Quality artisan cheese from happy goats
Capella Meadows produces cheese on a small scale. We want to bring the unique taste from our farm to your table.
Our family farm is located in Huron County; it is organically certified and farmed with biodynamic principles. The goats spend a lot of the summer grazing, and during the winter months, we provide them with hay and silage of the best quality possible. All our feed is produced on the farm. We work hard to improve biodiversity on our farm, improve our soil health, and, with that, the quality of our milk. Our cheese is produced without additives, and we continually strive towards more natural ways of cheese making.
We love what we do, and we want to share that love with you.
We hope you can taste it!
Our Farm Store
Our Cheese Near You
At Capella Meadows, we try to provide you with a unique cheese.
So far, we are offering two different types of cheese, but the next varieties are already in the works.
Organic Goat Cheddar
You can buy it as a mild cheddar that is aged for six months, a regular cheddar that is a year old, or as aged with at least two years of aging.
The older it gets, the more flavor it develops.
Our aged cheddar won second place at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2023.
Organic Goat Feta
Our organic goat feta and feta–chili are aged in brine, giving them the distinct feta flavor.
It is a great staple for cooking, in salads, or mixed with fruit.
Our plain feta won second place at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2023.
Depending on the time of production, our cheeses can taste very different.
In summer, when the goats are on pasture, they produce a lot of milk, and the cheese is firmer and drier.
In winter, the milk is more concentrated and contains more fat, which makes the cheese creamier.
Are there any questions left? Let us know.
If you look up into the clear sky at night, you might be able to see a star constellation called Auriga. In one of the first interpretations of this constellation, it represented a crook from a goat-herd or shepherd.
The brightest star of this constellation is called ‘Capella,’ which is Latin and translates to ‘small female goat.’
This little goat sits on the shoulder of the shepherd while he wanders around the sky.
In contrast to most goats in Canada, our goats are happy because:
- Goats at Capella Meadows spend their days in summer out on pasture.
In addition, our goats are mostly fed on grass, hay, and haylage, all grown on our farm.
- All our goats are allowed to keep their horns. We believe a goat without horns is not complete. They need them to establish their hierarchy.
- They are bred and milked according to their natural seasonality. We breed them once a year in the fall; they dry up for two months in winter and kid in spring.
- Mother goats are allowed to nurse their kids. We keep all our replacement kids with their mothers instead of taking them away right after birth. That way, we ensure a better social bond and healthier kids that will become healthy milking goats.
- We give our goats a lot of space to jump around and express their goatiness.
Currently, we milk 180 goats, have 70 young ones waiting to become part of the milking herd, and ten bucks for breeding. Additionally, we raise 100 kids every year for meat.
That might sound like a lot of animals, but for a goat farm, we are fairly small 🙂
Yes, we only use milk produced by our goats.
Currently not. As of now, our cheese is made at the cheese plant from Gordon’s Goat Dairy, which only works with pasteurized milk.
But we are working on our own on-farm cheese plant. As soon as it is up and running, we will be switching to raw milk cheeses. So stay tuned!
From May to November, our goats spend as much time on pasture as possible, and during the winter, they are only fed hay or haylage produced on our farm. Additionally, they get a little bit of grain grown on our farm to make sure they get enough energy.
While we are meeting Canadian regulations for ‘grass-fed’ most of the time, we are not certified grass-fed under these regulations.
Biodynamic farming is a way of organic farming that has the highest certifiable standards for animal welfare, biodiversity and soil improvement, and food quality.
The main principles of biodynamic farming are
- Building a farm organism: creating a circularity within the farm that needs as little input from outside as possible while only surplus production leaves the farm.
- Having animals that can produce fertility (with their manure) is a requirement. All feed for these animals is supposed to be grown on farms. This will create a feedback loop that increases the health and resilience of the whole farm organism.
- A certain percentage of every farm is reserved for natural habitats to increase biodiversity.
- Preparations are used to balance the manure/compost to maximize its beneficial effect on the soil.
- Additional preparations are used to balance plants to help them thrive. They become more resilient even in very wet years or drought periods.
We use animal rennet. Our rennet comes from Walcoren in Quebec, is approved for organic use, and is certified halal. We don’t plan on switching to vegetarian rennet; if you want to understand why, please read the next answer below.
Why do you use animal rennet and not vegetarian rennet?
Animal rennet is an enzyme that is produced in the milk-digesting stomach of a calf/lamb/goat kid. It coagulates the milk to make it easier digestible for the young animal.
In cheese-making, this enzyme is needed to coagulate the milk.
Using animal rennet feels the most fitting for our way and ethic of farming for a couple of reasons.
- Biodynamic farming is about creating a farm organism that needs as little input from the outside as possible. Animal rennet has been used since the discovery of cheese making since it is readily available when milking animals.
- Cheese can never truly be vegetarian. In order to produce milk, cows/goats/sheep need to have offspring almost every year. Some of the females will become milking animals, while a very small percentage of the males will be used for reproduction. The rest of the animals will be raised for meat. Meat is a necessary byproduct of all milk production.
- Using vegetarian rennet to make cheese vegetarian while being very aware of this fact doesn’t feel right for us.
- Additionally, animal rennet makes better cheese. Vegetarian rennet can make cheese bitter when aged long enough.
Yes, our rennet is certified halal.
No, we do not sell milk. But some of the milk produced by our goats is sold to McDairy in Toronto. They sell it as milk, yogurt, and kefir. We are their only organic goat’s milk supplier, so technically, their organic goat products are ‘our’ products too.
Yes, we do have an on-farm store. Come by and meet the goats (and us)!