I love the smell of sheep. Some people will crinkle their nose up thinking of wet wool, others of footrot and blowfly, but to me it’s the warm smell of the barn, the gentle nuzzle of a soft nose or the hint of meadow grass on warm breath.
A friend of ours in Canada raised milk sheep. He was a chef and, after working up to Michelin star level, hung up his whites and headed home to farm in Nova Scotia. His product was the most incredible ewes milk cheese I had tasted. We were often placed next to each other at markets. He’d reserve a couple of loaves of bread for him and his family and I’d get a chunk of cheese in return, plus all his sample pots for the long drive home. (Laura is just finding this out now).
We sell a couple of sheep cheeses in the deli, both from the formidable White Lake Cheese just up the road in Pylle. The Pave Cobble is soft and tangy, as you’d expect a sheep cheese started with citric acid instead of rennet to be. The Sheep Rustler is smooth and firm, with a hint of the meadow about it. It’s not for the faint hearted though as it is the most expensive cheese we currently sell. ‘The Cheese of Kings,’ Ron would say with a twinkle in his eye. ‘Because only kings can afford it.’ Yes, I’m sure he could reel my pitch off in his sleep too, part of being market neighbours I guess, but if any of my Canadian friends want to pop some Coara Caise or Tomme in the post I would be over the moon!
Anyways, the point of this post was to let you know that our little flock of Shetlands are currently lambing so if you head up to the solar panel field and clap your hands calling ‘Sheep sheep sheep!’ in you best impersonation of me they should all come running over. Lambs are my absolute all time favourite things, hopping about like their legs are made of springs and generally having more fun than a bouncy castle full of five year olds. Come up, see the sheep then pop down to try some cheese, it would be good to see you.
“What do you want to be when you grow up,” asked the ewe of her ambitious lamb.Ljupka Cvetanova
” A wolf,” answered the lamb.”