It all starts with the milk

Milking a young Saanen doe
Milking a young Saanen doe

Work in the dairy starts early every morning as we use our Border Collies to bring the does down the mountain and into the parlor to be milked.  The same process happens every evening as we milk twice a day during our milking season which runs from late February through late December.  We have a tiny parlor equiped to milk 8 does at a time on a pipeline system.  Milking our 75-100 does takes approximately 3-4 hours each milking and is a job that rotates between our three sons and our staff.

 

As the milk is drawn from the goats, it flows through stainless steel pipes from the parlor into the cooling room where it is immediately filtered and chilled in our bulk tank.  Milk is stored in our bulk tank for only a short period of time until it is ready to be made into a batch of cheese.  We start a new batch of cheese nearly every day in mid season but milk stays in the bulk tank no longer than three days.  Quality, fresh milk is required to make quality cheese!  Batches range from 40 gallon bloomy cheese makes to 211 gallon aged milk cheese makes.  It makes for a busy schedule in our tiny cheese kitchen!