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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I buy from Tumalo Farms ?
  2. What does Farmstead Cheese mean?
  3. What are the minimum sizes the cheeses are sold?
  4. What do you mean by a natural food?
  5. How is the milk produced? What does quality mean?
  6. What if I have a special request?

Why should I buy from Tumalo Farms?

Tumalo Farms produces farmstead cheeses using our own produced milk and natural food ingredients without any preservatives or additives. We have implemented sustainable farming practices and use the most advance equipment to produce an original and high quality product unmatched anywhere.

What does Farmstead Cheese mean?

The cheese world can be classified using a pyramid. The order from top to bottom is 1) Farmstead, 2) Artisan, 3) Specialty and 4) All Others. Farmstead is the cheese classification equivalent to Estate Bottled in the wine world. Farmstead means that the milk must be produced from a single herd of animals at the farm, and the cheese is also made at the same farm. Artisan cheeses are not required to be produced at the same farm where the milk is produced but shares similarity with Farmstead cheeses in the sense that they are both hand made, using the highest quality milk and ingredients, and made in small volumes. Specialty cheeses take various forms but are generally industrially made in high volume with milk coming from multiple farms. The All Others classification, as you might suspect, can be skipped altogether.

What are the minimum sizes the cheeses are sold?

Our e-commerce site allows us to sell 1 pound to a full wheel size which, depending on the cheese, typically ranges from 9 to 18 lbs. The 1 pound cheeses are typically wedges, and in some cases we might be able to accomodate individual (approximately) 2 lb wheels.

What do you mean by natural food?

By natural food we mean that the milk and cheeses we produce are free of antibiotics, hormones (we believe that naturalgrowth patterns yield better quality milk and reduce stress on the animals), the food we feed our animals are naturally produced (withoutanimal by-products, added hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients) and we use organic components whenever possible.

How is the milk produced? What does quality mean?

The milk used in our Farmstead cheeses is produced in our own farm. We have only Saanens and French Alpine goats which are the best match to our weather and environment (Bend, OR is at 3,500 feet altitude). We feed them a small amount of nutritionally designed grain, high quality dairy alfalfa (rich in protein and calcium), orchard grass, and the animals drink only pristine, fresh well water (which we believe makes a significant difference in any cheese) from stainless steel bowls which are heated in the winter to maintain quality water intake. Our quality assurance program is embedded in our daily processes - we enforce 6 points of control:

    1. Quality In - Quality Out. We can only make great cheese if we start with the highest quality milk. We enforce a strict high quality feeding program and water intake. Our milking animals get the best feed and water money can buy. No short-cuts. Period.
    2. Cleanliness A Must.The animals are kept in clean pens which are regularly cleaned.
    3. Females Rule!The DOES (female goats) are maintain far away from the BUCKS (male goats). Bucks produce a pungent, stinky smell that we do not want in our milk or cheese. That smell we consider it a contaminant and we avoid it at all costs.
    4. Top Hygiene Practices.Each animal's udder are cleaned, then a small amount of milk is removed to clear up the teat canals, and then the milk is collected by high-tech machines and stored in a bulk tank where the milk is quickly chilled to 36-38F.
    5. We Test Our Milk. Somatic Cell Count (SCC - naturally occuring white cells in milk from any mammal) tests are performed daily in the bulk tank and a tight threshold is maintained. If the threshold is surpassed, during the very next milking session, every single animal is tested for an elevated SCC count. The animal is identified, separated from the herd and appropriate actions are taken based on these results. If a mastitis (an udder infection) or any other problem is detected, the animal is taken off the line and treated by a professional Veterinarian. We treat our animals humanely and if the protocol calls for antibiotics, the animal is taken off the line and will not return until it passes the antibiotics residual test. 
    6. The Milk Taste Test- If we can't drink it we can't make cheese with it. We taste our milk for flavor making sure we do not have the "e;buck"e; smell in it and any other funny taste.

The bottom line is that to produce great cheese one must start with great milk. We invite you to be the judge.

What if I have a special request?

We are happy to address any special requests. We suggest contacting us directly at (541)-350-3718 and we will be glad to  help.