Updates & Blog

Posted 2/5/2013 11:20am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

As we approach lambing time, we choose to shear our sheep. I know it’s cold outside, I get it. But for the record, it’s my preference to shear the sheep before lambing and milking. I prefer to shear for management reasons—it’s easier for me to give my ewes their yearly vaccinations at shearing, more sheep fit along the feeders after shearing, and it’s cleaner in the milking parlor if the sheep are shorn.

We have a really great shearer. He answers my calls and comes when he is scheduled. I love that—total dependability. This year we are shearing in two cycles, ewes first and lambs six weeks later.

And don’t you know we scheduled shearing day on a day when Kevin was out of town. Convenient for him, right? But I am a strong, tough wife and I was able to manage everything on my own. My sheep are calm and are easy to handle. Actually the worst part of the day involved convincing my seven year old that she did indeed have to go to school that day. She wanted to stay and help like last year. It was a long, drawn-out battle, but in the end I prevailed and Ellen went to school (an hour late, but she still went to school).

Shearing took just over four hours and went without a hitch. Thirty-six ewes all clean and white.

     

George shearing, A finished fleece, And Ellen from last year, who wouldn't want to miss school for this?

Posted 1/29/2013 1:52pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

 

 

So it’s about that time of year for us—time to get ready for lambing. That means a variety of things, schedule the shearer, make sure our vaccinations are ready to give and make sure we have enough lambing pens. Each year we make a couple more, one or two to replace ones that were broken and one or two to have new to go along with the expanding flock.

          

Trying to square off my repurposed materials... Chop saw with hearing protection... There's that pink hammer!... Ellen securing hardware

 

We took advantage of the abnormally nice weather last week to knock out three new lambing pens. And by ‘knock out’ I mean drag the process out over two days and like 10 hours… grrrr! Previously we have bought all new materials for lambing pens, it’s easier and then we have everything we need to start. But I am queen of cheap so I thought we could patch together some pens. Kevin likes things to look all nice and new, I realize that soon enough they will be smeared in placenta and other bodily excrements, so we slapped ‘em together. Most everything we had on hand.

             

Shopping with daddy... Hinges... Notice the double safety eye wear... you can never be too careful. Or level (pink level at that!). We never did break it to her that level was not important on this project... finally finished

We did have to make one run to Lowes/ TSC for random things and stuff. My favorite part of any project is when Kevin uses pink tools. Our sweet youngest daughter has a pink full-sized tool set, so when you ask for a certain tool, chances are when she hands it to you it will be pink. Love catching Kevin using a pink hammer. So ahead of schedule we have new lambing pens. Next up shearing day!

 


Posted 1/6/2013 6:38pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

 

Border Collie Pups For Sale-- All Puppies have been sol. Thank you for your interest.

We had a surprise batch of puppies right before Thanksgiving. Pups were all born on November 20 and are ready to find a new loving home. Seven puppies were in the litter 4 girls and 3 boys. The mother is our red female Gretta the father is our male dog, Ollie. All will be registered with the American Border Collie Association. Females are $300 and males are $250. Please send a message if you are interested to cheese@yellowhousecheese.com or call 330.416.8881.

 

Winky-- Female-- The smallest and the cutest. She has a fine white blaze and a full white chest. Has the shortest hair coat of the group.

        **SOLD**

Panda-- Male-- The first puppy born and has always been the biggest of the bunch. Seems to be the most obedient and is happy to please. He is also the one to find the softest place in the house to lie down to nap.

   **SOLD**

Harry Potter-- Male-- A sweet puppy with a nice white front. Very playful and sweet.

  **SOLD**

Hermione-- Female-- The largest female in the litter. She is the most timid and quietest of the group. Really pretty and marked nicely.

**SOLD**

Spice T-- Female-- The spunkiest of the puppies. She has a black face with only a small white speck on her crown. She likes to sleep on her back and is a lot of fun.

   **SOLD**

Big Whiskers-- Male-- A very pretty puppy. Quiet and nicely marked.

   **SOLD**

Dot-- Female-- Dot is the leader of the pack. A nice, gentle loving female. She is completely adorable.

**SOLD**

Posted 12/12/2012 12:42pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Indoor Winter Farmers Market, Dec. 15-16, 2012


Yellow House Cheese will be at the Indoor Farmer's Market this weekend in Akron at Lock 3. Check the link for an entire weekend of fun things to do with the family.


http://www.downtownakron.com/enjoy/holidayfest

For the 6th year, a Winter Farmers Market will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 15-16, opening at 11 a.m. each day, with local hand-crafted food items and baskets for sale. The indoor market in the basement of the O'Neil's Building is set for Saturday, December 15 (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Sunday, December 16 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.).
 

