Saturday, March 3, 2012
Good Shepherd Farm
If you signed up for the Fresh From the Farm Club this winter you'll be receiving your package this week! I won't spoil the surprise of the pattern or yarn for you but I will reveal that the extra goodie in this package is a bar of handmade soap from Good Shepherd Farm, located in central Kentucky. I had the pleasure of meeting Colleen at a workshop on lambing hosted by the University of Kentucky's agricultural school. They raise Friesian sheep for their milk which they make into a delicious semi-hard cheese. Unfortunately I can't include cheese in your club shipments, but I found out that they also use some of their sheep's milk in rich, creamy soaps. When the batch of soap I ordered for the club was ready to pick up a few weeks ago my mom (visiting for the weekend) and I drove out to the farm to pick up the soap and get a tour of the farm. We picked a great time for a visit-- it was one of the first warm, sunny days of early spring and they were in the middle of lambing season which means there were precious little lambs everywhere- from a day old to a few weeks old. In order for a dairy to be productive the ewes have to be bred and have lambs every year. The lambs are left with their moms for a week or so to get a healthy start in life but then they are taken away and put on milk replacer until they are ready to eat grain so that all the mothers' milk can be used for cheese and soap making. These "bottle babies" are very sweet and love people because, of course, they associate people with food. I wonder if they'll have any extra lambs that need to come live on the Unique Sheep farm this summer...
While visiting the farm we were lucky enough to be able to taste some of last season's cheese and it is delicious! I cannot wait until this season's cheese is available. Their cheese is so popular that they completely sold out of last season's cheese except for a bit that they held in reserve. This season's cheese still has to be aged before its ready to eat. They sell at the local (Lexington, KY) Farmer's Market but out-of-towners can also purchase it on their website.