Cheese making is a major activity at Barnfires with the milk coming from the Jersey cows, Saanen goats and assorted milk sheep on the farm.
The cheese is made under the name of FarSide Farmhouse Cheeses, a brand that accompanied cheesemaker Andrew Newby from the Western Cape when he and his family settled at Barnfires. The abundant pastures alongside the Vaal River were exactly what the Newby’s livestock needed to produce high-quality, creamy milk to make superior artisan cheese.
TYPES OF CHEESES
The farm produces a variety of 100% Saanen goat and Jersey cow milk cheeses. In addition, a variety of mixed milk cheeses are finding increasing acceptance among cheese connoisseurs with a combination of Jersey/Saanen milk Feta proving to be especially popular.
A small flock of milk ewes has been established and the sheep are expected to begin producing milk soon, so adding a third layer to our cheese production.
Cheeses are mostly of the soft surface-ripened varieties, made in the style of Italian Caciottas, French Camemberts and Chevrés as well as Mexican Queso Fresco and some of the Eastern Mediterranean cheeses such as Halloumi, Feta and Labneh. A Farside signature cheese is its Vaal White, a mould cheese similar to Camembert, but bigger and slightly firmer.
Barnfires offers two-day cheese courses on request.
This is a great opportunity to learn about that wonder commodity called milk, and more importantly, the fascinating world and traditions of this planet’s many and varied cheeses.
The participants learn to make at least one type of cheese and get to take it home with them.
The course package includes tea/coffee over the two days, lunch on the first day, a set of notes and a starter pack to venture forth to make another cheese in the comfort of one’s own kitchen.