Medias in Res - Definition

"Medias in res" is a latin term for when the story starts in the middle and not necessarily at the beginning. You join us here at LARK'S MEADOW FARMS in the middle of a story that began long ago and is far from its conclusion. We are learning along the way and we hope that you will come along on our journey. There is much to explore in the world of cheese!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reasons for Thanks

Fluffy white snowflakes are floating down gently and it is just days until our whole family will be together. Twenty-eight of us to be exact. What a time it will be and how grateful we are for family.
At this special time on the farm we pause to reflect on the many blessings that we have enjoyed over the previous year. None of us ever would have predicted how successful we would be in such a short time. We recognize that we owe a lot to friends who have supported us and put in hours of help, fellow cheesemakers who have shared invaluable knowledge, customers who have given us valuable feedback and come back again and again to buy our cheese... The list goes on and on. We thank you for the part that you have played and wish you the best during this holiday season. May it be a time of warmth and happiness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dulcinea for the Holidays

Our first snow storms came in and powdered the farm with white fluff. Winter is upon us and with it has come a twinge of excitement for the holidays. Family and friends will be gathering and you can bet the farm that good food will be a centerpiece of the festivities. You can almost smell the turkey roasting already.
At this time of year cheese balls come out on stage and we have already tested out Dulcinea in a simple recipe that will make your mouth water and your guests smile. In literally less than ten minutes you can have a yummy ball of goodness ready for consumption.
For this recipe we used the smallest wheel of Dulcinea that we are calling "Little Shredders." (If you have a better idea for a name we are definitely open to suggestions.) The Little Shredders are slightly saltier than the larger wheels. The bolder flavor is perfect for cheese balls and shines through the cream cheese perfectly. Little Shredders also loose moisture faster than the big wheels, so it is a firm cheese perfect for this application as well.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

I package of your favorite brand of cream cheese
Half of a Little Shredder
Garlic Salt, Pepper
Chopped Nuts of your Choice- We recommend pecans or pistachios especially, but there are other delicious options as well.

Micro Plane or Fine Grater
Paring Knife
Rubber Scraper
Small Bowl
Cooking Spray
Plastic Wrap

Place the cream cheese in a small bowl. Carefully trim the rind of of the cheese (or skip this step if you like the rind). Add the grated Dulcinea and a dash of garlic salt to the bowl and work it into the cream cheese using a rubber scraper. Work it into a ball in the center of the bowl. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and then scoop the ball into the middle of it. Wrap completely and allow to chill. When ready roll in chopped nuts or other condiments of choice. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.

If the traditional cheese ball is not appealing you may want to consider some other ideas.

* Spread on a tortilla and add your favorite sandwich items. Roll gently, but tightly and then cut into bite size wheels.

* Pipe into small cream puff shells for a savory version or cream puffs.

* Right after you have mixed it, place the cheese mixture in a pastry bag and pipe onto crackers, into cherry tomatoes, onto cucumber slices or into pear halves.

* Carefully spread it into the bottom of a pie crust to enhance the flavor of your favorite quiche.

Enjoy every bite and tell us how it goes for you. We would love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We Can Baa and Now We Can Moo Too

Lark's Meadow Farms in cooperation with Matt Griffin of G's Dairy have begun production of raw cow milk. There are now cows on our farm! Right now the herd consists of four beautiful Brown Swiss cows. These cows seem huge to us and one of them produces as much as milk as twelve of our ewes. Wow! The raw, rich, creamy milk will be available at G's dairy in half gallon and gallon sizes. For those of you who remember the good old days with unpasteurized and non-homogenized milk, one swallow will be an instant trip down memory lane. The remainder of the milk that does not go to G's is being made into cheese here on the farm. We are all holding our breath as we wait for the first batch to come of age.

The biggest cow, named Jada, produces as much as five gallons in one milking. Just like our sheep, the cows are milked twice a day. They have been on the farm long enough now, that they almost just go where they are supposed to without being directed. This is a new experience, since sheep never seem to get it.

