Monday, May 19, 2008

The Dairy Plant

Calling my little art space a "plant" always seems funny to me. The "Dairy Plant" is only a 13'6" x 14'2" room. It is a portion of the milk house and is one of two buildings that house this cheese business. The second is the new aging/store building I noted earlier.

I love my little space. The photo here is right after processing, just after hooping and just before scrubbing. It is set up for doing raw milk cheeses. Note I use the thermometer from the recorder to note temp, but the lids and all are not on.

The piping on the wall may be more elaborate than they need to be. Basically, it is set up to heat the vat with steam for pasteurizing, hot water for raw milk, use cold water when needed and has another port for attaching another cooling water system. That will be important for full batches of yoghurt or other hot milk cooking products.

I didn't spend much at a time, but it is adding up. The only things I'd do differently are adding a vent/air system and doing something a little different about the drains as the mice like to come through and I have to add a screen to the top when cheeses are in the plant.

I like small plants. They seem inviting, like a school art room or a clay studio in the back of the house. Larger plants always mean business. Cash flow and covering debt. I like to make cheese because I make cheese, not because of a looming loan payment. (I do make cheese for that reason, but that debt is not as large as some). Dave and I hope to eliminate that debt component so that the plant and his barn are inviting places, just because we enjoy our way of life, not because of the mounting and declining bills on the desk.

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