- Marsha Letourneau of Kennebunkport tries her hand(s) at milking during our Home Cheesemaking Workshop this past weekend.
We had a fun workshop this weekend,with seven hardy souls braving the cold to come out the farm. We were especially excited that participants included our first father/son team–thanks Ehren and Jeff! Over the course of the day, we made chevre and Monchacha (our version of manchego), played around with mix-ins to the chevre, enjoyed a great potluck lunch, and went out to the barn for some goat milking. But the best part: the class gave us the opportunity to taste some great cheeses!
In our tasting, we sampled a triple creme goat brie from Woolwich Dairy, Humboldt Fog from California’s Cypress Grove, Consider Bardwell’s Manchester from Vermont, Twig Farm‘s tomme (also from Vermont), and Montchevre goat blue, from Wisconsin. With a glass of prosecco and a handful of marcona almonds, there’s no finer way to warm up on a frigid afternoon!
- Some of the items we swapped for and the tomatillo salsa we made from them.
Last Sunday, while Margaret was in Kansas, I attended the first of what will be a regular monthly Sunday swap event, aka the Portland Trading Post, of the Portland Permaculture group. Held at the Urban Farm Fermentory, the rules are pretty simple: no cash changes hands, don’t start the swapping until everyone’s there and has a chance to look around at what’s on offer, and you can swap with someone or simply “gift” things to each other without taking a return item. With our new hens laying up a storm, and 3 goats milking, we’ve got plenty of eggs, milk, and cheese to spare, so why not trade it for some stuff that we don’t have and would want? It was a lot of fun, the cheese was a big hit, we made some good trades, some new friends, and it seemed that everyone came away feeling pretty satisfied with what they were able to trade for.
Here’s what we brought:
- 3 quarts of goat milk
- 4 dozen eggs
- 3 six ounce containers of herbed chevre
- 3 large wedges of Ten Apple Farm Mon-cha-cha (Manchego) aged 6 weeks
- 3 large wedges of Mon-cha-cha aged 3 months
- 3 large wedges of Peppy (peppercorn) Mon-cha-cha aged 3 months
Here’s what we got:
- a head of Romanesco Broccoli
- about a pound of purple garlic
- a jar of pickled jalepenos
- a jar of canned apple cider
- about a pound of tomatillos
- a box of old fashioned canning jars
- a milk crate of new fashioned small mouth Ball canning jars
- 2 homemade tote bags
- 4 bottles of home brew beer
- 1 small brick of frozen pesto
Not bad, right? Last night we cracked open one of the home brews and turned the tomatillos and some of the garlic into a green tomatillo salsa that we had on top of chicken enchiladas we made with leftover roast chicken from Friday night. Delicious.
We’re totally sold on this whole barter thing, and can’t wait until next month’s Trading Post. In the meantime, if you’ve got something that you’d like to trade for eggs, milk or cheese, just let us know, especially if what you have is on our wish list:
- maple syrup
- ice cream
- child care
- house cleaning
See you at the swap!