In some kind of sado-masochistic frenzy, I have been signing our little family on for farm tour events — in the blistering 95-105-degree heat.
This little excursion was up to a sheep farm an hour away. The farm was celebrating the launch of its cheese-making production. The event offered cheese tastings of fresh and aged cheeses. I was so busy eating, I forgot to photograph the cheese.
They also offered, seriously, RACKS of lamb. It's good to be ewe. If it isn't ewe, you end up on the grill. And, might I add, mighty tasty as well. A range of appetizers as well, using the cheeses, and for dessert, a dark chocolate selection that used the sheep's milk.
It was worth the trip to hear first hand the rather emotional greeting from the two women farmers. One gave up a medical career, risked her family's finances to begin an eight-year journey to this moment. A journey that began with only 10 sheep, milking them by hand, under a tent in the middle of the field.
The cheese is all-natural, with the ewes being fed 95 percent on grass. The farm will go 100% grassfed once the farmers have seeded the right mix of grasses in their pasture. Thus, sheep farming involves a fair bit of "grass farming" as well.
I guess if there is a price to pay for dragging your kid to farm tours and encouraging a palate, I paid for it on the way home.
From the backseat, "There's mud on my flip-flop!"
"That's okay, Honey. We'll clean them up at home."
"I'm tasting the mud!"
"Uh, no, we were at a SHEEP farm! That might not be mud. No tasting!"
Too late. For those who wish your three-year-old were a more adventurous eater, people, this is the other side. It ain't always pretty.