I know by now that many of you have heard of Flat Creek Lodge in neighboring Emanuel County. Owners, Steve and Caroline Harless, have developed a premier hunting and fishing resort and spa on Flathead Creek.
In adhering to the Lodge's primary mission of creating a destination in east Georgia where the traditions of fine hunting and fishing flourish in an eco-friendly environment, the Harlesses have expanded their operation to include the Flat Creek Lodge Dairy poised to introduce its new line of artisanal cheeses next week.
It will be only the second licensed artisanal cheese producer in Georgia. The other is Sweet Grass Dairy located in Thomasville.
The Harlesses instigated the micro-dairy project to bring the small family dairy that might be found in Europe or New England back to Georgia.
"Given the recent issues with food products, a lot of us are becoming much more conscious about which region of the world our food comes from," Caroline Harless said. "People are really interested in buying food produced locally, and we are very happy to have cheeses made here at Flat Creek to sell."
On June 9, Flat Creek Lodge Dairy will officially celebrate its opening with a line of four cheeses - Havarti, Gouda, Edam and Colby. Harless said artisanal cheeses are a little different from those that are massed produced.
"There are subtle nuances from batch to batch," she said. "The cheese is hand crafted and the flavor is influenced by how the 'girls' (milk cows) are eating."
In addition to marketing the Flat Creek Lodge cheese brand to restaurants and retail outlets, plans are to try and generate interest among local chefs, restaurateurs and consumers to use locally made products.
"We have already had a number of inquiries about our cheese, so we feel good in that there really appears to be a lot of interest in it," Harless said. "We aren't exactly sure how we will distribute yet, but those answers will come."
Readers may be interested to know that the Lodge has several greenhouses where herbs and vegetables are grown on site. Also, the Flat Creek dining room serves four course meals based upon the availability of seasonal foods raised or grown on their land. The Harlesses have really done an extraordinary job anticipating what has become a national trend towards locally grown and produced "eco-friendly" food products.
Caroline Harless is the daughter of Statesboro residents, Archie and Mary NeSmith. For more information on Flat Creek Lodge, you can visit their website at www.flatcreeklodge.com
Until next week, I bid you au revoir.
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