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.
Woolly Rind is Jacqueline and Sarah’s take on the classic Camembert. It has a bloomy rind that’s sometimes mottled with flecks of tan, blue or orange as the cheese ages. It’s aged for at least three weeks, and up to eight weeks, transforming from firm to softer and creamier. At its peak, it becomes runny at room temperature.
When young, Woolly Rind has flavors of milk and grass, with a slight tang. As it ages it develops an aroma of forest floor and buttery, mushroom flavors, with a natural sweetness to the rind.
Like all of Green Dirt Farm’s farmstead cheeses, seasonal changes in milk are reflected in the cheese. Woolly Rind is firmer in the spring with more milky flavors, while in the fall it tends towards soft and gooey, almost spreadable, with more buttery and nutty flavors.
Pair it with Eau de Vie, Lillet, Pastis, olives, almonds or quince paste.