In preparation for our upcoming Pacific northwest pizza recipe, we visited Ferndale Farmstead Cheese to talk with Dan Wavrin and take a tour, before grabbing some cheese.
This local farm was the natural choice when I was looking for a local source for pizza ingredients because they specialize in Italian cheeses. I was already familiar with their mozzarella and their scamorza, but I didn’t realise just how many other types of cheese they were making there.
We got to peer into the creamery to see them forming some provolone. The equipment they use is designed to create a product that is as authentic to an Italian artisan cheese as is possible when using modern high-tech machinery.
Something I have noticed so far with these local businesses is the important tension between upholding traditional methods and adopting innovative ways to be efficient. Although there is definitely a good presence of modern technology, the mission of Ferndale Farmstead is a grassroots (pun intended) idea of bringing everything from ‘seed to cheese’.
You really get the sense of the cycle of everything coming out and going back in to the system. They farm around 500 acres – predominantly grass – which is fertilized solely with manure flushed from their barns. The grass is gathered and in some manner fermented to preserve it. The cows then eat the hay, along with some other feed, to produce the cheese.
We got to visit with the cows – from 2 day old calves up through their ‘teenage years’ and into adulthood. They also had about 4 or 5 pet chickens in a coop with whom my two babes were fascinated.
We had a wonderful visit and are so pleased to be able to showcase three of their cheeses in our next American iconic food recipe: Pizza!
From mine to yours,
Here’s a link to their website so you can check it out for yourself.