the art of natural cheesemaking

I met David a couple years ago through my husband. The two have been close friends for some years and prior to meeting I  had always heard so many amazing stories about him. Stories about how he farmed, how he made the most amazing meals from scratch and always from local ingredients. How he was a gracious host, friend and shared all he could with his community, whether it be knowledge, food or a helping hand. But what I heard most about David was his cheese.

Shortly after meeting, I had the opportunity to take one of his cheese making workshops that was hosted by the permaculture guild we were apart of. At that time, we were living in the interior of BC on a small farm where we had 6 goats and lots of milk.  In the past, the only type of cheese making I had seen was from store bought cultures so David's natural methods for cheese making would be a new endeavor for me. To put it simply, the class was life changing. Not just because I can now make really good cheese but because of the philosophies and knowledge I gained about traditional methods and the importance of keeping them alive. 

So, a year later when David contacted me about photographing his first book I jumped at the chance. I traveled to Salt Spring Island on three different occasions to photograph the making of over 50 cheeses. We photographed the entire process, from the animals that gave us the milk, to the methods for making each cheese and then the final product (with plenty of taste testing along the way). 

The entire process of creating this book was so rewarding.  I look forward to seeing how it inspires people to make cheese in a whole new way. The traditional way that we have gotten away from. As David says, "his way of cheese making is an educational endeavor. It is not a brick-and-mortar institution, but a traveling cheese school that offers cheese outreach at food-sovereignty-minded organizations. To offer workshops to the public, he partners with community kitchens, educational farms, and food co-ops. These groups are doing the good work of reconnecting people to the food, the farmers and the land that sustain them. They bring folks together round the dining table, and educate and empower consumers to make more sustainable food choices, and his educational offerings fit right in with their directives. Together, we are helping to build a stronger and more just food system."

Below are just a few of my favourite images in the book. 

To learn more about David's workshops and recipes, visit his website The Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking 

If you are interested in purchasing his book, you can do so here. My sincere gratitude goes out to David and everyone involved with this book, I am deeply honored to have been a part of it.