2010 season: Farmgate sales Saturdays only, July through October
11:00am to 3:00pm
Please understand that we are a farm and can not accommodate visitors unless pre-arranged. Please call ahead to arrange a farm visit.
** 613 258 9619 **
Welcome to our farm. The name of our dairy sheep farm, Les brebis sur le toit bleu, is an affectionate nod to Jean Cocteau and 1920s Paris.
We have been developing our small herd of dairy sheep (Lacaune, East Friesian, Rideau Arcott crosses) for just over eight years now and are producing Pyrénées-style Tomme, blue cheese, a washed rind cheese, feta and a Coulomier-style bloomy rind cheeses. All are traditional sheep milk cheeses. It has been a wonderful experience learning about our animals, building our small milking parlour, cheese- making room, ageing room, and making cheese!
Richard is the cheesemaker and has been making cheese since the turn of the century. He has studied with French cheesemakers, mostly from the Basque region of France, to learn traditional methods. He has also earned a certificate from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese in Burlington, Vermont.
We built our cheesemaking room in 2003. A basement cistern dating from about 1920 has been converted into an ageing room for our semi-hard cheeses. We built a second, larger ageing room in 2007. The temperatures vary between 9 and 12 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of about 85%.
We are now milking 30 ewes – Adèle, Agnès, Angèle, Anouk, Aurore, Camille, Cecilia, Charlotte, Édithe, Estelle, Flavie, Jeanne, Juliette, Lili, Lilou, Lola, Lolita, Madeleine, Magali, Marquise, Marthe, Martine, Mimi, Nanette, Pénélope, Romy, Ségolène, Solange, Valentine, Violette, and Viviane. Albert, our terrific wether, leads his flock all around with his tinkling bell. He is very happy hanging out with our retirees, Amélie, Clara, Loulou, Luci, Margot, Mathilde and Simone. And Chocolaté (chio-co-latte), our llama, continues to guard his flock vigilantly. Charlot, the Schapendoes (Dutch Sheepdog), and Babette, the Labrit (Pyrenean Shepherd) are great pets but are not perfect sheepdogs! And Gitane, the black cat, is happy hunting down (but no longer catching) birds and mice.
We plan to keep our herd small. They are on a pasture-based system of milk production. We are not certified organic but we do follow organic principles as much as possible.
Our cheese is made from the milk of our own sheep. The milk is natural and unpasteurized. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 60 days following federal and provincial regulations.
A review in the Globe and Mail described our cheeses as follows: 'It's raw, it's rate and it rocks!'
Tomme de Gaston
This cheese is from a recipe Richard developed over time after tasting many French cheeses from the Basque region of the Pyrénées. This Tomme is a natural rind, aged, semi-hard cheese typical of fermier cheeses from the western Pyrénées. It has a balanced acidity and is very rich; the cheese contains about 40% b.f. and 39% moisture. Keep cheese wrapped in the refrigerator; it is best kept in the crisper with a damp paper towel near it. Take it out a few hours before serving so that it comes to room temperature. A traditional way of serving this cheese is with a not-too-sweet cherry compote. It goes well with wine (what doesn’t?). We like it with a light, fruity red from Southwest France.
Kathy Guidi, an acknowledged artisanal cheese expert and owner of Artisan Cheese Marketing, reviewed this cheese and describes it as follows:
‘This cheese has been top of my favourite list since discovering it last fall. This handcrafted raw sheep milk cheese is the colour of hay, firm yet smooth with an open (pinholes) body. The layers of flavour range from horseradish to citrus to the lovely barny of French mountain cheeses. Truly a world-class cheese.’
Most Feta purchased at the grocery store is made of cow's milk. This one is a traditional sheep milk Feta. It is much creamier and less salty. Keep it in the brine until ready to serve. To reduce the saltiness, soak it in milk or water for about 10 minutes before serving.
Our Bleu de Sophie is between a French Roquefort and a British Stilton in taste and texture. It is creamy, crumbly, and mildly salty.
Neige de Babette is a very creamy, fairly strong bloomy rind cheese similar in appearance to a large camembert.
Washed rind cheese
This is a new cheese in production this year.
$45.00 per kilo
15% discount on full wheels of Tomme and Blue cheese.
Since we make a limited amount of cheese, we sell most of it through word of mouth.
Kemptville: Kemptville Kinsmen Farmers' Market
Lyndhurst: Wendy’s Country Market
Merrickville: Mrs. McGarrigle’s
Our cheese is served in many restaurants.
In Kemptville: The Branch Restaurant
In Toronto: Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Bistro
We hope you enjoy our cheeses!
Richard and Sylvie