This coming Sunday, October 17, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon plan to attend the apple and cheese pairing at the Old City Cemetery in downtown Lynchburg.  Apples and cheeses were hand-selected by Lynchburg’s own “Professor Apple,” Tom Burford, and Magnolia Foods.

Be sure to register in advance!  There are only 24 seats available for this unique and delicious event.  And while you’re there, be sure to enjoy the Cemetery grounds.

**On an exciting side note, our Herbs de Provence chevre will be served, paired alongside a wonderfully crisp Winesap apple!


Updated Wednesday 10-13-10: We’re sorry to announce that the pairing has been canceled due to lack of participants. 😦

Farewell to Donut

Donut (6/13/2007 - 8/27/2010)

I’m sad to announce that we lost an important member of our farm family this week.  Friday evening I found Donut in the shelter, where he had passed away.

Donut, and his half-brother, Sweet Roll, were Christmas presents from my then-fiancée-now-husband in 2007.  At that point I had been wanting pet goats for at least a decade, and I was thrilled by their arrival.  Sweet Roll was instantly a friendly, affectionate goat.  Donut, more reserved, took some time before he accepted my friendship.  He was a loving, inquisitive fellow.  Together, they have supplied an endless supply of shenanigans, laughs, excitement, and yes – on occasion, frustration! – on the farm.  Last year, with the addition of our small dairy herd, Sweet Roll and Donut took on the role of the laid-back, fun-loving uncles who looked after everyone.

We had figured that Sweet Roll, with his on-going battle with pemphigus and a nasty staph infection, would be the first of our pets to leave the farm.  In the spring I asked HB if we could keep one of the new wethers as a companion for Donut.  At that point, we were certain Sweet Roll would be put down.  But Sweet Roll pulled through, and is looking pretty good.  Instead, now it is Sweet Roll who will be comforted by the presence of Bogart and Gatlin (well maybe not so much comforted by the later, our buck!).

I miss Donut very much, but it appeared that he left this world peacefully, with no signs of a struggle.  For that, I am grateful.

On a side note, we will have some exciting news soon!  Stay tuned for more information.

Around us, schools are starting this week.  And I realize I’ve hardly blogged all summer.

I take that back.  It’s not that I haven’t blogged.  Just not here.

I’ve been riding a lot this summer.  You can follow our adventures at the blog I should call “Huckleberry is a Rock Star” or “I :heart: Huck” or something like that.  I love my pony.  And after a long year of rehabbing, he is finally, 100% “uninjured” as the vet put it.  YAY!  So while things have been quiet over here, things are not quiet at the farm.

It’s the middle of July and if you’re like me, you’ve found your garden overrunneth with squash and zucchini.  If you were able to avoid the squash bugs, which we lucked out in accomplishing, by no means of our own.

This year, a friend who sells at the Lynchburg Community Market graced us with a flat of seedlings promising a harvest of heirloom zucchini.  We put on our game face and planted the seedlings, watered them a few times and then we didn’t receive any measurable amount of rain for over a month.  Despite the drought and lack of care, our zucchini pulled through and is giving us a bountiful harvest.

The garden plot we planted zucchini is across the front hay field and down in the hollow between hills.  It’s a hike to get to, and we’ve been busy.  So our zucchini are harvest on the large side, but they are still very tasty.  Last week I took a huge load of zucchini to work to give away.  Some of my co-workers were offering to PAY for the zucchini.  They couldn’t believe they were edible, because of course, being heirloom varieites, we had beauties like these:

Heirloom Zucchini!

So what can we do with all these zucchini?  Well last week I made a pasta featuring sauteed zucchini and grape tomatoes in a cream sauce.  Delicious!

Today for lunch, I’m taking inspiration from one of the veterinarians at work.  Thus, I present you with the latest segment of Cooking with Goat Cheese.

Chevre and Herb Stuffed Zucchini

Chevre and Herb Stuffed Zucchini


Zucchini – these can be of any variety, I chose to use one of my little round heirloom

Chevre – I used one flavored with herbs de Provence because it’s what we had in the fridge

Herbs of your choice, whatever you like, whatever is in season

Herb paste (if you like, I do!)

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan cheese (if you please)


Preheat your oven to 425F.  Start with a clean zucchini.  Cut the top off and scoop out the inside.  Save the zucchini “guts” in a bowl.  Once you’ve scooped out a sufficient amount, chop up any large chunks of zucchini saved in the extra bowl.  Add chevre to the zucchini guts, as well as fresh chopped herbs, the herb paste, and salt and pepper.  Mix and adjust according to your taste.  There is no scientific method to this madness.

