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5-Day Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking Workshop

with David Asher of The Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking

May 22 - 26, 2022

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5-day Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking Workshop

Join David Asher of The Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking at our Water Valley farm to learn the art of making fine cheeses.

From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers nearly all aspects of natural farmhouse cheesemaking.  Students can expect to learn how simple traditional methods can lead to safe, effective, and delicious raw milk cheesemaking.

May 22 - 26, 2022

Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm with lunch provided.

Your Workshop Details

Day 1 

We learn to care for the cultures of our cheese. We begin with a session on dairy fermentation, covering Clabber, Kefir, Crème Fraiche and yogurt.


Day 2

We use our cultures and rennet to make fresh lactic cheeses such as Cream Cheese, Chevre and Faisselle as well as Geotrichum-candidum ripened lactic cheeses such as Crottin, Valençay and Saint Marcellin.


Day 3

We look at rennet cheeses, preparing, in the morning, the basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed and we’ll be able to stretch the cheese into Mozzarella, Queso Oaxaca and Burrata. We also explore the different rind ecologies of rennet cheeses including the white fungus of Camembert and the orange rinds of Limburger.


Day 4

We make a Blue Cheese, and explore the cultivation of blue fungus that gives this cheese its veins. On this day, we will also prepare rennet the traditional whey.


Day 5

We make an Alpine cheese, and see how this one method can evolve in many different directions including Tomme, Raclette and Caciocavallo. With its leftover whey we prepare a batch of traditional Ricotta.


Five days of learning allows students to see many styles of cheese through the many stages of their evolution, and provides insight into how all cheeses can evolve from the very same milk, with the same culture and the same rennet. The course will focus on natural methods and a full circle, small-scale cheesemaking: no freeze-dried cultures or synthetic enzymes will be used in any of our makes. 

Example Schedule

09:45 am Coffee + Tea
10:00 am The greater purpose of Cheese
11:15 am Break
11:30 am Summoning the microbes from Raw Milk
01:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm The history and mystery of Kefir culture
03:15 pm Break
03:30 pm  Naturally made Yogurt
05:30 pm Class ends

Your Workshop Will Include

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Looking for somewhere to stay?

Our family farm is situated near several small towns with wonderful accomodation options. 

Please reach out to us if you need further suggestions or have questions.

Heavenly Glamping
Here at the church

Allen Acres B&B
Water Valley

Bar PC Retreat B&B

Serenity Hillside B&B

Water Valley, Alberta

Hawk's Nest Motel

URSA Retreat Centre
Rocky View County
Group Accommodation  - Shared sleeping up to 26

Mountainview Inn & Suites


Days Inn & Suites

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