In 1996 we packed up all of our farm and animals in Wisconsin and moved here to the

Ozarks. We had begun to milk sheep there and moved here to continue milking plus

making cheese. No one had ever heard of milking sheep so this did take quite a bit of

explaining, educating and demonstrating. Our farm has a small milk barn that we thought

would be just the right size for the sheep and what we wanted to do. The milk house was

converted for making cheese. We did get a license for milking and for a cheese plant. We

were making hay, lambing, milking, making cheese and marketing. We had alot of help

from the university extension in Hartville and a sweet lady named Joyce Crouch. Without

her help I don't know if we would have done so well.

Being on a limited budget and equipment not as easy to find as it is now we

purchased used restaurant equipment to make cheese.The cheese was made  in small

batches as this gave us better control of what we were doing and eliminated  large

equipment. We then started going to farmers markets with samples, pictures and

information to let people know about us.  People would come from all over to see what we

were doing and milk the sheep. I think Ricks' favorite thing was the school kids. We were

always having groups of kids come out, we encouraged this because so many kids don't

get to be on farms anymore. We feel it is important to know where your food comes from

and you don't have to be a large operation to do something like this. Because sheep don't

kick backwards they were able to milk the sheep and play with any lambs we had. I would

have samples of cheese and milk for them to try.

Knowing the great properties the milk has, not just for cheese but also for your skin,

I started looking for other things to make with it. I learned how to make soap and lotion,

changing up the recipe until I developed to what it is now. As a special treat I started

making fudge, calling it Smudge. Short for sheep milk fudge.

We have since retired from making cheese but we keep a few sheep to

make the soap and lotion,the Smudge I make by order. Rick is still baling

hay as there are alot of people wanting the small square bales. And I think I

have gone crafting crazy, making all the things I didn't have time to do before.