On the bluffs of the Missouri River Valley about 40 miles northwest of Kansas City, MO, Green Dirt Farm stands on steep rolling hills overlooking the countryside. Farmer Jacqueline Smith and cheesemaker Sarah Hoffman have owned and operated the farmstead creamery here since 2002.
Jacqueline and Sarah specialize in sheep’s milk cheeses, yogurt and grass-fed lamb, focusing all the while on sustainability and high quality.
Because of the steepness of the land and the erodible nature of the soil, the ground at the farm is best suited for permanent pasture. Jacqueline and Sarah make sure that animals rotate pastures every 12-24 hours to ensure nutritious, diverse grazing and to prevent soil erosion. No synthetic chemicals, pesticides, or hormones are used on the farm, and antibiotics are used only to treat animals if they’re sick. Green Dirt Farm has also invested in renewable energy sources, including solar power and wind electricity generation.
Dirt Lover is a 100% sheep’s milk cheese inspired by the ash-coated cheeses of France (such as Selles-sur-Cher and Valencay). It’s surface ripened and lactic style with a bloomy rind. It ripens for 6-8 weeks, during which it’s turned and misted, and finally, it’s wrapped in paper that allows it to continue aging in the refrigerator.
Dirt Lover has an edible white rind that, when cut, displays a black border created by the ash underneath. In summer, it’s firm when young and develops a creamy ring just under the ash, which expands as the cheese ages.
Flavors are earthy and buttery, with a hint of a citrusy tang.
Pair Dirt Lover with beer! Try IPAs, Pale Ales, and lambic styles. For wines, pair it with Sancerre, Sauternes, Prosecco or other sparkling wines, or Canadian Ice Wines.