Diana Murphy, Dreamfarm, made her first 18 baby wheels of goat gouda this past week. The lovely white wheels are curing nicely in her aging room on her farm near Cross Plains. Diana makes fresh goat chevre all spring and summer to sell in the Vermont Valley CSA, and now that the CSA season is over, she will make goat gouda with her milk until her 20 goats dry in up early December.
I visited with Diana on Monday of this week at what may be the prettiest farm in all of the Midwest. Situated on a bluff overlooking a lush valley surrounded by hardwood trees in the last throes of fall foliage, Diana, her husband, Jim, and four daughters truly have found their “dream farm” in the rolling hills of scenic southwest Wisconsin.
Each of Diana’s goats are of course named and loved as individuals, and I was a little sad to see that Shiloh, Diana’s signature white milking goat who sports two lovely long curved horns, had broken off one of her horns this fall. Oh well, it just gives her more character. To see the goat in mention, view this new Wis Public Television 7-minute short on the state’s growing goat dairy industry: video.
Diana’s been making farmstead goat cheeses for five years. She sells her cheeses not only in a local CSA, but also at Willy St. Co-op in Madison and at the Westside Farmer’s Market — just two weeks left to buy her cheese and fresh farm eggs (show up no later by 8 a.m. for the eggs — last week she sold 72 dozen in an hour). Yikes.
In the high season, Diana makes cheese three days a week — chevre on Mondays and Wednesdays, and feta on Fridays. Now she’s making gouda twice a week until she runs out of milk for the winter. Then it will age all winter and make its official debut this spring. Ahh, something to look forward to through another long Wisconsin winter.