The Cheese Maker
Each of our artisanal cheeses is distinct, and features characteristics of its season. One important way to distinguish our cheeses is the type of rennet used — while our Trefoil variety is vegetable rennet, all of our other cheeses are made with veal rennet.
Preserved milk in the form of cheese is the final product created in by the cheese maker. Encapsulating the distinct qualities of the seasons, the sheeps’ milk cheeses reflect the pasture at the point in time when they are made. Perhaps better than any other product made on the premises, cheese translates the character of this place at a particular point in time. The cheeses we produce change with the weather, from the first milk of the season in early spring to the final days of summer, we are able to capture and focus the amazing quality of flavor.
Brebis and Trefoil are Spring cheeses that include distinct flavors of the first shoots of clover and alfalfa in the pastures. Brebis, a soft ewe’s milk cheese, is produced earlier in the season and is similar to a Chevre. It has a rich and supple texture that is light on the palate. It is slightly tangy, yet well balanced, making it a very versatile cheese. The pungent Trefoil cheese derives its character from the more mature grazed pasture, including birdsfoot trefoil and other clovers, evident in the slightly hay-like background notes. The Trefoil is aged for 30 days, but remains soft and yielding. The cheese features the full flavor range of the wildflowers and grasses found in our pastures, and finishes with a slightly meaty aftertaste.
Once we truly move into the summer months, when Trefoil is no longer made, the hearty grasses and legumes fill the pastures. The ewes’ milk continues to gain natural acidity and a higher fat percentage. This is the perfect time to produce a cheese with a character defined by natural blue culture (penicillium roquefourti) with the salty iodine background so perfect with a rich wine. Blackberry blue is aged for two to four months gaining intensity with each passing week.
As summer comes to an end and the nights begin to cool the ewes become selective, only eating the most nutritious plants and grasses, yielding more and more concentrated milk. The cheese produced now must be able to capture and focus the amazing quality of flavor of the milk. We do this by producing a hard cheese aged a minimum of 120 days named Singing Brook. This boule shaped firm cheese is overflowing with the complex caramel richness only ewes milk can provide. Its layers of flavor are almost endless. Singing Brook is mature at six months of age and the flavor continues to improve for more than a year.
Dustin BusbyThe Farmstead Manager and Cheese maker
Most farmers come from a line of families that tilled the land, raised animals, or gathered products for generations and grew up doing the same. Dustin Busby has a different story. While his grandfather was a farmer, Dustin’s love for food started while he was working in the dish room of a small restaurant in his hometown of Summerville, South Carolina, and quickly found the allure of the kitchen and the restaurant world. That same fascination has held strong all the way through a stint as a BMX biker and being a father of two. His love of food and the kitchen led him to the Executive Sous Chef Position at Blackberry Farm and previously the Executive Sous Chef of the Woodlands and stints at The French Laundry, The Fat Duck and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. After working in the Barn at Blackberry Farm, Dustin dove further into the world of food and went straight to the source, the land. He became the preservationist and the cheesemaker then gradually took over the farm operations as a whole. As a chef, he understands the quality needed for the final product, and as a farmer he understands the work and processes required to create products worthy of the finest restaurants in the world. As Farmstead Manager, Dustin is constantly working to use the farm in a full circle way using the after products of one process to feed and enhance the next… Just like a farmer with generations of knowledge and years of experience.