July, and the year tips into high summer, furious growth limited by dry weather and plants seeding. Animals and plants have that well fed look – house martens wheel around the house, giving us freedom from hornets coming in in the evening – do these tiny birds take those huge insects? I drove back from talking to the Exmoor Women Farming Group across Exmoor, expecting to see wildlife along the way – not much – as soon as I got onto our farm, I saw fallow deer, a fat badger, and two roly-poly fox cubs. Squirrels are eating my strawberries; last year I was getting a colander a day, this year just a handful. I’ve got electrified chicken wire and two nets around them, and they are jumping the wire and breaking the net. Next is to completely encase the strawberries in a cage of chicken wire. Too much wildlife!
“Cull, clear your calendar, we’re tasting experimental mystery cheese this weekend.” Cullen generally goes along with whatever food adventure I bounce into. The weekend before he stood happily by as I bought and fried pigs’ ears for dinner. Before that, it was the place that served all types of tongue. He grins with pride as I scarf down stinky fermented natto-it looks like alien spawn and might taste pretty similar, but I’m satisfied that’s a good thing, and he’s not going to argue. Just so long as I can figure out how to pair everything I consume with craft beer. I’ll try anything but eyeball, pig nose and Brussels’ sprouts. Fortunately, none of those have a corresponding brew match, so we’re good.
The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Creamery…
or the pea traps and drains, as the case may be. That is the phase of construction that is underway now at Pennyroyal. There are three systems of drains and piping that are being installed before foundations and the floor slabs can be poured. The first is the domestic waste system, which handles water from the bathroom and takes it to our septic system. The second is the largest, and will capture all the process water which will be pumped to a water treatment system. The third system is a whey diversion line, which will allow us to collect whey to use as animal feed.
I’m finishing up a week of traveling the fjords and roads of Norway, trying to scope out the cheese scene in this country better known for salmon and sweaters. One of the first things I discovered on my Scandinavian beat is that the average Norwegian refers to her/his cheese by color: they have their white cheese, their yellow cheese, some blue cheese, and plenty of brown cheese. Color indicts familiar supermarket cheese. They know, for instance, what to expect from a slice of white cheese.
Oh Canada…it’s your turn for national hurdles.
Last night we brought your Stanley Cup back to Boston after a 39 year absence (thank YOU!). Your postal system is shut until further notice, and Vancouver based Hootsuite has ticked off a few PAYING customers (http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/hootsuite-publisher-fail_b10216) with its latest upgrade. Ok. Not a good day.
But, you still have plenty of Canadian goodies right at hand.
June is rich and luscious, leaves dripping from the trees, all new unfurled and perfect. Everything has a prosperous look. The badgers scuttle away from us every time we go down the lane at night, fat and mercifully healthy looking. The red hinds feast on the broad flag leaves of wheat, with the sweet ears just emerging. They are so well fed that they are inattentive, and jump out almost on top of us out of the hedge. I scramble up the hedge to see a herd of 40 hinds looking at me indignantly and quizzically wondering why I disturb their feast. They seem to know that it’s the close season and trot over the skyline in an orderly formation: I can smell them on the wind, there are so many of them, so they are still grazing just out of sight.
Fromagination in Madison, WI is Voted 2011 Outstanding Retailer by the National Specialty Food AssociationMay 26, 2011 - 10:56am | by kate
Many congratulations to Ken Monteleone and his team at Fromagination http://www.fromagination.com in Madison, WI for having been voted 2011 Outstanding Retailer by the National Specialty Food Association. The store itself has imaginative displays as well as being ecologically sound. Cheese-wise, Monteleone has demonstrated unswerving support for the state's cheesemakers and the primary focus lies with offerings from Wisconsin although due regard is given to cheeses from further afield . Meanwhile in the kitchen at the back of the store, Chef Greg prepares daily delicousness using the ingredients sold in the shop. Great job all around. KA
Sadly, my California adventure is coming to an end, which means that my days with Culture are now over.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my interning experience with Culture, drinking numerous cups of mate and listening to reggae music whilst working with Will in the cafe "Delta of Venus" in Davis. We have shared more than cheese stories (Will is a great fan of fluffy ducklings and yo-yoing dogs, for anyone that is interested!) and I have learnt a great deal about cheese, writing, publishing, journalism, social media and general magazine employment life.
I can confidently say that I have become much more interested in cheese since my internship began, and, as written in a previous post, I have found my pockets a little lighter as my fridge has simultaneously been filling up with fine cheeses!