The open forum of a marketplace is a burst of seasonal colors and a steady buzz of chatter. The curious shopper discovers he or she has direct access to fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, dairy-based products, and proteins. The woman or man behind the table provides a small sampling of popular items; yet, you can experience a more expansive array of goods at their farm. It’s vital to introduce yourself and inquire where the growers or farmers live. Most likely, it’s just around the corner! “Support local” is more than just an expression. It’s an opportunity to support growers and farmers in communities near you!
Not all farmer’s markets are open to the community until the spring season. Winston-Salem has a unique opportunity for customers year-round at a producer-only marketplace. Located on 1001 South Market Street, patrons can choose from naturally-grown or butchered, to artisan-prepared. Each month, vendors arrive to provide their fresh products. Perhaps the Cobblestone Market introduced you to Robin Blakley of Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery. In perusing their website, you’ll set your GPS and start driving!
Visiting Buffalo Creek Farm
Traveling from Winston-Salem north on Germanton Road/Highway 8, pastoral fields lead to a 35-acre farm containing herds of goats and sheep, and two miniature donkeys, Lillie and Pixie, on guard duty! Most travelers slow down to take in the scene from the high vantage point, just in time to turn into Buffalo Creek Farm Road and the farm.
Expanding the Farm
A new, two-story addition was constructed on the farm in 2012, featuring a Farm Store and, just below, the Creamery. When the herd of goats freshens, John and Robin begin seasonal cheesemaking. In the production of their raw-milk-aged cheese, the Blakleys adopted a traditional approach from ancient recipes and techniques for the aging process.
Multiple offerings include Rock House (a Parmesan-style), Saura (a white, sharp cheese), St. Philip’s (a white gouda-style cheese), and Drunken Goat (a red wine infused gouda-style cheese).
Included are Chèvres, a soft, spreadable goat cheese, natural or flavored; fetas, both brined and marinated; farmer’s cheese, crusted in black pepper and herbs or onion and paprika. Queso Fresco, a white Mexican cheese, is also available.
Robin writes, “As farmstead cheesemakers, we are involved in every aspect of animal husbandry, diet, wellness, disease testing, and breeding of our goats. It continues in the Creamery, from adding cultures and cutting curds, to air drying, waxing, aging, and packaging!”
The Farm Store
It takes one visit to learn the farm store meets every individual’s needs. Along with Buffalo Creek’s pasture-raised lamb, goat meat, and cheeses, they support North Carolina farmers and businesses. Visitors can purchase grass-fed beef, country ham, pickled okra, and hand-rolled salted butter while shopping for household items, such as homemade laundry and hand soap. If you need healthful jams and jellies without high fructose or raw, unfiltered honey, you have a place to go! One warning to parents, Buffalo Creek maintains a fully stocked supply of children’s toys, books, and clothes year-round!
Robin writes, “Our customers enjoy coming to the farm to make their purchases, so they can watch the animals, whose pastures surround the store. Visitors often bring family and friends to show off where they shop locally.”
NC Cheese Trail
Cheese lovers have a grand opportunity to take part in visiting nine other cheesemakers and ten marketplaces on the “North Carolina Cheese Trail.” You’ll need to call ahead to reserve tours, cheese tastings, classes, visits, and sometimes, available housing. To begin a grand journey, go to www.NCCheeseTrail.com.
Next Month: Plum Granny’s Farm
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