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Batch 169 Hoppin’ Mad, April 4th, 2017

Ok, oh kay.  Just a little behind in what I insisted was a vital part of the sharing process so, with good intentions, I’m starting back up on the adventure of a batch from dairy to finished. Or, at least what we have available now.

Here we go.

Unable to procure any more of the beautiful hops product we had used in the past, we started searching for a replacement. Batch 169 tested out such a product. At 7 months, it was ghastly, at 9, still no good. This was December and we had run out of aged cheese on the 26th so we decided, to heck with it, left it alone and only thought of it when it was in the way of all the new batches we were making.

Mid March of this year we finally tried it again and, at 13 months, it was finally ready!

Now it’s mid June and we are down to the last few pieces. Such a beautiful cheese. Needless to say, we have moved onto a different, hopefully more cooperative hops product. Let’s hope the wait isn’t as long!

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Summer Schedual recap

Woo Hoo! We have survived May and, already well into June, we seem to be getting the hang of all the new Markets we’re attending. With two weeks of our full 6 market schedual, plus a cheese make behind us, we are really testing our stamina!

Last Monday morning started at 5am with a run down the valley to the dairy – we were nearly out of curds! – and will end with a lovely time at the Bigfork Village Market.  The new space in the lot in front of Bookside Yard is turning out to be a perfect venue for a Monday afternoon/early evening out. The music is out on the grass next to Brookside Yard, who specializes in locally produced libations and the market is collected together for ease of wandering and the atmosphere is relaxing and energetic all at the same time.

Tuesday we’re back in the high energy bustle of the Whitefish Farmers Market.  The park in front of the Train Depot has been re sod (and can I say how weird it is NOT to have the lovely brick building that was on the SW corner there!! Thankfully it was moved rather than demolished.  First the pond and now the building!) and is currently partially closed off but I understand it should be freed up for the market to spread back out to it’s natural shape in July.

Wednesday is when we usually make cheese – well, every other week – along with cutting and packaging aged cheese as needed for the coming week. I’ve come to think of it as our mid week week end as we don’t have any markets.

Thursday is our other usual (as needed) cheese make day along with the new Ronan Farmers Market. Out behind the Visitors Center, just off the Highway, we’re in lovely grassy area with plenty of room to park, stroll and enjoy. The hours are currently from 4-6pm but as we get both the vendors and customers used to us always being there, hoping to extend the hours to 7pm – possibly around the Summer Solstice. One of the beauties of the market is the commanding view of the Mission Mountains and quite a bit of avian activity in skies above with the proximity of the Pablo Reservoir. There were three bald eagles zooming around, low and close, last week!

Fridays we see double duty as Joe does the morning shift at the Polson Farmers Market and I head down to Missoula in the afternoons for deliveries and then end up at the Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius.  The Polson Market is as active and varied as ever with each vendor spot booked and a hefty waiting list of creative and amazing people ready each week to make sure the place is full! From plants to produce to new and reclaimed art to food, there is something to delight the eye, senses and stomach at each step.  (Did I mention the pastries, coffee, honey, chocolate, breads, uh hum, cheese?)  The Mission Falls Market is in it’s second year and is going strong. There are quite a few vendors there that you’ll not find at other markets along with some of those of us who feel the need to stretch out and be a part of just about everything. A couple stand outs at the market for me are the kid’s corner, where younger folks are encouraged to be creative and sell their products courtesy of the market. There is an amazing crew of Junior Entrepreneurs at work there and room for more! My second standout is, again, the view. Stunning.

Saturday mornings you’ll find Joe in his familiar place up at the Kalispell Market. It has really grown into the newer location at the College, moving and adapting as the school grows.  Happily, the customers don’t seem to mind much and keep Joe busy.  I can be found at the Creamery where it can almost be as busy!

Sundays are a little slower for us, what with no markets to attend and just being open at the Creamery. We had thought of participating in a couple of the Seeley Lake Markets but, alas, it is not to be (and I’d rather not go into the whys and whatevers here) so you can find us here in Polson getting odd jobs done and handing out samples.

If you’re in the area, come by for a visit or perhaps we’ll see you at one of the markets. Either way, hope your summer is going swimmingly!  Cheers!

Here’s what we’ve gotten ourselves into from May to October:

Creamery open Monday – Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

Monday 4-7 pm Bigfork Village Market                                                                         Tuesday 5-7:30 pm Whitefish Farmers Market                                                            Thursday 4-6 pm Ronan Farmers Market                                                                                  .                  with an occasional                                                                                             Thursday 5-7:30 pm Columbia Falls Community Market                                       Friday 9-1 pm Polson Farmers Market                                                                                                         Friday early afternoon Missoula deliveries                                                   Friday 5-7 pm Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius                                           Saturday 9-12:30 pm Kalispell Farmers Market

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Farmers Market Season 2018

Market season is looming large here at the Creamery – holy cow! 2 weeks from today!! and thoughts have turned to getting back into the routine of ‘the week‘ and we realized that perhaps it was time to branch out into some other locations.

We tried and failed to add a 5th market last year after realizing we’d have 2 days a month that we could make cheese. OK, well, that won’t work.

This year, we’ve been blessed with some assistance and so decided to not just dip a toe but to jump into the market pool!

To do this, though, one of our core markets would have to be given up. The answer was easy for me – which one did I have to get up at 5am for. Ug!! So apologies to the lovely folks in Missoula as we will not be at the Saturday Market this year BUT we will still be doing deliveries SO proposing we set up a Friday mid afternoon time and location for meeting and cheesing.  Please email me (so I can keep track) at cheeseme@flatheadlakecheese.com and let me know your feelings on this.

Here’s what we’ve gotten ourselves into from May to October:

Monday 4-7 pm Bigfork Village Market                                                                                Tuesday 5-7:30 pm Whitefish Farmer’s Market                                                               Thursday 4-6 pm Ronan Farmer’s Market                                                                                     .                  with an occasional                                                                                                   Thursday 5-7:30 pm Columbia Falls Community Market                                                   Friday 9-1 pm Polson Farmer’s Market                                                                                                         Friday early afternoon Missoula deliveries                                                                  Friday 5-7 pm Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius                                                          Saturday 9-12:30 pm Kalispell Farmer’s Market

We will also be doing a couple of the Sunday morning Seeley Lake Farmers’ Markets – dates yet to be determined – AND The Tailing Loop Winery in Evergreen/Kalispell is looking into doing occasional Sunday Market as well.

Locations for markets as well as anything else we’re doing can be found on the Calendar page.

Along with the Farmers Markets, the Creamery will move to summer hours on the 20th of May.

Monday – Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

Come see us this summer.  We’ve added a couple reminders to visit.

Boy Howdy, I think we jumped into the deep end!  Good thing we can swim!!              Cheers and have a spectacular summer!

Wendi and Joe

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