Cheese Farm Tour - Part One
Since moving here, I learned that there is an organization called the Kansas City Food Circle that publishes a Directory of Farmers. This organization represents farmers who produce local, organic, free-range products ranging from vegetables, dairy, meat, fruits, flowers, honey, grains, herbs, wine and skin care. All of the 78 farmers who currently qualify for membership are located within 120 miles of Greater Kansas City. Visiting these farms is the type of activity that is right up my alley, and I see lots of trips keeping me busy in my future.
Last week, my BFF from high school visited. She is a farm gal with lots of animals so this was a perfect opportunity to check out some of the farms. Two of these farms were ones that I was already familiar with as the cheese products these two farms produce are used at the Cedar Crest Lodge.
First stop was Skyview Farm & Creamery www.skyviewfarms.net in Pleasanton, Kansas. Owned by Bill and Sheri Noffke, they specialize in fresh dairy products, including cheese, eggs, milk and cream from their Jersey cows, plus pork and beef. They have a small herd of 22 Jerseys and a brand new baby calf. Here she is.
I love the huge eyes these cows have. They were very friendly and several came running up to meet us when we arrived near their fence.
Sheri is the cheesemaker. We toured the facility seeing the milking machines, and the equipment used to make the cheeses.
Then we had the chance to sample 6 varieties of cheese, which were all delectable and distinctive in flavor. My favorites were the Smoked Gouda and the Jalapeño. When asked about their cheesemaking process and what they do to make the cheese so special, here's what Sherri had to say.
"There are a lot of ways to make cheese, but what makes ours good is the milk. We pasture our cows throughout the year which gives the milk an intense robust flavor that changes with the seasons. In addition we use Jersey cows who have a naturally high butterfat content. We combine these things with a natural rind process in our aging cave to get cheese that has deep and complex flavor while maintaining a wonderful creamy texture! . . . Sherri Noffke
We agreed and made several selections to take home. After packing up our purchases, we drove on to Farm Two Rocking Goat Farms.
Stay tuned for another post about the exciting food finds, goats, sheep, ducks and chickens we met at our next stop.