Our youngest daughter is waiting for winter to arrive at our farm. We’ve had a few light snowfalls, but nothing that has lasted long enough for her to go sledding. The cows and those of us that have to spend time working in the snow and clearing the farm lanes are happy for the warmer weather. Most of our experience this month is mud and mist, with the occasional ray of sunshine.
Right before Christmas, we sorted out around twenty cows that were still giving the most milk. Segregating them in the shed, we could feed them some of the higher quality hay. Those twenty cows have been giving almost as much milk as fifty-five cows were giving on dry cow hay. We plan on milking through February 10, when we’ll give the last twenty cows a sabbatical while we rest until we start having new babies in March.
The production area of our creamery is in shutdown mode for a few months. We made our last 2016 batch of cheese the week before Christmas. Those thirteen wheels of Bruschedda, taking our production total for the year to almost 26,000 pounds of cheese. We produced over 2900 wheels in 2016.
Jesse and Anthony spent a morning during the first week of the new year weighing all the cheeses in our aging rooms for our year-end inventory. We have over 18,000 pounds of cheese in our coolers. Two of our styles, Uncle Joe’s (our aged asiago) and Four Leaf Clover (our matured cheddar) are in their eighteenth month of aging. We made those back in August of 2015. Let us know if you’d like some seriously sharp cheese!
Looking ahead in January, we will be helping out at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Cheese Competition booth. We will be selling our cheese and answering questions on Monday, January 9 and Wednesday, January 11. We will be attending the Groundhog Trail Wine and Cheese Fest on January 28th at the Clearfield County Fair Grounds.
Our winter farmers markets continue. Boalsburg Farmers’ Market is every Tuesday in the basement of St. John’s United Church of Christ. Juniata Farmers Market is the first and third Friday of every month at the Station Medical Center in Altoona.