In search of Greener Pastures, or, OR=
When I returned from
We arrived in
We took the advice of the hotel staff and walked up to a couple of late night restaurants. The bar at Higgins has a great reputation for good food. I ate there last year during the American Cheese Society conference. We walked in and walked out almost immediately. The bar was packed, noisy, and no one was ready to vacate any time soon. Plan B:
We were up early and headed over to the Heathman Hotel for a filling breakfast before heading to the farmer's market at
Jim and I walked around sampling everyone's products and buying something to take to Uncle Wayne and Aunt Linda's. Market analysis is a favorite part of my business plan! I love bringing my cheesemonger skills into play.
-There was an older couple from Washington who raise Nubians. They had some very goaty fresh cheeses and feta for sale. Pretty basic selection. Country Pride Farm.
-Down the aisle was the Willamette Valley Cheese Company. I got to visits their facility with an American Cheese Society tour group. They make
-Rogue Creamery has a stand selling their blue cheese. They make some great ones and I really like the owners, David and Cary. They're very active in the American Cheese Society and approach their business with an eye towards sustainability.
-Another vendor, Oregon Gourmet Cheese makes soft, bloomy rinded cheese like camembert. Hmmm. The cheese I tried tasted bitter. Bitterness is a flaw in cheesemaking.
-We moved on to try cheese from Ancient Heritage. This was my favorite vendor. They have a herd of sheep and are making some beautiful cheese.
-Juniper Grove Farm, a goat dairy has a stand at the
-We wrapped up our market research at Fraga Farm. They're an organic goat dairy. Nice fresh chevres and good feta. The enthusiastic cheesemaker's apprentice really helped sell the cheese.
The competition looks good, but I am happy to say that I like the cheese produced at Goat Lady Dairy, Ticklemore and Cowgirl Creamery better than anything I tried at the market. If I can make anything comparable to my mentors, I'd be thrilled. There is room for me here.
We spent part of the afternoon at a dairy goat show in Canby, at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds. Woo hoo! Our friends Chris and Elaine drove down to hang out with us and look at goats. We had fun. I met a couple of nice folks and tried to get a feel for who might have milk to sell. I also got to see some beautiful Oberhalsi does. A breed that looks like a deer. Hmmm. Maybe two or three goats would be nice to have around the house.
The rest of the trip was spent in
We looked at farms all over
Our next trip to