Way way back in the beginning of the beginning with Woven Meadows our goal has been cheese (with some bacon and eggs thrown in for good measure!).
This is the most complicated part of our farming goals as it involves a purpose-built structure that complies with Ag and Markets extensive guidelines.
One of the requirements is a double stainless steel sink for the creamery (where the cheese is made) and one in the milk House (where we clean the milking equipment). We were able to get a double sink for a steal last summer … and we just found a second sink on craigslist – perfect for the creamery!
Here is a list of all the additional supplies and materials we need for the farm creamery. We’re hoping to begin construction as soon as the ground thaws!
Whenever possible we’re seeking out used equipment for a more economical project. In some cases, used is not practical as this equipment is much to large for our purposes as it is designed for much larger farms.
- Hot Water Heater
- Washable Walls (such as fiberglass reinforced panels)
- Light Fixtures
Parlor and Milk House:
- Milking System
- Cleaning System
- Bulk Tank (where the milk is cooled and stored before it’s moved to the cheese-making vat … this is the one we’re looking at right now)
- Hand-wash sink
- More cows – given what our pasture can sustain at the moment we are planning to start with 4 additional cows for 6 total. After a few years of improvement (chickens going through the pasture, for example) we anticipate maxing out at 10-12 cows that we’re milking.
- Vat pasteurizer (essential for fresh cheeses; cheese under 60 days old must be made with pasteurized milk required by Ag and Markets) (We plan to get the vat pasteurizer from Micro-Dairy Designs.)
- Curd Cutting Knives
- Cheese hoops
- Transfer Pump (this moves the milk from the milk house to the creamery)
- Draining Table (table on an incline where cheese can be pressed or hung above and the whey flows away from the cheese)
- Press (to press the whey out of the cheese and consolidates the curd)
- Hand-wash sink
- Work Tables
Two-bay stainless steel wash sink
- Shelving (for storage of cheese making supplies)
- Supply fridge and freezer (to store rennet and cultures for cheese making)
Aging room (this may be an attached room to the creamery or it may be a walk-in cooler and is where the cheese ages):
- Cooling Unit (the cool-bot is an option we’re keeping in mind)
If you have any of this lying around (a sink, perhaps?) or no of someone who has any of these supplies or materials they may be interested in parting with – let us know! So excited to bring yummy cow milk cheese to the North Country!