The Seasons of Sheep Milk

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The Green Dirt Farm Journey Celebrating the Seasons of Cheese-Making

Dirt->Grass->Sheep->Milk->Cheese->Community

Healthy soil, nutritious grass, happy sheep, and fantastic cheese for our community

The Sheep Lactation Cycle

Each year at Green Dirt Farm, our dairy sheep take us on a remarkable journey through their seasonal lactation cycle, a rhythm that reminds us of the abundance (and, sometimes, the capriciousness) of nature. The milk our ewes produce is the single most important ingredient in crafting our signature sheep milk cheeses. As cheesemakers, we understand and respond to the changes that happen naturally in the milk as we move from the start of milking to the drying off that takes place in the Fall. The birth of the lambs in February marks the start of a natural cycle that profoundly shapes our artisanal cheese-making. Right now, our ewes are in their “close-up” period, the last month of their pregnancies. And we’re on watch, ensuring they stay warm, safe, and well-fed.

Springtime Abundance: Nature’s Gift to our soil and pastures

The ewes will give birth in February, and their milk starts our cheesemaking cycle. As the days lengthen through February and March, our soil and pastures awaken from dormancy, and our ewes experience the peak of their milk production. The spring rains and sunshine provide abundant pastures for the ewes, resulting in milk that is entirely different from the milk they’ll make later in the season. Our soft cheeses will require extra attention to ensure that we achieve just the right texture, and our hard cheeses made with Spring milk will have a great structure and a flavor foundation that blossoms as the cheeses age over the next four to six months.

Summer Hustle: Harnessing the Summer Energy

Through the long hot days of summer, our sheep continue to provide milk of exceptional quality and abundance. They capture the essence of our pastures in their milk, and that milk makes cheeses that reflect the mellow, savory flavors of our summer pastures. At this point in their lactation cycle the ewes are in the plateau of their milk production and are still making an abundance of their splendid milk. During summer, we’re busy making both our regular soft cheeses and hard cheeses to be aged and stored, so we’ll have plenty to provide to our community during the Fall and Winter, when the milking season slows.

Autumn’s Harvest: New Flavors and Textures

As autumn paints our farm with hues of red and gold, our ewe’s milk production slowly declines following the natural waning of daylight hours. At this point, their milk is more concentrated and richer, with deeper, more nuanced flavors. These dramatic changes in the milk’s composition present a wonderful opportunity for our cheesemakers to craft our exceptional seasonal cheeses, Queen of the Woods and Bossa. These two cheeses particularly benefit from the richness of the milk this time of year, capturing the luxurious silky texture and savory flavors. 

Winter Retreat: A Time for Rest and Reflection

With the arrival of winter, our dairy sheep take a well-deserved respite, preparing for the upcoming lambing season. While milk and cheese production wanes, we also take the opportunity to reflect, restore and ready ourselves to begin again in Spring. 

The Art of Seasonal Green Dirt Farm Cheese-Making

We’re deeply connected to the pulse of nature at Green Dirt Farm, weaving the art of seasonal cheese-making into every wheel of cheese we make. Each batch captures the essence of our healthy soil and lush pastures, creating the distinct flavors and textures that unfold with the changing seasons.

Celebrating Moments, Savoring Cheese: A Personal Culinary Journey

When you savor a piece of Green Dirt Farm sheep milk cheese, you’re not just tasting a product; you’re joining us on a culinary adventure. The seasons, the sheep, and the hands that craft each wheel come together to create an experience that is as unique and personal as our farm itself.