Just like the sheep, they also need refreshing and so every few months we have a new calf on the farm. This is Asiago. She was a little bit stubborn about the bottle at first, but when she caught onto the idea she emptied a bottle in no time. The cows are in a rotation and only one is dry at a time, so that means that we always have milk, but the cows get the rest that they need. We will keep you posted as things progress. We are also looking for a few more Brown Swiss cows, so let us know if you have any leads.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

IMPA Cheese Award

Lark's Meadow Farms entered our cheese Dulcinea into the IMPA (Idaho Milk Producers Association) 2010 cheese contest. With scores out of 100, the judges gave a 97.3 and 95.5. We were grateful for the valuable feedback and pleased to win second place in the Farmstead Cheese category.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trailing of the Sheep

Lark's Meadow Farms will participate in the annual Trailing of the Sheep event held in Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho from October 8th to the 10th. With sheep activities galore you can learn about every aspect of sheep. Join us in this beautiful setting as we offer our cheese for sale and enjoy all the fun!

For more information about classes, performances, samplings and everything else you can imagine check out the website at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What People Are Saying About Our Cheese

At the American Cheese Society Conference we had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with some of the nation's greatest cheese connoisseurs. Among them was Mr. Cheese himself, Steve Jenkins. To give you a feel for Mr. Jenkins' love of cheese I will insert a biography written about him on Public Radios' website called The Splendid Table. This website features many articles by Mr. Jenkins.

How did Steve Jenkins, a Velveeta eater from Missouri, turn into this country's foremost cheesemonger? It's the age-old saga, a move to New York City seeking the bright lights of Broadway and ending up managing a cheese shop to pay the bills. Steve went on to create and revamp the cheese counters at Dean & DeLuca, the Fairway Market, Balducci's, and other celebrated fine-food shops in New York and across the country. Steve was the first American to be honored with France's prestigious Chevaliers du Taste Fromage and The American Cheese Societies, Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the author of Cheese Primer and is a frequent contributor to many national magazines, including Food & Wine and Food Arts.

For us the book Cheese Primer that Mr. Jenkins wrote has been a ready reference on our shelves that we have turned to over and over. Imagine our delight when Kendall had the opportunity to meet him in person and present him with a sample of our cheese. We know has been very direct in his evaluations with others. We knew he would give us feedback we could trust.

What was his response to Dulcinea? Read it in his own words-

"The sheep's milk cheese you gave to me is as fine a cheese as I have ever tasted. And that's a mouthful I'll wager you appreciate. Tastes and looks like something from Sardinia more than it resembles Pecorino Toscano. Nothing like it in any region of Spain or from the French side of the Pyrenees east to west, or Portugal. It rocks. It is simply as good as it gets. I am mightily impressed and you can tell anybody I said so.


So, now you don't have to take our word for it. Don't mind me while I go back for another slice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

American Cheese Society Conference in Seattle

Lark's Meadow Farms participated in this year's cheese conference in Seattle. 1400 cheeses were entered in competitions, professionals presented on a wide variety of subjects, cheesemakers from all over the world rubbed shoulders with one another and all in the lovely backdrop of Seattle. It was a delightful event with cheese around every corner.

We look forward to entering our cheese in next year's conference to be held in Montreal, Canada. If you like cheese you should start making plans to be there too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jackson Gets Cheese

We joined another market last week! The historic Town Square is the backdrop for Jackson Hole's delightful farmers market. Surrounded by old western style buildings and with gateway arches made completely of sun-bleached antlers, you know you have stepped into cowboy country. In Jackson they say that it is "not just a place, it is a lifestyle."

With tourists out in number, I was not the only one toting a camera around. Among the throng were people from all over the states and the world. We were excited to meet a family who officially became our most distant customers. A family of three from Korea ordered a wedge in soft spoken English and smiled shyly as we asked where they were from.

We quickly ran out of cheese as people purchased wedge after wedge and we realized that we will need to be more prepared in the future. It was also thrilling to cut open a wheel of cheese to discover another treasure. The much sought after crystals that are sometimes found in cheese when the lactic acids crystalize were waiting there to tickle our taste buds. These slightly crunchy little deposits of flavor are so delicious that we got a little distracted as we sampled the wheel with great excitement.

