Meadow Creek Dairy is a family farm located in the mountains of southwest Virginia. At an elevation of 2,800 feet, the combination of pure water, clean air, and deep soils produce an ideal environment for growing diverse, mineral-rich pastures. Rick and Helen Feete have been farming since 1980 and over the years have worked extremely hard, focusing their attention on constantly improving the genetics and milk quality of their herd of Jersey cows. They make Farmstead cheeses; i.e., cheeses made from the milk of their own herd.
Best known for Grayson, a pungent washed-rind delight, they also make this wonderful semi-soft cow’s milk Tomme-style cheese. Appalachian is buttery and smooth in the mouth with a bright, mild, lightly tangy flavor with hints of mushrooms, citrus and nuts. This is an excellent melter for grilled cheeses.
Meadow Creek’s cheese production is resolutely seasonal. Milking begins in late March, when all the calves are born, to coincide with the new growth of grass. The cows are never confined and are born and raised on pasture, where they graze a diverse mixture, supplemented with some grains, salt and kelp.
In the fall, when the grass declines, milk production naturally winds down too. Christmas Eve is the last day of the milking season and the beginning of a two month rest for the cows and the family.