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.
Prairie Tomme is a seasonal sheep’s milk cheese inspired by the cheeses of the French Alps. It’s a cooked curd cheese made in the spring, using early season milk. It’s made in wheels that are cut into wedges when it’s ready to sell. The wheels age for at least four months, during which they’re washed twice a week.
The cheese has a smooth, firm texture and a buttery, nutty taste. It melts well and grates easily; try it in a grilled cheese sandwich or in a fondue.
Pair it with a Belgian style ale, Pinot Noir, or a Burgundy wine.