Earlier this summer, I promised to post about my goat cheese CSA. Well, Week #2 and #3 have been delivered and devoured. It's time to report from the doorstep. Here are the recent arrivals.
The highlight of Week #2 from Yellow Springs Goat Dairy was a new cheese called Iron Spring (below, middle). This rusty looking wheel was rubbed with paprika and dried herbs, which are grown on the farm.
Al and Catherine Renzi don't just make cheese, they grow plants -- native plants. Their native plant nursery contains over 200 species, along with a variety of fresh herbs, like oregano and Spanish paprika. Native? Probably not, but delicious and beautifully incorporated into this cheese. It reminded me of a soft ricotta salata with a hint of warm spice.
Iron Spring is a perfect example of a flavored cheese where the flavor serves as an accent, rather than an overpowering gesture. I liked the clean taste of this cheese, which was bright but mild, with just a nudge of heat.
The week's batch also came with a tub of Italian herb chevre. We crumbled it over a fresh strawberry salad, lightly dressed with two of my favorite new cupboard staples: raspberry vinegar and good Spanish olive oil, from Alhema. They're a bit spendy, these two, but you don't need more than a splash of each to buck up a little ol' salad.
Goat Cheese CSA, Week 3
Week 3 brought a gorgeous aged raw-milk goat cheese, called Spring Fever. She had such a pretty rind and so many subtle grassy notes, I had to pack her up for a car trip with Paul Lawler (cheesemonger) and Mike Geno (cheese artist).
We enjoyed Iron Spring with a series of beers at Victory Brewing. Paul, who has a palate of gold, promptly sniffed this beauty and called out, "Ahh, egg whites." I'd never looked for creamy egg-white notes before, but there they were. That's the beauty of breaking cheese.
To top off our farm-to-table experience, we dropped by Yellow Springs Farm for an open house that evening and got a chance to see the goats who provided the milk. We also caught Al and Catherine Renzi feeding their kids.
The next batch of CSA cheeses arrive this week. In the meantime, if you know of anyone looking for some goat interaction, here are some opportunities at or near Yellow Springs Farm in Chester County, PA:
We currently have 3 job opportunities available at Yellow Springs Farm. The first opportunity is a part-time goat milker to pick up 3-4 shifts per week. We milk twice a day at 7:00am and 5:00pm. Each milk shift lasts 2 hours and includes goat milking, filling water buckets, mucking stalls and feeding hay.
We are also seeking an intern for the 2nd half of the season starting in August through December, Duties will include goat herd management, goat milking, cheesemaking, nursery management and general farm duties.
The third job opportunity is a part-time position at Lundale Farm. We will be leasing space for our goat herd and we are looking for someone that lives in the Route 100 corridor between RT 401 and Rt 422. We will be keeping a small herd of goats there. They will require daily inspection, feeding and water through mid-November. This is about 3 hours per week.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in either part-time opportunities or our internship, please contact us. We would welcome the opportunity to elaborate further.
-- Catherine Renzi (firstname.lastname@example.org)