Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

I guess cheese mongers should be like the post office, writing emails through rain, hail, sleet, and snow, but during yesterday's storm my dang computer just wouldn't cooperate with me. After a morning of internet badness and watching kids and dogs frolic around and be generally insane out my window, I decided to chuck the project and head out to get a little snowy myself.

On this crispy and cold morning, I hope everyone is enjoying the snow (or whatever weather you might be seeing today) and relishing what with any luck will be the last dregs of winter. As the old saying goes, March has come in like a lion and (fingers crossed!) will go out like a lamb. In the world of cheese, that saying has double significance. Though we don't have any lion cheese (I double dog dare the farmer who wants to try that one), from right about now through the end of the month, we're entering what in the farming world is referred to as lambing or kidding (if you've got goats) season.

Sheep and goats are seasonal breeders, meaning that they like to breed in the fall, as the days grow shorter, be pregnant all winter long, and give birth in the springtime, when the promise of new grass and long summer days looms on the horizon. When goats and sheep first have their young, they are nourished from their mothers' rich, thick milk which is called colostrum. Generally after a few weeks nursing with their mothers (or in the case of some farms, like Three Corner Field Farm, who keep their lambs with their moms for a good couple of months) the young are weaned and the milk begins to be used for cheese making.

So when the lambs come out (quite literally) at the end of the month, it means that there'll be fresh cheese on the horizon... Which, on a chilly late winter morning, gives us all something to look forward to!

No comments: