Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: The Farmstead Creamery Advisor

The Complete Guide to Building and Running a Small, Farm-Based Cheese Business
By Gianaclis Caldwell
Note:  This is one of three new books we are now carrying in the book section of our online store.
Are you one of our many readers who is making cheese now and thinking about selling it?  This is the most important book you will find.  Before you buy anything- livestock, equipment, acreage, etc. read this book.  It is guaranteed to save you time and money in the long run, the short run and every run in-between!
Or, perhaps, you have a farm and you are selling your milk, but you are thinking that it might be more profitable to make cheese with it.  It probably will be, but it definitely will be a lot more profitable if you follow the instructions in this book.
Gianaclis Caldwell, her husband and teen aged daughter own the small, 23 acre Pholia Farm in Oregon where they make cheese from the milk of their Nigerian Dwarf goats.  (

In this book, Gianaclis has managed to delineate all the steps involved in setting up a farmstead creamery.  There is no philosophy here-just practical details about how to solve the problems and, more importantly, to avoid the problems in the first place.

Part I:  Things to Consider Before Taking the Leap
The history of farmstead cheesemaking in the US, reasons for making and selling cheese, 10 Questions to Test Your Suitability (if you still want to do it after taking this test-you’re ready!) and the specifics about the many permits you will need to obtain.

Part II:  Getting Down to Business
Sizing up the market, writing your business plan, determining costs, and obtaining financing.

Part III:  Designing the Farmstead Creamery
Water use and wastewater, the milking parlor and milkhouse,  the make room,  aging room, accessory rooms.

Part IV:  Long-Term Survival Guide
 Selling your cheese,  giving classes and tours and keeping your life sane.
Appendix A lists resources, Appendix B has 3 floor plans for small creameries and one for the small, non-licensed home dairy, Appendix C lists tests and how to use the data, and Appendix D is a sample Milk Purchase Agreement.
Many of you will probably change your minds about selling cheese, after you read about the complexities involved in conforming to regulations.  But, that’s a good thing.  Better to find out now by reading this book than by learning the hard way.
Others of you will decide that having this information makes it possible for you to begin pursuing the dream.  It’s all there, step-by-step instructions.  So, start a creamery and send us a sample of your cheese- we’re waiting!

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