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Dudleyville dairy one of two in Arizona licensed to make, sell raw goat cheese

San Manuel Miner of San Manuel, Arizona

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John and Crystal Foote live on a farm with 36 goats. Each goat has a name and the Footes know them all by sight.

The goats are an eclectic mix of Alpines and Nubians. There are 32 females and 4 males.

The Footes also have two horses, one mustang and five working dogs.

Twenty of the goats have to be milked twice a day. This keeps them busy throughout the day. They also make natural raw milk goat cheese at Foote's Hold Dairy. They are one of two dairies in the state certified to make raw milk goat cheese.

John starts milking the goats early in the morning and again in the evening. Crystal then starts turning the milk into cheese.

"The milk is 107 degrees and I lower the temperature to 86 degrees," Crystal explained. "At that point I add the culture and let it set for an hour. I drain the whey, add spices and sea salt and then hang it in cheesecloth anywhere from 6 to 24 hours. The whey goes to the Double Check Ranch where it is fed to the pigs. It makes their meat sweeter. The cheese is pressed and then placed in the refrigerator for two to six months. After it is aged we seal it in natural bees wax and it is ready for market."

Seems like a long process.

"It is not how fast you make it," Crystal said, "but how good you make it."

Foote's Hold Dairy makes two cheeses a day which weigh between two and a half to five pounds. They hope to double the output next year. They make and sell three cheeses regularly. A queso bianco (white cheese), pepper jack and a queso rojo. They also make a salt free Panir East Indian cheese that is used in Indian cooking like tofu. During the winter holidays Crystal makes a cranberry cheese which is a white cheese with cranberries in it. From December to January Foote's Dairy sells a holiday log with a spicy cheese similar to bleu cheese that is rolled in pecans or almonds.

The health benefits of goat's milk are-many. John and Crystal pointed out that goat's milk has less fat and more vitamins and minerals that cow's milk. It has 13 percent more calcium and 26 percent more B vitamins. It is easier to digest and people allergic to cow's milk can toleraje goat's milk.

"Goat's milk is good for every mammal on the planet," John said.

The goats at the Foote Dairy are fed dry C.O.B., which is a mixture of corn, oats and barley. The feed is GMO free. GMO is genetically modified organisms. The goat's cheese is natural with no additives.

It also tastes great.

You can purchase their goat cheese at some of the farmers markets such as St. Phillips Plaza, Oro

Valley, Jesse Owens Park, Alan's Organic, 77north in Catalina and Margaret's Garden Market (Guyton's) in Oracle. You can also buy the cheese at Foote's Hold Dairy 5850 North

Dudleyville Road but you may want to call ahead otherwise you will be greeted by at least a dozen goats. You can contact Foote's Hold Dairy at (520)483-2029.

Copyright 2011 San Manuel Miner, San Manuel, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: September 28, 2011

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