We set up a casual meeting on Saturday with Ruth at the cheese shop at Appel farms in Ferndale.
Her sweet husband, John, had surprised her with a trip out to the beach on his motorcycle for lunch, so we started out talking with Teresa and another gal behind the counter. They took great care of us in the meantime. In our Facebook communications, Ruth had recommended a few of their cheeses to complement the other flavors in our upcoming burger recipe. We tried those first and then our whole family sampled as much cheese as we wanted. Daddy Alsum and I agreed that the Havarti was the winner for the project. It is actually the newest addition to their selection of excellent cheeses. It has only been available for under a year, but it is becoming increasingly popular.
When Ruth arrived back and introduced herself to us, it became clear very quickly that she was as sweet and down-to-earth as the smoked gouda that her farm crafts.
When I asked about their philosophy for the business, she said that she hadn’t been asked before. She was of the mind that if you don’t love what you do when it comes to farming, you leave. She definitely showed that she loves it more often than she had ever wanted to leave. The farm was started out by her father-in-law. He learned how to make cheese in Europe before coming to the States. When retirement neared, someone approached him to make the German classic, Quark. From starting with gouda and quark, they now serve a wide variety of cheeses, as well as yoghurt and ice cream. As a generational family farm, sustainability is at the heart of the operation.
“We are not just living for us, but also for future generations -Ruth Appel
As we chatted, we walked by their large koi pond and fed the fish, before heading over to visit the resident goats. Ruth gave Lark and Hart some feed to offer Charlie, Cookie and Cream. When we went back on Tuesday, they had a new addition to their herd come in. As you can expect, my kids absolutely loved it.
We enjoyed sharing one of their medium cheeseboards between the four of us. They also have a drive-thru, which I thought is a fantastic idea.
They recently expanded and renovated their creamery there at the farm. We got to peer in through the windows on Saturday, but we organised when would be the best time on Tuesday to see them forming their gouda – the cheese that started it all.
We loved all the cheeses. What is your favorite cheese?
From mine to yours,
Here’s a little link to their website so you can take a look for yourself. They are well-worth the visit.