Harmony Fields is a small, seasonal farmstead sheep creamery in Bow, Washington. This means we only make cheese with milk from animals we raise right here on our land. Our East Friesian/Lacaune flock of sheep produce milk for about six months, so that is our window for making our fresh (feta and soft, spreadable) and aged cheeses (tomme).
After the lambs arrive in March and the milk begins to flow, we are in constant motion, caring for the animals, making cheese, and managing the pasture. As a family of four, our daily routines vary throughout the season. Some days are market days, others are cheese days. The sheep are milked twice a day — that is a constant! We do have help with milking, but here is an example of a busier day at Harmony Fields:
5:20 AM: The alarm goes off.
5:30 AM: My husband gets up to feed the animals, except the milking ewes, and I make coffee. We both tip-toe down the stairs, so as to not wake our two girls, who are four and two.
6 AM: I round up the milking ewes in the barn and get them in line for the milking stanchion. After milking, I clean all the equipment, the milking parlor, and sheep barn. The sheep are then let out to pasture for the day.
8 AM: I head back to the house to help get the girls dressed and off to their preschool.
8:30 AM: A little time for breakfast and office work — and a much-needed shower!
9:00 AM: Off to the cheese room! I may begin with packing orders or will start heating the milk for a new batch of cheese. There are usually several steps involved. Once I am in the cheese room, I am there to stay. About 70 percent of cheesemaking is cleaning, so there is always a lot to do.
2:00 PM: Done with cheesemaking steps for the day, it’s time to take some deliveries and pick up the kiddos.
3:00 PM: The milking ewes come back from pasture. I then feed the other animals, like the donkeys and ducks.
4:00 PM: I cook dinner while the family has playtime.
5:00 PM: Dinner!
6:00 PM: It’s back to the sheep barn for the evening milking. After, the sheep cozy up inside for the night.
8:30 PM: I check my email and any other paperwork. Then I settle in to read, write, or catch up on the news.
10:00 PM: Time to sleep before doing it all again.
Visit harmonyfields.com to sign up for a summer cheese CSA, shop for gifts, or learn more about the farm.
Watermelon Feta Salad with Golden Tomatoes and Tarragon
- 1/4 ripe seedless watermelon cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces Harmony Fields feta cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2 golden tomatoes cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dry sherry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the watermelon, tomatoes, onion, feta, and tarragon. Place ingredients in a large salad bowl.
- Whisk the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, and sherry in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top of the salad and gently toss.
– Adapted from Sommer Collier