We are grateful to all those of you who have supported us and given us meaningful feedback. We look forward to visiting Jackson more often!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Small Town, Big Heart

The majestic peaks of the Tetons were beckoning as we embarked on another farmer's market cheese adventure this week. We headed down the road to a wonderful little town called Driggs that is about an hour away from Rexburg. In spite of the early hour we were refreshed by the clean air and sunshine as we wound through rolling valleys of swaying wheat, rich alfalfa and potatoes just poking first leaves up into the sun. Kendall was so enraptured by the experience that he began honking and waving at workers in the fields as we made our journey. They seemed unsurprised by the gesture and smiled widely as we passed.

Driggs is right at the base of the Tetons and the peaks are striking from every angle. The closer we got the greater the temptation we had to head off into the peaks for an exploration, but we resisted the call and continued on to one of the most delightful farmers market experiences we have had so far. Although Driggs is quite a small town, it is a much sought after destination. The cluster of pleasantly arranged bright canopies situated on green grass in perfect, sunny weather was quite inviting and natives and tourists alike showed up in number. We met people from all over the country and all over the world.

Our hearts skipped a beat when we met discerning tourists from France who quite obviously knew their cheese. They asked many questions about our sheep, the milk and the cheese itself. As they raised the sample pieces to their mouths Kendall and I searched their faces for any subtle expressions of either delight or disappointment. We sighed silent sighs of relief as big smiles broke across their faces and in impeccable English they shared their delight in finding "real cheese." As they purchased large wedges of both kinds we felt like we had just received an A on a comprehensive exam. Whew! They loved it!

With customer after customer explaining their delight in having a locally produced cheese that actually tasted good, we were delighted ourselves to open the cooler and realize that we had sold out. The personality of our customers, engaging conversation and pleasant atmosphere made time fly by. We had been enjoying ourselves so much that we did not realize how quickly the cheese was going.

What a bright and beautiful day!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting to know Lark's Meadow

Lark’s Meadow Farms is a twenty-acre sheep dairy nestled in a friendly community just outside of Rexburg Idaho on the sunny side of the Teton Mountains. This area has rich, volcanic soil providing for lush, nutritious pasture and some of the best alfalfa in the United States. Not only do the sheep literally run to eat it, but it also naturally increases milk production and brings subtle flavor nuances that enhance our milk and cheese.

Our flock consists of Friesian and Lacaune cross dairy sheep that we rescued from a precarious situation in 2008. There are currently seventy milking ewes and close to two hundred new lambs. Each season the lambs are hand fed for the first few days of their lives and then cared for carefully as they grow to market size. The ewes are brought onto the milk line and milked twice a day producing approximately thirty gallons of luscious, creamy milk.

The fresh, raw milk is gently handled and made into artisan cheese following a Basque style from Europe. It is made by hand each day after the morning milking. After the cheese wheels are formed they are rubbed with salt and allowed to develop a natural mold rind. The cheeses age in our cave for a minimum of sixty days before they come to market.

Lark’s Meadow Farms is family run and committed to producing the best sheep’s milk cheese in the region by giving attention to detail and great care to our animals and pasture.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheese for Sale!

Lark's Meadow Farms officially has cheese for sale! We spent the last weekend (June 18th and 19th) at two farmers markets in Rexburg and Idaho Falls and sold way more cheese than we expected. Pictured above you can see, Kendall, our cheese maker preparing samples of the first wheels ever to be offered publicly. We are grateful for the overwhelming support and positive feedback that we have been receiving.

Our first customer is from Rexburg. She will go down in the history files of Lark's Meadow! And she is beautiful too!

The farmers markets have a wonderful atmosphere and provide a neat opportunity to meet people in the community. If you have not been to one, we definitely recommend it!

Thanks! We hope you enjoy the cheese!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Flock- We do mean Sheep!

One of the most common questions we have had when we introduce our cheese as sheep milk cheese is, "Sheep? You mean goats, right?"
No, we actually do mean sheep. These are our milking ewes out in the pasture. The soil here has rich nutrients that come from volcanic activity of days gone by. The pasture gives the ewes good nutrition that naturally increases their milk production and gives different flavor nuances to the cheese.
The breeds that we have are not common to this region. They are East Friesian and Lacaune crosses bred specifically for dairy production. In future posts we will introduce you to some of our sheep, so that you can see what they are like.