Spring Basket #1 Week of April 26 – May 4

Good Morning Old Loon Farm Friends!

This week we’re so grateful for sunshine and heat!  Last week’s rains were welcome, but the frost not so much.  Our asparagus was coming along nicely before the freeze; now it will have to recoup a bit!

This week’s 1st Spring Basket includes:

  • 1 Dozen Farm Fresh Eggs
  • 1 bag fresh salad greens mix
  • 1 bouquet fresh chives
  • 1 bouquet fresh sorrel
  • 1 small bunch rhubarb
  • 1 package of fresh goat’s cheese
  • 1 package Old Loon Farm breakfast scones
  • and (hopefully) 1 small bunch fresh asparagus

If you’re not familiar with the herb sorrel, it’s lemony and tangy and tart.  Chop it finely and add the greens directly to your salad, or mince and add the greens to your vinaigrette or mayo-based dressing. It’ll add a tangy kick to your favorite salad.  Google it for more recipes.

Here’s a bit more about our goat cheese:  On Old Loon Farm, we milk our goats daily during the Spring and Summer, filter the milk, and use it for baking or making fudge, or making cheese.  Since we are not a licensed dairy, we do not sell our cheese to the public. But CSA customers, by contract, purchase in advance a share of the products of our farm, so we often include goat cheese in our weekly baskets. If you prefer not to receive goat cheese, just let us know. As per U.S. law, our milk is pasteurized prior to making fresh cheeses.

Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, in many parts of the world.  Goat milk has particular medium-chain fatty acids which give it a characteristic tart, earthy flavor. Although goat’s milk and cow’s milk have similar total fat content, goat milk is more naturally homogenized than cow’s milk, meaning the cream doesn’t rise to the top as it does in raw cow’s milk. Because of this, it’s often easier to digest than cow’s milk for many people.

In early Spring, when new grass is abundant in the pasture, the soft, creamy cheese (known as chevre) is mild and creamy.  It can be eaten plain on flatbread or crackers, or mixed with savory herbs or sweet fruit and honey.  Often we let the cheese drain for a longer period of time, producing a crumble cheese, which is delicious on salads, topping pizzas or mixing with the softer cheese for spreads.  (Arugula, beet and crumbled chevre is one of our very favorite summer salads!)  Finally, we make a sharp feta which is preserved in brine. Also delicious in salads and spreads.

As the seasons progress and the pasture changes, the flavor of the milk also changes.  High summer produces a sharper flavored cheese, still wonderful for soft chevres, but also perfect for hard, aged cheeses. This year we hope to experiment with more of those hard cheeses.  We hope you enjoy the very delicious, very seasonal goat cheese from our farm!

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