Big smiles from big hearted Steve greeted us in Carleton in Craven. The snow meant that he drove us the last bit in his 4×4 avoiding 2 metre snow drifts. We saw the goats first and some new born kids, then to the milking parlour where at Jonathan’s call, the goats came to be milked. They are all shapes and sizes, a mixed herd of British Alpines and Anglo Nubians – some with quite funny hairstyles!
We then escaped the cold into the warm creamery and Steve told us all about Yellison Farm’s award winning milk and cheese. In fact, not only did he explain the cheese making process, the do’s and don’ts, but he gave people so many tips that he might have some competition at the Yorkshire Show.
Lunch in the farmhouse kitchen (cheese of course!) was followed by some hands on experience starting off a batch of cheese. Jonathan explained that this is the most important stage of cheese making, with accuracy of quantities and temperature being the key to a consistently great product.
We gave the participants sheets to help them make cheese at home, armed with these and their first hand experience I think everyone is planning to have a go…I think Miriam would like a goat. We had a real insight into farm life. Steve and Jonathan were the most welcoming and knowledgeable teachers who not only taught the group very well but also kindly shared their home with us for the day. A good day – looking forward to the next Goats cheese making course already.