krotovina is a soil taxonomy term for a buried darkened layer in a soil profile. This cheese contains a layer of goat milk cheese and a layer of sheep milk cheese separated by a thin layer of vegetable ash. Aged for 3-4 weeks, it has a very delicate bloomy rind with a firm paste.
Roxanne is a raw sheep milk cheese made in the style of a “brebis.” Although, Brebis cheeses are made in the French Pyrenees region, our brebis has the character of its namesake “Roxanne,” one of our La Mancha X Nubian does. The cheese is aged two to three months and has a rich grassy and buttery flavor.
Huckleberry Blue is a very seasonal, raw goat milk blue cheese. We only make it with either late (October-December) or early (March) lactation milk, because it's the richest milk and makes the creamiest blue cheese. The cheese has a natural rind. It ages for two to three months. The wheels weigh about four to five pounds.
In addition to our "regulars," we make a whole goat milk ricotta when milk is plentiful. It is made in the traditional Italian style using basket molds. It is creamy and sweet; much different from what you find in the grocery store. Several of our chefs in Chicago who buy this cheese say it makes the most perfect ricotta gnocchi.
We are also making a greek-style sheep milk feta that is aged in a whey brine for a minimum of four weeks. Stay posted to our blog or weekly customer emails for availability of these cheeses as well as the "usual suspects."
Most of our cheeses are sold direct to our customers at farmers' markets and select retail stores. If you are interested in wholesale prices of our cheeses, please contact Sarah Hess at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-840-4097.