I’ve just finished a packed weekend of goat-keeping and old-fashioned cheesemaking.
Absolutely exhausted, but really good to see that the traditional countryside skills including artisan food-making still exist and are being passed on to new generations. The smallholding I visited was based in Somerset – sadly even though I looked relentlessly for Dorset courses including on www.smallholdingcourses.co.uk I couldn’t find any courses in Dorset that cover the cheesemaking process from herd-to dairy-to fridge. Working with Diana Piercy at the Exmoor Smallholding Centre on a 1:1 bespoke course, we made two batches of soft cheese, a hard goats cheese, covered a wide range of dairying topics and a whole day of goat keeping including hand-milking the happiest and friendliest of goats you could wish to meet! Very hard work and quite a lot to absorb in a single weekend but also really great to lean old skills and keep up traditions.
The Magdalen Project based in Chard and Monkton Wyld Court near Bridport offer smallholding courses including low impact approaches – I think that means “old fashioned” or at least implies traditional – but you’d have to ring them to check!
Gosh! I just unwrapped our little cheesy babies and they’re delicious! Especially gorgeous with our home-made biscuits and this one with basil on our pretty vintage plates. What a great way to celebrate British Cheese Week!