From the field:

  

Around the farm:

We moved cows in this weekend. They had still been out on pasture, more than a month longer than last year. Thankful for an extra month of green grass, hay is really expensive this year. The sheep are still moving around the pasture on stockpiled grass. Hopefully they will be coming home around Christmas. And around Thanksgiving we had a litter of border collie puppies-- 7 of them!! 4 girls and 3 boys. They will be ABCA registered. They will not be ready for Christmas, but if you want a puppy, please message us at cheese@yellowhousecheese.com. Pictures will be posted shortly.
 

Family Funny:

We are getting ready to send out holiday packages to the family around the country. I always bake and make buckeye candies. Kevin joked about sending out Heart Attack Boxes. If you get one, you'll know it. We are sending out cheese, buckeyes, and chocolate chip cookies with bacon. Hope you get a gym membership from Santa.
 

Still need presents or a hostess gift?

Yellow House Cheese makes a great present and hostess gift at the holiday party. Call the farm and we will get your gifts ready for you to pick up. We also have lamb available. Start a new Christmas tradition and serve leg of lamb at your table this year.
 


Posted 11/13/2012 8:41am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Yellow House Cheese will be out and about this week:


You can find us in Seville at the Christmas Preview. We will be serving our delicious cheese at Funky Junk Boutique on Thursday, November 15, serving from 11-9. All cheeses will be available for purchase and you can also pick up select lamb pieces as well. If you have never shopped at Funky Junk, or in downtown Seville, I encourage you to come out and support our small village. Funky Junk Boutique features vintage painted furniture, antiques, unique upcycled jewelry and accessories, and work by talented local artists. Funky Junk is also a proud retailer of Chalk Paint decorative brand paints by Annie Sloan and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. What is cool about that? You can DIY your own projects with premium paint and make yourself look like a pro!

You don't have to leave Seville to get everything you need for the holidays! Get your food from Yellow House CheeseWhitefeather Meats, and Half Caked Treats; centerpieces from Seville Flower & Gift; Gifts from Funky Junk BoutiqueVintage Corner Antiques & CollectiblesSeville AntiquesThe Rusty Bucket, and Velvet's W. Main Framing. Then get yourself all prettied up at Tangerine Parlour, Innovations, or Seville Barber Shop. Help keep Downtown Seville growing.


On Saturday and Sunday, November 17 &18, Yellow House Cheese will be participating in the Farmer's Market during the Medina Candlelight Walk. The Candlelight walk is a great event featuring a lighted parade with Santa, caroling, carriage rides, ice carving, hot chocolate and all the shops in the historic district decorated for Christmas. You can really feel the hometown spirit of Medina at this event. There will be shuttles to move shoppers around the square and directly to Root Candles. We will be located in Root Candles for the duration of the event on Saturday and Sunday. Cheese, lamb and felted wool crafts will be available. This is a fun event day or night to attend with the entire family.



 

Lamb is now available


 

Lamb is now available at Yellow House Cheese. We have ground lamb, leg of lamb, shanks and lamb chops. If you are interested please call the farm at 330.769.9733.


Pictures from the Field


The sheep are still out on pasture. Hopefully they have about another 6 weeks of good grass before they come in for the winter. 

           

 

Where you can find us next:


 

Seville Christmas Preview at Funky Junk Boutique: Thursday, November 15

Medina Candlelight Walk: November 17 & 18 at Root Candle Company

Weiland's Gourmet Market

Jackson's Restaurant

And you can always call, cheese is available for sale from the farm.

 

Thank you for supporting our new business. If you know anyone else who would be interested in Yellow House Cheese, please pass along our newsletter, website link or facebook page.

Posted 11/1/2012 1:02pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Raising Kids with Livestock


 

I couldn’t imagine raising my kids in town. Sometimes I know that we make them go on errands that they couldn’t care less about, but really I feel like we are giving them a great life with great experiences. On the farm the girls learn about birth, death, disappointments and joys. They get to live among life’s miracles every day. Life here gives my children responsibility. The girls are in charge of things that really matter to the day to day operations of the farm. Watering the sheep can seem like such a mundane task, but I really hope that every day as they stand next to the water tub they can see that they are nurturing the ewes with water that in turn gives our family the valuable sheep milk. I know that Ellen and Corinne will not be surprised or embarrassed during the eventual “Birds and the Bees” talk. They get it already and see it on the farm. Rams plus ewes equals baby lambs. Cows plus a straw of semen with some help from dad gives us calves in the spring and fall. My two girls are really great helpers and they make Kevin and I so proud. 

 

Lamb is now available


 

Lamb is now available at Yellow House Cheese. We have ground lamb, leg of lamb, shanks and lamb chops. If you are interested please call the farm at 330.769.9733.


