CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A local dairy farm is thriving despite the pandemic. Frog Pond Farm in Canfield is adding to its variety of goat milk products.
Milking goats is nothing new for Dave and Marsha Coakley. What is new is what they’re now selling on the farm — goat milk and cheese in addition to the fudge they’ve been making.
Frog Pond Farm was just awarded the USDA Grade A seal last week.
“One of the five goat dairies that’s Grade A in the state of Ohio and one of only three that manufactures on-site,” Dave said.
When we last checked in with Dave and Marsha, it was February. They provided fudge for country singer Brantley Gilbert ahead of his concert at the Covelli Centre and got to go backstage.
It all starts in the barn. Once the goats are milked, all of the liquid goes into a bulk tank, which chills the milk down. It’s all regulated by strict state standards.
The second part of the process is pasteurization, which happens in the cheese room. This is also recorded and monitored by the state.
“You get your best taste by how fast you cool,” Dave said. “You want to not hold it at a certain temperature longer than you have to.”
Once the milk is pasteurized, it can either stay that way or be turned into cheese.
After cheese cultures are added, they scoop the curds out and bag them.
“I would say probably about three to four pounds of cheese goes in each bag, so I would scoop it out and then I would hang it on these racks,” Marsha said.
The entire drying process takes about 12 hours. After that, flavors are added. Right now, they’re offering five types of Chèvre — which is French for goat cheese — in 4-ounce containers.
“We shrink-wrap it in the vacuum chamber. That, obviously, protects the shelf life,” Dave said.
The Coakleys are talking with a couple of local retailers as they work to finalize their official product labels.
To think it all started with two goats.
“This was the business that we just kind of let it take its own life and it just kind of grew on its own,” Dave said. “We didn’t force anything, so it’s just kind of developed and we said, ‘Oh, I guess this is where we’re supposed to go.'”