We went up to Canyon View Farms – the home of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese in Heber, just the other side of Park City. I hadn’t been to a dairy farm since about 5th grade when I had a school field trip, made memorable by the moment when I stepped in what I thought was a patch of nice firm mud that turned out to be a big patch of squishy cow poo – yuck! This time around, I stepped very carefully!!
Russ Kohler and his wife conducted the first part of our tour while his father Grant did the last half. Russ is a 4th generation dairy farmer and he was very knowledgeable about all aspects of cheese making. He makes hundreds of pounds of delicious all-natural cheese every week in every imaginable variety – even maple brown sugar cheese, and Oreo cheddar – yep with real chocolate. But mostly lots of yummy Swiss, white cheddar, jalapeno mozzarella, you name it. Fun fact – store bought cheddar is only orange because we’re used to it that way. They add food coloring to make it orange or yellow – yuck. Cheese is naturally white.
Russ’s lovely wife taught us how to make some raw milk mozzarella that was absolutely delicious and much easier to make than I expected.
|Photo credit: Heber Valley Artisan Cheese|
Grant is exactly what you would expect – a hard working farmer dedicated to raising his family of five grown children on the farm he inherited from his family. I was surprised to learn that nearly 90% of the dairies in Utah are family-run like theirs. They aren’t getting rich, but they are living a life they believe in and providing quality products for the people of Utah. You can tell they really enjoy this life. I can understand that, the farm is so beautiful and peaceful. As you can see, I even got to bottle feed a calf.
If you’d like to get a taste of this life, you will have a great opportunity coming up in a couple of weeks – on June 8th, they are having a very special farm event. They are partnering with Domino’s pizza (fun fact – 25% of all the cheese made here in the US ends up on pizza) to have breakfast pizzas, ice cream, cheese tasting and farm tours. It’s all FREE to give the public a chance to visit the farm and learn about all the delicious products they create. What a great experience to enjoy with your whole family. They also offer classes from time to time in cheese and yogurt making, and special cheese tasting events. Visit their website for more information.