Sep 7

Artisan Cheesemakers of The Fraser Valley

Say Cheese! Mild, medium, sharp, aged, smoked, soft, hard: there are endless terms to describe cheese, as there are seemingly endless varieties. Whether as a quick and easy snack, a delicious part of a beloved recipe, or paired with a fine wine at an elegant gathering, cheese is an incredibly versatile food that is a staple at many dinner tables.

Take a drive along the Circle Farm Tour’s dairy farms and discover the divine flavour that results from the care and hard work put into crafting artisanal cheeses.

Milner Valley Cheese, Langley

Milner Valley Cheese is a 5th generation family-run business with a rich and fascinating history. Marianne and Glenn Smith own the 50-acre farm, which was originally purchased by Glenn’s great-grandfather from the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1880’s. The farm changed and evolved with each generation and today, is well known for its delectable goat cheese. The Smiths use pasteurized fresh goat milk from their own herd. Their goats are provided the very best nutrition and no artificial additives or preservatives are used in their cheeses.

At their charming Farmgate Shop, they sell a wide variety of cheeses, such as: Milner Jack (a mild, semi-soft cheese, easy slicing); Flavored Jack (a spicier version of the Milner Jack, in flavours such as red bell pepper, chili, mustard seed, jalapeno, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic); Tipsy Goat (aged cheese infused with red merlot wine), Chèvre (creamy, spreadable, and mild, comes in a variety of flavors); Goat Feta (soaked in brine, deliciously tangy and moist); Caerphilly (a Welsh-style hard cheese, perfect substitute for parmesan); and many more. 

They sell their delicious goat cheese curds every Friday in their shop. Perfect for poutine, pizza, or just “squeaky” snacking; their fresh firm texture squeaks against your teeth as you chew! In summer they sell their heavenly Goats Milk Gelato in flavours such as Salted Caramel, Cookies and Cream, Hazelnut, Chocolate, Mango, and more. You will also find cuts of lamb (from lambs raised on their farm), eggs, goats’ milk, and a line of gifts, including luxurious goat milk soap!

Please note, they follow the natural milk cycle of the goats, which produce milk 9 months of the year, spring to early winter. Therefore, the selection of cheeses may vary with the season. Visitors are welcome during business hours to watch the goats in the field and have a look into the milking barn and processing plant.

To purchase their quality products, visit their Farmgate Shop at Smith Heritage House, 21479 Smith Crescent, Langley.

Birchwood Dairy Farm | Photo by @birchwooddairyfarm on Instagram

Birchwood Dairy Farm | Photo by @birchwooddairyfarm on Instagram

Birchwood Dairy Farm, Abbotsford

Len & Grace Krahn began their farming journey in 1964 on a small farm. Four years later they moved to the 220-acre farm where they still reside today, and named it Birchwood, because of the graceful Birchwood trees that surround the property. Birchwood is a combined dairy farm, processing plant, ice cream shop and country store. They produce their products using the milk from their own cows. Hay and silage to nourish the cows is grown right on the farm.

Quality is at the source of everything they do, and it truly shows in each and every one of their milk-based products. Their delicious cheeses include Orange Cheddar and White Cheddar (both in mild, medium, and sharp); Marble Cheddar, Monterey Jack, (Plain, Jalapeño, Peppercorn), Feta (Plain, Herb and Garlic, and Sun-dried Tomato); and fresh Cheddar Curd. In addition to their tasty farmcrafted cheeses, you can also pick up your other dairy needs: milk, sour cream, yogurt, and 50 tempting flavours of frozen yogurt and ice cream.

Book a farm tour, and stop in for lunch at their Country Kitchen, open seven days a week! Visit them at 1154A Fadden Road, Abbotsford. 

Goat’s Pride Dairy | Photo by @goatspridedairy on Instagram

Goat’s Pride Dairy | Photo by @goatspridedairy on Instagram

Goat’s Pride Dairy, Abbotsford

With the purchase of a piece of land in 1987, followed by the gift of goats from Grandpa, the Dykstra Family, including Dad Peter, Mom Jo-Ann and 9 children, developed a passion for raising goats and farming. Through the years the children raised goats in the local 4-H club and in 1993, Goat’s Pride Dairy began operating, producing organic goat milk.

Son Jason had a keen interest in cheesemaking and started his own cheesemaking venture, Mt. Lehman, in 2013. He produces quality artisan cheeses in the cheeseroom located at Goat’s Pride Dairy. 

