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Frey Vineyards

Christian Saretzki
August 19, 2013 | Farm & Garden | Christian Saretzki

Cheesemaking on the Frey Farm

Organic hand-crafted cheese
Milked by hand, made by hand! (Our cheese is not for retail sale, but you can try it at ourWine Club events at the winery!)

Milk was never appealing to me. It was rather tasteless and too watery, not to mention the fact that it came in a plastic bag on which the words “homogenized” and “pasteurized” were clearly highlighted. That is part of what I experienced growing up in a big city like Bogotá, Colombia. At least, to balance things out, home-made cooking was the norm and grandma’s love for the kitchen could turn any store-bought produce into a delicious meal.

For the past six months I have been working and apprenticing at Luke Frey’s Biodynamic Farm at the Frey Ranch in Redwood Valley where I have been given the task of milking two lovely Jersey cows and turning their milk into a variety of dairy products, especially cheese.

Lovely cheese-making cows
Where it all begins.

Could raw milk really taste so delicious? Could real butter seem so yellow? Could fresh whey be so sweet? Could the cream that rises to the top be so thick? Could one fall in love with the art of making cheese and devote oneself to tending the wheels as if they were tender living creatures? These are some of the questions that confronted me as I entered into this commonsensical way of living.

In the cheese cellar
Ripening cheese.

The farm also produces an abundance of seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruits as well as fresh eggs. Meat is harvested once or twice a year from the different farm animals in a humane and conscious way.

With this vast array of wholesome ingredients the possibility of creation is limitless and the sacrificial act of cooking and eating brings satisfaction beyond measure. When one sits at a table and beholds the many simple delicacies that have been handcrafted and gathered within an eighth of a mile radius, it becomes a healing experience that nourishes the whole of man.  At least this has been my experience.

Emily and Christian and the final product.
Emily (wife of Luke Frey) and Christian with the final product!

Thus, it’s not surprising to find that when one participates harmoniously with the stream of life, it has the potential to evolve further through our own efforts. So, in a sense, real alchemy is at our fingertips as long as we become familiar with and respect the integrity of life.  For this, the farm environment offers an ideal setting for greater learning, enjoyment and exploration.

Our cheese is not for retail sale, but you can try it at our Wine Club events at the winery!


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