Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Cheese Maker
The other day I realized that I rarely post anything about what is the major part of the business of the farm where I make my salumi and other stuff. Hendricks Farms and Dairy is fundamentally a raw milk and cheese producing operation, whereas what I do counts as only a fraction of the output of the farm. Trent Hendricks, the farm's founder and owner, is in charge of all the day to day operation of the farm and milk and cheese production. He has help, of course, yet I cannot quite get my head around how he does it. His job is 24/7/365. He rarely leaves the farm and when he isn't building, fixing, sowing or reaping something he's on the phone with whoever working out whatever.
The man is a force of nature whose devotion to his craft would make little sense to those who believe that the ultimate measure of success is cash-in-hand. I admit, there are moments when I think he is out of his mind to work as hard as he does to earn a comfortable, yet hardly lavish, living. But those moments are fleeting because even though we are superficially very different kinds of people, there is one thing that we both have in common: a deep and abiding love of the process of producing food and the concomitant feeling of aptitude that follows the realization that we know how to feed ourselves and our families.