Cheese Pictures from the Make Room and Aging Cave


 

           

 

Where you can find us next:


 

Seville Christmas Preview at Funky Junk Boutique: Thursday, November 15

Medina Candlelight Walk: November 17 & 18 at Root Candle Company

Weiland's Gourmet Market

Jackson's Restaurant

And you can always call, cheese is available for sale from the farm.

 

Thank you for supporting our new business. If you know anyone else who would be interested in Yellow House Cheese, please pass along our newsletter, website link or facebook page.

Posted 10/15/2012 9:35am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

On Tuesday, October 9th, Yellow House Cheese comducted our first chef farm tour for Fire Food & Drink. I had a lot of fun promoting our small, local business to local chefs.

Here is what they had to say about it at their blogspot.

http://firefoodanddrink.com/2012/80-shades-of-red-apple-farming-and-cheese-craft-adventures/

 

Posted 9/28/2012 5:31pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

We will be at the Medina Farmer's Market tomorrow from 9am-1pm with Yellow House Blue Sheep's Milk Cheese and Blue Cow. I can't wait for the beautiful fall weather tomorrow!! 


A few of you have asked about farm sale hours. Right now we do not have committed hours to sell at the farm, but we are often here if you would like to stop in. We do ask that you call ahead to make sure someone will be here. Call the farm at 330.769.9733. Please leave a message, we may be outside.

 

Thank you all for your support. Enjoy your weekend!!


Posted 9/16/2012 10:02am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

At market so many people ask if the cheese making process is hard. It's not hard to make cheese, it's hard to make good cheese. And it's even harder to make good cheese consistently. A cheese maker must be dedicated to cleanliness and consistency. But making the cheese is actually quite fun and is simple as following a basic recipe with lots of mysterious chemistry thrown in. (The mysterious chemistry is what I refer to as the "magic" in the cheese making)

Here is a quick run down on how I make my cheeses...

First thing is first. You must breed the ewes, keep them in good condition and birth out or "lamb." At our farm this happens around March and through April. Lambing is what starts the ewes to come into milk.
Next, you have to milk the sheep. The ewes learn the milking routine. At our farm we milk at 6 am and 6 pm. The ewes will start their march towards the parlour like clockwork to be milked. The ewes receive corn in the parlour and it only takes about 2 minutes to milk out each sheep.
After cleaning and sanitizing all of the make room equipment, the milk is dumped into the cheese vat to start a batch of cheese. Our vat is a steam kettle that we use by running hot water through the jacket of the vat to slowly warm the milk. Milk is stirred during warming to bring it up to a target temperature.
The target temperature for most of my recipes is 90 degrees. Once the milk is at 90, it is ready for the cultures to be added.
The starters and mold powder are the only cultures added to my milk. The ingredients are weighed on a gram scale and added after reaching the target temperature.
Wait on the cultures to do their "magic." takes somewhere between 30 minitues to an hour and a half, depending on the type of cheese I am making.
After cultures are started and happy, add the rennet. It is the magic ingredient that takes the milk from a liquid to a solid.
Wait on the curd to set. This can take from 30-45 minutes, again depending on the recipe. Corinne prefers to read while waiting. I think this is Mrs. Pigglewiggle. I usually clean.
Check for a clean break. This is where the curd holds to itself and does not weep into the cut. It is pretty fantastic to achieve a clean break! I am always amazed.
Time to cut the curd. And every time Kevin will ask, "Who cut the cheese?" Horrible cheese jokes are a plenty at Yellow House.
Let the curds settle about 10 minutes after cutting. It's called healing.
Mix the curds. This process takes about 30 minutes. I stir with my hands. During the mixing the whey is also syphoned off a little bit at a time over the 30 minutes.
Cheese curds are put into cheese molds. This created the form of the cheese. Curds are draining why when they are first put into the molds, so it is important to flip the cheese for the first few hours of being put in the molds.
After flipping the cheeses in the molds throughout the make day, the cheeses are taken out of the molds and placed on draining mats for the next two days at room temperature and salted twice a day. Salting continues the process of expelling the whey from the curd.
New cheese is taken to the aging cave. This is where the blue mold will start to bloom. Blue cheeses need poked at a one week and two weeks old to promote air circulation in order to let the blue mold bloom and grow.
Notice the blue mold growing on the cheese. This is how the cheese progresses through its aging.
Trying the cheese. This is how we gauge how the blue mold is progressing through the entire cheese. The cheese can also be tasted at different stages of aging using the trier.
Cut the cheese into wedges for sale.
Package, weigh and label for sale.
Sell at the farmer's market.
Posted 9/10/2012 10:01am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Looking for more ways to love Yellow House Cheese? You can now find us on Pinterest where we share our favorite recipes, other cheese makers, sheep pictures and more. You can find us here. Start following today.