Put the zucchini mixture back into the zucchini.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  Back for 15-20 minutes, until the Parmesan is brown and the skin is soft.

Feel free to dress this up as you like.  I imagine roasted red peppers in the mixture would be delicious.  Serve as a main dish alongside a salad, rice, or pasta.  Or, serve as a side alongside steak or pork.

Never fear, we’re still alive and well over here.  The farm is drying up with a lack of significant rain fall since the end of May.  Our pastures have turned brown, and the only thing growing well are the weeds.  I’m glad we were able to cut enough hay the first go-around to get us through the year.  Second-cut hay on our farm will be hard to come by.

I had hoped to have pretty new pictures to post, but I can’t seem to find our camera.  I think it’s still in the truck.  I’ve focused a lot of my free time on my horse lately, and so some of my other past times have fallen aside.  I recently took him to his first show, which was a big deal for us.  We’re coming out of nearly a year of rehab for some old muscle injuries in his back.  He was excellent and we even brought home a few ribbons.

The goats are doing well.  They’re so much fun.  Somehow we’ve ended up with very socialized wethers, but our doe kids are still a bit … wild … when in the pasture.  You can play with them, but only if they approach you first.  In the barn though, the doe kids are a delight.

We’ve sent in a very basic plan to our contact at VDACS for our creamery with living space above it.  This is one of our very first steps towards making this happen.  We would like to eventually move out of the barn we currently live in (and give my in-laws their “guest house” back), so I had suggested to HB that we design the creamery with living space above.  Hesitant at first, he warmed to the idea quickly.  It makes doing everything slightly more economical, in that there is no way we’d be able to afford loans for a creamery AND house.

We live in less than 600 square feet, and our creamery apartment would be bigger – I think closer to 1000 square feet.  We plan to live above the creamery for at least 10 years, depending on how everything goes before building an actual house (and hopefully at that point, the creamery apartment would house interns!).  At some point during that time we would start a family.  And I know we can handle the space my effectively planning it’s organization from the start.  And getting rid of a lot of stuff we never use and/or don’t need.  Speaking of, I took 4 trash bags full of clothes to the Goodwill a month ago.  Clothes that I haven’t fit into for at least 2 years, I said good bye to them.  Now if HB would do the same, we’d have so much more room in our closet!!

Our chickens are growing up, becoming gracious feathered ladies.  I spent last Sunday afternoon clearing the “jungle” that had grown up in their run while they’ve been indoors, protected from predators.  With hawks swooping around the farm daily (and living in the surrounding woods), we’re protective of our flock.  They’re only allowed outside to free range when absolutely full-grown.  I figure hawks are less likely to take down a full grown hen, but realize the risk.  At this point, they’re confined to their run.  Eventually we’ll start to let them out in the evenings when we get home from work, so that they learn to return to the coop at night.

Whilst clearing the jungle in the chicken run, I found huge volunteer tomato plants!  I left them alone for the hens to enjoy their small yellow fruits.  I also left a stand of tall lambs quarter to provide some shade in the fun.

This past Sunday we had the honor of supplying a friend’s wedding with some of our goat cheeses!  We often barter with our friends for fresh veggies and salad greens (nothing like greenhouse-grown bok choy in January!), so we were thrilled when they asked us to supply cheese for their wedding!  All the food offered at their wedding was fresh and local, what a statement!

A few months ago we sent them a sample platter with the varieties of chevre and other cheeses we’ve been playing with.  They chose four varieties of chevre: plain, herb, chipotle, and pepper.  We also supplied a few chunks of feta for inclusion in their salad.

Photo by Spring Mill Farm

HB went over Sunday afternoon to deliver the cheese and set it up on platters.  The platters were old slate roof tiles and absolutely gorgeous.  While he was working the photographer came over and took some beautiful pictures of our cheese!  The picture above was taken by HB.  You can see them on the photographer’s blog.

Our best wishes go out to Chris and Melissa!

Anyone know of any?  A friend of ours was asking, and I wasn’t sure what to recommend.

There are plenty of books devoted to the home cheesemaker.  But we’re looking for a book that covers home dairy animals – selection, breeding, milking, management, birthing, the whole shebang.  A section on home cheesemaking would be a plus.

A lot of our books are too generic, I think Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats is probably the closest.  But I want something one step up.

If I was more experienced, I think I might write the book. 😉  Maybe one day …