a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a retreat held at the Leland lodge in northern Michigan. it was with a few other women from michigan who work in social media and it was a chance for us to escape and chat about the industry. i mean, you really can’t beat hanging out and talking at michigan wineries overlooking our gorgeous fresh water can you? being the foodies that most of us were the lovely lodge coordinated a visit for us to Idyll Goat Farm for a tasting and a tour. cheese tasting? i’m in. the barns and grounds were absolutely magical and almost as good as the cheese.
we greeting by a goat wearing pajamas and the owner of the farm, amy . she was lovely, warm and welcoming and it was a true treat to be welcomed to her home and life for a few hours. we toured the old amazing barns and beautiful european feeling grounds. we got to bottle feed the goats and have a tasting of all the delicious award winning cheese in the barn. We were able to meat some of amy’s team including the cheese maker herself.
i was blown away by the quality and taste of the cheese and even more so that the cheese maker was basically self taught. she knew the goats inside and out as well as the cheese. although all the cheese were amazing my favorite by a landslide was the idyllweis. it was like spreading a tangy butter and was so smooth. the other favorite for me was mont idyll which was a bit sharper in flavor. i am sitting here trying to put into words how in my element i felt. tasting these amazing cheeses on this amazing farm with this amazing female team just felt like an epic warm homecoming. it felt like what life was supposed to be and a gentle rebuke of how far some of the foods we eat have strayed. food is supposed to be enjoyed, created, grown and crafted.
don’t get me wrong there are times where get out of my way i just want some golden arches. but there is so much stuff we need to be on the alert for in our foods that this just felt wholesome and pure. the way food should be.
the farm facilities was impeccably clean. we were able to see the milk house and inside the goat barns. the milk house was spotless and we took great care in staying on the paths to maintain the cleanliness of the facility. i couldn’t help but marvel at the barns because they were so clean. the barn basements looked like our barn on the farm but you could eat off the floor. it would take me ten years to clean our barn to that standard. all of the care for both goat, cheese and facilities is evident in the product that this farm produces.
i left idyll farms super inspired to get back to my own farm and kitchen. it’s fun to look for their product around grand rapids (cheese lady) and take it home to continue to enjoy. if you are interested in taking a tour they have three opportunities remaining this summer (schedule here). if you are heading there it’s a beautiful drive and worth every minute of the tour and tasting.