These days, you can stop into Goat’s Pride Dairy for a delicious selection of Mt. Lehman and Goat’s Pride cheeses, like Farmstead Goat Feta, Peppercorn Tomme, Gouda, Aged Blue Goat Cheese, Chevre, and many more. They even carry a selection of Water Buffalo Cheese! 

Besides cheese, the Goat’s Pride farm store also carries goat milk and water buffalo milk, yogurt, eggs, honey, soap, and gift items. If you want to try your hand at cheesemaking, they also offer a unique selection of cultures and cheese making kits: who knows, you might discover you have a natural talent for it!

Visit them at 30854 Olund Road, Abbotsford.

Smits & Co.w Cheese Farm, Chilliwack

Owned and operated by Ron and Stephanie Smit and family, Smits & Co.w is a small farm and artisan cheese making business. Using milk from their own mixed herd of Holstein and Brown Swiss cows, they employ a traditional method to create a tasty Gouda-style cheese. Using milk from a local goat herd, they also craft an amazing Goat Gouda.

Their selection of cheeses includes mild, medium and aged plain as well as spiced cheeses such as Garlic, Italian, Tzatziki, Onion, Mustard, Pumpkin Seed Nutmeg, Smoked, and much more. Their goat cheese varieties include Curry Ginger, Sweet Clover, Piri Piri, Garlic & Chives, Goat Emmental, Curry Mustard, and Basil & Black Pepper.

They also sell fresh cheese curds, and a selection of Dutch foods and pork products. Purchase these products and more at their store located right on the farm. Cheese platters and gift baskets are available upon request, so you can show up at your next holiday party with a tray that is sure to be a hit. 

Visit them at 5787 Lickman Road, Chilliwack.

The Farm House Natural Cheeses, Agassiz

Nestled among the hills of Agassiz is The Farm House Natural Cheeses. Using fresh milk from the family dairy’s own cows and goats ensures a quality product from start to finish. They are proud to sell their goat’s milk and cow’s milk products in their warm and welcoming Farm House Store. The Farm House Natural Cheeses is one of only two cheesemaking businesses in Canada that use the traditional clothbound method to make their cheddar. They are also unique in that they use a blend of milk from their Holstein, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss cows, resulting in a most flavourful taste.

Their cheeses made with cow’s milk include: Brie, Alpine Gold, Camembert, Clothbound Cheddar, Fermiere, Gouda, Quark, and much more.Their selection of goat cheese includes Brie, Cheddar, Caerphilly, Gouda, Feta, Kabritt, La Florette, and more. They also sell their farm-made milk, yogurts, and butter. Try a recent addition to their product line: Fresh Cheese Truffles. Paired with crackers, they are the perfect choice for a ready to go appetizer. You’ll also find items like honey, jams chocolate, granola, crackers, soup, gelato, and more.

Visit them at 5634 McCallum Road, Agassiz.

Creekside Cheese & Creamery, Agassiz

Husband and wife team Johannes and Julaine Treur purchased Creekside Dairy in 2011. As the years passed, they grew their family and their farm; and their love of dairy farming spurred a desire to expand their business further, into cheesemaking. In 2020, presented with an opportunity to purchase a mobile cheese making facility, they knew this was the springboard they needed to take the next leap. The Treurs purchased the facility, the sale of which came with a provision that the seller (a master cheesemaker), would provide them with hands-on training. The Treurs honed and sharpened their cheesemaking skills and produced their first cheeses for their shop in June 2021. Using time-honoured methods and traditional techniques along with gentle, ethical care for their beloved herd of Brown Swiss Cows, the Treur Family is excited to present their hand-crafted artisan cheeses to you. 

Try one or try them all: their flagship cheese is a rich and buttery Raclette, or try the Garlic Raclette. Then there’s the semi-hard, full flavoured Gouda; or a soft and spreadable Fromage Blanc… have we mentioned the fresh and squeaky cheese curds (perfect for melting into ooey gooey poutine)? You’ll love their Garlic Belper, a hard grating cheese with a robust flavour, and coming in Spring, the La Belle Vallee, mildy sharp with a nutty flavour. In addition to their artisan cheese, an innovative self-serve milk dispenser is ready and waiting to fill your glass bottles with fresh, creamy, organic whole milk! These products join their repertoire of fresh farm products, such as organic eggs from their own pastured hens, locally grown oats and flour, grass-fed beef, and honey from hives right on the farm.

Visit their shop at 3990 Chaplin Road, Agassiz.

Learn more about these delicious stops along the Circle Farm Tour and many others!