Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking Workshop 22-26 April 2024


Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking

22-26 April 2024
@roebuck farm, taranaki

  • NZD
  • USD

Limited spaces now available

Fall in love with the art of natural cheesemaking

From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers many aspects of a natural farmhouse cheesemaking.  Students can expect to learn how simple traditional methods can lead to a safe, effective, and delicious raw (or pasteurized) milk cheesemaking; how the philosophies of fermentation of natural wine, beer, sourdough and dairy are all inter-related. There will also be discussions of the implications of raw milk cheesemaking for human health, and the complicated ethics of animal agriculture.

DAY 1:  we learn to create and care for the cultures of our cheese. We begin with a session on dairy fermentation, covering Clabber, Kefir, Amasi (an African milk beer) and a traditional cream-top yogurt.

DAY 2: we use our cultures and rennet to make fresh lactic cheeses such as Cream Cheese, Chevre and Faisselle as well as Geotrichum-candidum ripened, French lactic goat cheeses such as Crottin, Valençay and Saint Marcellin.

DAY 3:  we look at rennet cheeses, preparing, in the morning, the basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed, and we’ll be able to stretch the cheese into Mozzarella, Queso Oaxaca and Burrata. We also explore the rind ecologies that can transform the fresh cheese into a ripe Camembert.

DAY 4: we make a French Blue Cheese, Bleu d’Auvergne, and explore the cultivation of blue fungus that gives this cheese its beautiful blue eyes. On this day, we will also prepare rennet the traditional way.

DAY 5: we make an Alpine cheese, and see how this one method can evolve in many different directions including Tomme and Raclette. We explore the concepts of rind washing and how it influences the hard cheese’s evolution. And with its leftover whey we prepare a batch of traditional Ricotta.

David Asher is a Natural Cheesemaker. A former farmer and goatherd from the west coast of Canada, David now travels widely, sharing a very old but also very new approach to cheese production with his Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking. Through teaching about the use of in-house starter cultures and natural rennet, David helps cheesemakers around the world reclaim their traditional cheeses. He also explores the relations of all food fermentations, and the important role of small scale and traditional food production in our modern world. David is the author of 'The Art of Natural Cheesemaking' and the upcoming 'Raw Milk Cheesemaker'.

Related Workshops

Following this introduction course, we also have a second course with David Asher which focuses on more challenging cheeses.


David will also be teaching workshops in the South Island


Helpful Information

These workshops are held at Roebuck Farm, a mighty little market garden in Omata on the outskirts of New Plymouth.

This particular workshop runs for 5 days. Each day starts at 9 am + finishes at 4:30 pm

There is no public transport out to the farm. It is common to hire a car at the airport to make your way out here. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from the airport and a 15-minute drive from town out to our farm

The workshop is fully catered with produce from the farm, the locale + of course a fair amount of cheese! The food at our workshops is always amazing and we naturally cater to a range of dietary needs. However, you are most welcome to bring your own if you have special requirements.

We have an Airbnb on the farm + there are other many Airbnbs in this area. You want something fairly near Hurford Rd, Omata.  Oakura is the next little township 10 minutes along the coast. There is also a lovely campsite there with cabins overlooking the sea. And of course, New Plymouth itself is also very close.

Airbnbs closeby

More about your venue ROEBUCK FARM


We are Jodi + Tanya Roebuck and we have developed Roebuck Farm, an intensive 2/3rds of an acre market garden growing in-season + delivering locally into restaurants + retail in New Plymouth.

We are proud to be an award-winning small-scale intensive market garden and recognised for our commitment to sustainability + mentorship of other growers worldwide.

We love what we do. We are passionate about growing food sustainably and profitably.




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