April Feature

White Tree Farm

Statesville, NC

White Tree Farm Goat Cheese

Statesville, NC

A Statesville goat farm producing delicious whipped goat cheese.

Meet Heather Goforth of White Tree Farm. She is the head goat wrangler and producer of the most delicious whipped goat cheese. She grew up in an Italian family surrounded by handmade pastas, doughs, and mozzerella cheese. Which in her words automatically made her a cheese lover. Taking her love for making things from scratch and her love for cheese, she began to dream of owning her own goat farm.

Chance brought her the opportunity when she moved to Statesville from Philadelphia in 2020. She started with 3 goats and since has grown her farm to 34 goats. Now she loves every bit of the process, from farming and taking care of the goats to producing the cheese herself.

In Heather’s words: “I love raising the goats not just because they are fun and silly sometimes, but because I put all this care into them and they give me something in return, it’s very rewarding. I also like knowing that together (the goats and I) are making a product that people can enjoy and that doesn’t have all these crazy ingredients in them and extra preservatives. I also think it’s important to know where your food comes from and I can tell people exactly that. I think that gets missed a lot or forgotten.”

She took 6 months of researching goat farming and talking to farmers to get started. She says North Carolinians have been so friendly and open to helping and, “One of the dairy goat farms that just raises goats actually let me come by once a week to ask questions and teach me how to raise goats, so I owe them a ton and probably can never repay them for all they taught me. As for the cheesemaking, I just learned through trial and error. I read a few books on how to process cheese and then spent a year and half making lots of cheese and making my family and friends eat it. There were definitely some bad ones and some mistakes that turned out good, like making Ricotta instead of Chèvre. Now I can probably do it with my eyes closed.”

Her process: ”My day starts at 6am when I go out to feed our boy goats and boy donkeys, then I milk and feed all my girl goats. Once I’m done with milking and feeding, I filter my milk, refrigerator it, and clean and sanitize all my machines and dishes this takes me till about 9am, then Imake a batch or two of goat cheese truffles, then I start processing cheese at 11:30am. I start by pasteurizing the milk, then cooling it, then adding my cultures which help the cheese congeal to form a solid soft block basically. I finish up at 3:15-3:30pm and let the cheese sit covered over night to set. I take a little break after that before I begin my evening milking and feeding which starts between 4-4:30pm. I usually finish up with feeding, milking, filtering, and cleaning around 6:30-7pm. That usually is the end of the farm day for me unless something happens, which is bound to happen in the farm world.”

You can follow and found out more about White Tree Farm on Instagram! And come in, grab your favorite flavor. European, Plain, Lemon Blueberry, Honey Cinnamon, Pimento, Garlic Onion.

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