This year, I’m taking on a farm-to-table, #localmonthly challenge where I eat local, home-cooked meals for one day every month. All ingredients from these meals are from Texas.
This month, I went to Pure Luck Farm & Dairy, a farm in Dripping Springs that
Local Cheese from Pure Luck Farm & Dairy
It’s kidding season! That means baby goats are being born, which means lots of goat milk. My friend Claire and I bought tickets to play with and feed baby goats, tour the farm, and learn all about the cheese-making process. In the farm’s
Pure Luck is a family operation that started when the land was bought in 1979. The farm grew herbs and vegetables. Quickly after officially became a dairy in 1995, their cheeses were winning awards. Following the farm’s legacy of their parents, Amelia became a cheesemaker and leads the production with the help of her sister Claire. Their sister Hope helps manage the farm duties and gives tours, while Amelia’s husband Ben also helps with the operations.
Today, the farm has 100-130 goats with 70 of them producing milk. All their goats are either Nubian or Alpine, though they recently got a Saanen breed. Nubian goats, the ones with long, floppy ears, are known for the high amount of fat in their milk. Alpine goats produce a lot of milk and also have high fat, although not as much as Nubians.
Breeding season is typically August through November and goat gestation is around five months. We played with goats that were two days old and many were a week old! Pure Luck Dairy will keep some of the goats and the rest will be sold. There will be more babies born in April and October.
This hairy guy named Charles knows how to strike a pose. He’s also very popular with the ladies as we found out when we walked into a full pen of pregnant goats. 😀 The larger goats pictured are a year old.
The busiest time of the year for the farm is summer, when their goats produce 65-70 gallons of milk a day, which turns into about 600 pounds of cheese a week! All of the goat milk is combined to make their cheeses. Pure Luck Dairy is known for their chevre, herbed chevre varieties, feta, and June’s Joy, the chevre mixed with Texas honey, thyme, and peppercorns.
In addition to the local farmers market, you can find Pure Luck’s cheese at Whole Foods, Central Market, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, and Wheatsville Co-op.
March’s Farm-to-Table Meals
The weekend farmers market is still my go-to for finding local products and not having to wonder how local they are. One big factor of this project is knowing exactly where a product comes from, and I could drive to the farm and see it. Grocery stores don’t advertise where they get their product as it can be hard for a grocery store to be consistent if they depend on one farm for a particular product.
At the farmers market, here’s what we ended up buying for $53.25:
- Chevre Cheese from Pure Luck Farm & Dairy in Dripping Springs, TX ($6.25)
- Half lb of pastrami from Mum Foods in Austin, TX ($13.00)
- Chicken eggs from a friend in Manor, TX ($0.00)
- Turkey egg from a friend in Thrall, TX ($0.00)
- Oyster Mushrooms from Hi-Fi Mycology of Austin, TX ($8.00)
- Two bunches of kale, one bunch of carrots, two bunches of beets from Johnson’s Backyard Garden of Austin, TX ($16.00)
- One bunch of spinach, one bunch of green onions, and one bunch of broccoli from Bernhardt’s Fruit & Veggie Farm of Elgin, TX ($10.00)
To tie in my Pure Luck visit, I was hoping to incorporate at least two types of cheeses in my meals. Since milk production just started, this was their first time back at the farmers market in seven weeks and they were limited on cheese varieties. If the feta had been available, I would have added it to my egg scramble and ate it as a snack. Their feta with olive oil, pepper, and fresh dill on a cracker is excellent.
Here are the resulting meals:
- Pastrami (with mustard and pickles)
- Kale, Mushroom, and Egg Scramble
- Fried Turkey Egg
- Kale Chips
- Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Carrots, and Chevre
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Baked Broccoli Fritters
That salad was easily the most delicious thing I ate in the day. This combination is perfect and the peeled carrots were much better than chopped carrots. We used a cheat in the dressing since balsamic vinegar is strictly made in Italy but we did combine it with Texas Hill Country Olive Company’s olive oil.
As usual, we didn’t finish everything we bought, and dinner portions were for three people. We were left with enough salad for lunch the next day and still half a container of cheese and half a dozen eggs.
Mum Foods is our weakness (and splurge) at the farmers market. Their pastrami and brisket are so good. Did you hear they’re opening up a restaurant in East Austin soon?! They’ll still be at the farmers market but you’ll be able to eat their meats deli-style at their restaurant. They source their meat from local ranchers.
I am ready for spring and all the
Do you have any suggestions on how to expand my project or any local products I should try? I have a general outline of what I what I want to explore this year, but I welcome your comments.