Michelle has been making cheese since the Spring of 2010, when her very first goat had kids at their little Longmont-area farm.
“That first Spring on our farm, I was milking 2 goats and had more milk than we could drink. So I jumped into making soft cheeses like Chèvre, and then started trying the more challenging hard cheeses.” Michelle was mostly self-taught at that point, reading books and checking online websites. “After getting our cow, I decided I needed to up my cheesemaking skills to handle all of that milk!” While searching for classes online, she came across Linda and Larry Faillace of Three Shepherds Cheese (www.threeshepherdscheese.com). “Linda and Larry’s three day advanced cheesemaking class was amazing! They have a wealth of knowledge and years of cheese making experience. I came home excited to try all sorts of cheeses, and felt confident making hard cheeses, and even my favorite mold ripened varieties.”
Michelle has a Jersey cow, Maggie, and both Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf goats that supply all of her milk. “It’s so amazing to me that you can take fresh milk and do things just a little differently to end up with the most tasty raw milk cheeses! I love Camembert, and Chèvre because they are so easy to make. The Trappist and Goudas are really tasty too, but a bit more challenging. I’ve tried lots of recipes, but tend to stick with these because they are the ones my family likes the best. I also make a big batches of raw milk yogurt.”
Michelle tells us that her biggest cheesemaking challenge is keeping the humidity high enough in her ‘cheese cave’ since Colorado is so dry. “I use a small fridge for aging my cheese. I’m able to keep the temperature at a pretty good range, but have to be good about hanging wet towels in there to keep the humidity up.
This Spring, Michelle will be milking 3 Nubian goats—Dream, Cleopatra, & Scarlet, and 2 Nigerian Dwarf goats—Ginger and Magic. And Maggie, her Jersey cow, is due to calve in the fall! “All of these girls produce the richest, yummiest, high butterfat milk which makes the best cheese ever! I’m so thankful to them for sharing their wonderful milk with our family.”
Great to meet you Michelle, and Happy Cheesemaking!
Note: The Art of Cheese is honored to be hosting Linda & Larry Faillace in April. The 3-Day Artisanal Cheesemaking Course April 22-24 is full, however we have added an extra one day class with the Faillace’s on April 25th. For more information and to register: https://theartofcheese.com/event/one-day-artisanal-cheesemaking-course-linda-larry-faillace
Submitted by Becca Heins