Cara Sammons and Devin Shepard produce goat’s milk cheeses out of their home in Acton, Maine, which they describe as an accidental goat dairy. They’d purchased their first goat Grace at the Fryeburg fair in 2007, only so that Cara’s horse wouldn’t be too lonely in the barn. “We just got goat with the most blue ribbons” remembers Devin, “we were just like, we want the one with the floppy ears! And the big nose!” After Cara’s horse Petey passed away in 2008, Grace was devastated, so they got another doe, Ruth, to keep her company.
The experience of raising goats, especially kidding, led Cara to change the course of her life; she’s now the husbandry manager of her and Devin’s herd of more than 35. She’s also in veterinary school, conducting research on a poorly understood Nubian goat genetic disease known as the G6S mutation, sampling goat populations throughout New England.
Devin, a lover of food and cooking, has become the farmstead cheesemaker after working to convert the basement of the house into a fully operational creamery. Goats are milked twice daily and cheese is made up to several times per week in season. In the future Cara and Devin hope to work with local cow dairies to produce cow’s milk cheeses and blended cheeses year-round.
To produce Scapegoat, Devin slices open fresh rounds of cheese and sandwiches in a layer of puréed local garlic scapes.
The scapes contribute a snap to the bite and added freshness to the light, fluffy and slightly tangy cheese. Garlic flavor is noticeable but doesn’t overwhelm, merging harmoniously with the chevre’s creaminess.
Pair it with a slightly acidic and herbal white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chenin Blanc.