Here on the farm, spring has finally poked its head out to say hello. Spring has been elusive here in Elberton, GA, and I’m still not convinced winter has completely left for good.
Rejoicing at spring’s arrival is new for me. Since I’ve usually lived in much warmer climates, springs of the past meant that it was no longer bearable to wear jeans in the sun, that sandals never left my feet and that another grueling summer was right around the corner.
That’s not the case on a farm. There seems to be something new to witness every day. A couple of weeks ago, the lambs were born. Apparently the sheep were expecting (?). I was none the wiser, but what a pleasant surprise! These little white balls of wool almost made me tear up. As a grown man, it takes a ton of courage to admit that on a public forum. But don’t take my word for it, have a look for yourself.
Since fresh grass doesn’t grow in the winter months, our cows live off the hay we source from surrounding farms. With the coming of spring, our cows can now move back out to pasture to graze and forage off of a multitude of different greens, the most noticeable being wild onion. Unfortunately, it makes their body odor quite pungent.
The cows’ milk reflects what they eat. In fact, in the cheese world, there’s a word for the cows’ diet and how it translates into the taste of the cheese: terroir. Terroir is what gives cheeses made in different parts of the world such diversity. It’s why the French are so proud of their cheeses. So proud, in fact, that they have naming rights under the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Controlee (controlled designation of origin). The same way true champagne only comes from Champagne, France, certain cheeses can only be made in their city of origin. Of course, this also contributes to the generalized notion that the French are completely full of themselves. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that idea, but I can see where it comes from.
Until next time. Curd nerd signing out.
Turner Reynolds is Little Utopia’s rural correspondent.
Turner is a cheese maker at a farm located in Elberton, Georgia. A beer, food, and all things cheese enthusiast, he plans on climbing the ranks and staking his claim on the southern cheese scene. His cheese can be purchased online at naturesharmonyfarm.com.