Great goats cheese, and no kidding!

We're always excited to discover new artisans in our food-rich county, and this week we were delighted to stumble upon Twitter's latest arrival, Brock Hall Farm in Chelmarsh, near Bridgnorth.

Great goats cheese, and no kidding!

We're always excited to discover new artisans in our food-rich county, and this week we were delighted to stumble upon Twitter's latest arrival, Brock Hall Farm in Chelmarsh, near Bridgnorth.

Run by the pioneering Sarah Hampton, who's lived on the farm with her husband for ten years, Brock Hall is the Shropshire's first cheese-producing goat farm.

"When we first took on the farm, we kept two pedigree pure Saanen goats from the Saanen Valley in Switzerland," says Sarah. "Now we have 50, though that's still a small number by most commercial standards.

She chose the Saanen breed because of the light and delicate composition of their milk.

"They're also very gentle, intelligent, docile and loving, not feisty and capricious like a lot of other goat breeds. And they look beautiful too as they're bright white, which is how we keep them."

"It means we can give them the love and attention they deserve. They're happy goats – they go out everyday to graze if they can, rather than being cooped up like some commercial goat farms do, which I think is quite unnatural.

"They nibble at grass, bracken and trees, so they have a varied diet according to the seasons, and that comes through in the milk and produces a much lighter, fresher cheese."

Sarah says she's always loved goats and started experimenting with cheese-making after taking a course three years ago.

"It takes time to perfect cheese recipes," she explains. "It's all about consistency, composition and attention to detail. You can't just follow a recipe blindly, there's a lot of trial and error!"

Over the last few weeks, Sarah has launched her soft, fresh cheese for sale all over Shropshire - it's already stocked in the Ludlow Food Centre, Appleyards in Shrewsbury, Deli on the Square in Ludlow and the delicatessen in Bridgnorth.

Her cheese is also used by some of the county's most respected chefs.

"Jamie Yardley at The Boyne Arms makes a wonderful goats cheese tagliatele, which we demonstrated at the Ludlow Food Festival, and Stuart Phillips at the Hundred House does a goats cheese ravioli with herbs, which has been very popular!"

Shropshire chefs have also been showing Sarah how versatile the cheese can be, with innovative new recipes and even puddings.

"It goes rather well with raspberries and pears, because the light, refreshing flavour complements the fruit rather than overwhelming it."

Sarah will shortly be launching her new website, www.brockhallfarm.com, and has been busily promoting the farm on Twitter.

"Twitter's such a fun and informative website!

"We've used it to announce new product launches, events at which we're participating and open up forums for debates on things like animal welfare, and it's such a wonderful way to meet influential people and contacts specific to your business."

Follow Sarah's tweets at @BrockHallFarm.

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