Turns out they're off the beaten path, and down a long gravel road. In Waxhaw, NC.
Last weekend I treated myself to an on-the-farm class led by culinary expert Heidi Billotto at Bosky Acres Farm in Waxhaw. (No, my readers, I'm not finished exploring Waxhaw!) Michele Lamb, farmer/owner and Josh Villapando, "Wine Schnerbly" at The Common Market in Charlotte, rounded out the talent.
|Heidi, Josh and Michele|
Before I get to the meaning of Schnerbly (pronounced schner-blay), I will point you to Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' where Michele got the inspiration to name her farm, "Bosky Acres." Ceres asks,
"Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey drops, refreshing showers:
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky acres and my unshrubb'd down,
Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen
Summon'd me hither to this short-grass'd green?"
The Bard does wax poetic, doesn't he?
The Bard does wax poetic, doesn't he?
For someone who's been in the wine biz for 25 years, Josh is totally self-effacing and non-affected. Hence, he is the self-titled Wine Schnerbly...the polar opposite of a snooty sommelier. He brought 5 wines for our group to taste and to buy at very reasonable prices. We quaffed 2008 Monte Maria Barbera d'Asti, 2010 Primaterra Primitivo, 2009 Fairvalley Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 Cecchin Merlot, and 2010 Trinitas Moscato. All cost between $7.99 and $12.49 per bottle, with discounts for 6 or a case. Great deal!
Yay for the schnerbly!
Bosky Acres Farm is ALL about goats. They produce the purest local chevre, in all it's unripened glory. After you experience Michele's chevre, you will bypass the tangy, compressed white log of goat cheese in the supermarket case, with its expiration date 6 months out.
When I tasted truly local brie cheese in the Loire Valley, it was very yellow and a bit runny. After I was assured I would not have to be medivac-ed to Paris, I dove in. The brie was incroyable and decadent. Now, mass produced brie tastes to me like plastic wrapped in chalk. I'm not ruined, I've been saved! I eat less cheese now, but I invest in really good cheese.
To find out more and where you can buy Bosky Acres cheese and Michele's other goat milk based products around the Charlotte area, visit http://www.boskyacres.com/
|Light, airy, smooth and super dee-lish!|
Michele oversees 25 or so female goats and 2 bucks (it's the farm version of "The Bachelor") and this past kidding season she birthed 70 kids. Wow. The kids are removed from the mother within 30 minutes, so that no bond can be formed. Awww. It sounds harsh, but it's a business...and that's the reality. Most of the kids are sold and a few are kept to replenish the herd. We were very lucky that our class was held on Feb 25th--we got to see, hold and bottle feed the 10-day old kids. They're adorable...like little puppies, and their ears are like velvet!
|"Are you my mother?"|
|Heidi rocked the polka dots...|
After we all got blue ribbons for milking a goat, we petted the dawgs and bottle fed the babies, we headed back in to watch Michele make a 2 gallon batch of chevre (she usually processes 50 gallons at a time...6 days a week!) Interesting facts~~goat milk has more butterfat and it's naturally homogenized.
The curds separate from the whey (it drips into bowls)... a bit of salt is added and the chevre is
ready to be portioned out. Pasteurization for the daily production happens in a sterile tank, but Michele employed a shorter home-version process for our small batch. The whey is donated to a neighboring farm, and fed to the pigs. Nothing goes to waste!
While the cheese was setting up, Heidi led a goat cheese cooking demo while Josh poured the wines.
For more information about Heidi's classes, visit http://www.heidibillottoblogsrestaurants.blogspot.com/ or write to Heidi at email@example.com
For more info about The Common Market visit http://www.commonmarketisgood.com/ or write to Josh Villapando at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Italian stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese fondue.|