Garden Variety Cheese
Moonflower is raw sheep cheese aged for 4-6 months. During aging it develops a washed rind which gives it a lovely orange color. It has a smooth texture, with a salty caramel flavor and a hint of pungency at the finish. It pairs well with cherries and Zinfandel.
We began commercial milking and cheese production in March 2009. Our sheep produce lovely, rich sweet milk that makes fabulous cheese and yogurt. Each ewe is named after a garden flower and treated with love and respect. Our dairy sheep are seasonal producers--each individual only gives milk for about six to ten months per year. We stagger the breeding of our 80 ewes to have fresh milk for yogurt throughout the year. To ensure the health and well-being of the animals and the high quality of the milk and cheese from Garden Variety Cheese, the milking ewes here at Monkeyflower Ranch are fed on fresh pasture, alfalfa hay and organic brewer’s grain from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and organic grain from Modesto Milling. We do not use chemical wormers or antibiotics, but rely on rotational grazing, concentrated garlic juice, and other natural methods to keep our animals healthy.