When we walked into Brian Lendrum's cheese-making kitchen, I first noticed the aroma – browned butter and cream.
The next thing I noticed is that Brian is blind.
He reached for our hands to shake them, then set about answering our questions while he worked. We didn’t have to ask what it’s like to make cheese without sight, because any questions we had were answered just by watching him; his thermometer audibly announced the temperature, and everything else he did by hand, like any cheese-maker. How he manages to run a farm, hike, and apparently even canoe is beyond me, but people are extraordinary, aren’t they?
Outside of Whitehorse on a rural property, Brian and his wife Susan have been raising goats for over a decade, and making cheese since 2001.
Daily, they milk their small herd by hand, and make goat halloumi, feta, and fresh chevre to sell at the Fireweed Market, of which they are charter members. With occasional help from Wwoofers, Susan and Brian work incredibly hard to keep up with their goats, other animals (there was an array of pigs, dogs, and cats), and their large garden.
Brian said that even more than cheese-making, he enjoys the act of raising and spending time with the goats, who are free to wander each day through their rugged, lake-front acreage (and were doing just that when we were there).
In addition to Brian’s savoury cheeses, Susan also makes goat yogurt fudge, the recipe for which is on an old family recipe that’s been adapted to the new milk base.
The goat yogurt gives is a slightly tart and sour flavor, making it the best fudge I’ve ever tasted. She gave Dana and I some to take with us, and we managed to consume an embarrassing amount before we made it back to Whitehorse.
A huge thanks to Brian and Susan for welcoming us to their farm. And now, I have piece of advice for those of you who make it to the Fireweed Market someday: head straight to Brian and Susan's stand as soon as you arrive. They sell out every week!