Lamb Lamb Lamb Sheep! A visit to Weirauch farm
In the wake of the California Artisan Cheese Festival, publisher Stephanie Skinner and I took a trip out to visit Joel Weirauch at his eponymous Weirauch Farm in the hills of Sonoma County, California.
Joel's holding Irene, who was bottle fed at home for the first month—her mother had udder problems, so Irene got very comfortable around people. She's one of the older lambs: some of the wee ones in the barn were only a few days old, but they all have names that start with "I"; Irene, Iris, Ivy, etc. Nex year, every lamb will have a "J" name, and so on.
Joel and his wife Carleen are making humane, organic, farmstead sheep cheese in an old-fashioned, new-fangled way: bootstrapping their way into the business, renting land and using recycled schoolhouse trailers for aging caves. Never throw anything out, eh?
Right now, they're making cheese with cow's milk from another farm. Their current stock includes 5 month-old Carabiner, and the wrinkly 3 month Rumpel. They're just finishing up their milking parlor now, and have been using their own herd's milk to make soap while they build out their facilities. But sheep cheese is on it's way, thanks to their ingenuity and hard work.
There's video to follow, but for now, enjoy the cuddly lambs!