Branched Oak Farm is dedicated to the practice of producing farmstead cheeses. Our farmstead cheese is unique in that it’s made right here on our farm, using milk from our own animals. Because we utilize this practice when making our cheese, we’re able to control how the milk is produced. We know that our milk is chemical-free and has the unique flavor from grazing on only our farm’s grasses. The French use the word ‘terrior’ to describe this unique taste. Why is this so important? Because we get to monitor each and every step. Few dairies can claim that they know how the cows are treated, how they’re fed, and how the milk is collected. We feel very fortunate to be able to manage our farm in this way.
Being a farmstead operation, we have the advantage of being able to milk our cows and make cheese onsite. Our milking facility and cheese making facility are attached. The cows are brought in each morning and milked. The milk is collected and then chilled in the bulk tank. Depending on the type of cheese we’re going to make, it’s either pasteurized in the cheese vat or used to make raw milk cheese. Our cheese is aged in our very own cave. This temperature- and humidity-controlled environment allows our cheese to ripen to perfection.
In addition to our “regular” cheeses, we are always experimenting to produce unique seasonal varieties. We just made the first batches of gruyere this fall and winter. Think: cheddar meets gruyere. The first wheels are being sold now. We named it “Garland” after the hometown of Nebraska’s poet laureate, which is about 10 miles away on the other side of Branched Oak Lake. There also is some blue cheese in the works, ask for availability. It’s name says it all: Attempt d’Bleu – A delicious tongue in cheek. The Laughing Priest will be back in time for the holidays! Earthy, with hints of mushroom, I can barely eat enough of it! Keep checking in for other seasonal selections and experiments.