Idyll Farms: Great Cheese is in the Details

Goat munching on grass at Idyll Farms

World Championship Cheese starts with the soil.

Obviously, cheese doesn’t grow from a tree or out of the ground, but goats rely on pasture management and soil testing to produce high-quality milk. Idyll Farms in Northport, Michigan is a vertically integrated farmstead cheese operation that produces award-winning cheeses you’ll want to crumble or spread on just about anything.

Idyll’s Certified Humane Alpine goats graze on over 500 acres of natural wild grasses and planted cover crops catered specifically for their diet. Organic waste from the goats and the cheese-making process feed the pasture and help improve the soil’s fertility while sequestering carbon. Because of all of this, the goats enjoy the highest quality forage possible which gives Idyll cheesemakers the best quality milk.

As one of the first domesticated animals, goats and goat cheese have fed humans for centuries. Idyll cheesemakers still use these old-world techniques and recipes to transform the fresh milk into cheese with natural enzymes, bacteria, and cultures. Goat cheese is packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and its own A2 casein protein is proven to be more easily digested than cow cheese. 

Kidding, or birthing, occurs in waves at Idyll Farms. Throughout the year, they have about 400 kids born on the farm. Each milking goat then produces up to a gallon of milk per day, and it is transformed, right next door to the milking parlor, into fresh goat cheese daily. This means the milk is never pooled or sitting around for weeks at a time, as can be the norm at other creameries. 

Cheesemaker ladles cheese into molds

In the final few steps, cheese is ladled into molds to preserve the fat molecules and aged to their peak in caves at the perfect temperature and humidity. Attention to detail along every step, from pasture to plate, gives Idyll Farms’ cheeses their award-winning qualities. To date, Idyll cheese has received more than 42 awards from National and International competitions, including 2 Best in Class awards won at this year’s [2022] World Championship.

Even with its international acclaim, Idyll cheese is for all to enjoy. There are dozens of retail locations to purchase their products across five states, and a new cheese was designed this year specifically to cook on pizzas or crumble into salads. They even installed a goat cheese vending machine in Northport!

So, get yourself a little Idyll cheese wherever you may be and take a bite. Savor it, and consider each step in the process. Even with an already award-winning flavor, I think you’ll appreciate the difference even more. 

Idyll Farms, 10901 E Peterson Park Road, Northport, Michigan 49670

Tricia Phelps is the CEO of Taste the Local Difference. 

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