Quail Run Creamery (Gaston, Oregon)
I know we are just supposed to have a brief morning farm tour. But can we stay for dinner? We like you and your farm that much.
My family joined me for a tour of Quail Run Creamery---and we didn't want to leave. Shannon and Scott are hard-working, personable cheese-mongers - they built their farm from scratch. What was originally a hobby of one of their sons (mom and dad? I want to have some goats) turned into a livelihood and lifestyle for this first generation farm.
We loved their goat farm. It occurred to me that due to my Dutch dairy farming roots, I had an appreciation and wonder for goat herding and dairy processing. We loved their well-constructed barns, thoughtful gardens/plots and clean facilities. They had renovated an out-building for processing goat milk, making cheese and teaching classes. Recently, Shannon and Scott imported and constructed an outdoor pizza oven (think pizza with fresh goat mozzarella).
We loved their cheese. I mean. REALLY. loved. their cheese. Consider yourself lucky if ever you have the chance to nibble on fresh pluots with Quail Run Chevre, can add their Feta to your salad and/or run across their Fresh Goat Milk Mozzarella. You may know that we (husband James, sons Anthony and Caleb and myself) spent a year living in Italy (2009/10). We had Italian cheese daily. The markets would have fresh mozzarella (in Italy it is Mozzarella di Bufala - made from water buffalo milk not cow's milk as it is in the USA); tasting Quail Run's fresh goat milk mozzarella brought us back to the flavors of Italy.
Later that same day, we did have the pleasure of having Quail Run cheese at 1910 Main - a restaurant whose logo is a farmer on a tractor (my kind of restaurant). The food was fantastic; if you are ever in Forest Grove, Oregon, I highly recommend you scoot in for dinner.