Just half an hour North of downtown Durham in Rougemont, NC, feeling more like a million miles away, Elodie Farms sits on 27 picturesque acres.
Tucked away behind owner Dave Artigues’ wonderful farm house is a pond, a series of close to the ground hooped “green houses”, and a couple out buildings. That’s the Elodie Farms logo painted on the barn below. Those two goats also make an appearance on the gate pictured above.
Artigues has built a reputation for outstanding goat cheeses. You’d never guess what’s in this unassuming building.
The first clue that all is not what it seems is the art glass in the door.
Inside to the right is a room that opens to the outside, allowing goats in for milking. To the left . . . a modern cheese making facility.
Dave produces soft cheeses Chevre, Feta, Camembert, and Queso Fresco. But, what sets Elodie Farms apart from many other goat cheese producers is that Dave also makes hard cheeses. “There’s not much money in it, I just love hard cheeses so I make them”, says Artigues. The list is pretty impressive: Gouda, Gruyere, St. Hampton (Tomme/Saint-Paulin), Bahama Blue (Stilton), Muenster, and more. More about their cheeses here.
After Dave showed me the buildings, he asked if I’d like to see the goats. Well of course I would! He put his hands to his mouth and called (something like “Heeeeeer GOATS!) to an empty landscape. Once. Twice.
And then . . . they magically appeared, running from some unseen field right up to where we were standing in the yard.
I wondered aloud if they’d be expecting something in the way of a reward. Dave explained that “the girls”, as he calls them, do get a reward two out of three times, so he expects they’ll continue coming when he calls.
As Dave mentions in the video, Elodie hosts lots of different types of events, and he’s hoping to launch a few more interesting items like a Chefs Boot Camp, where they’ll learn butchering among other things.
Elodie can be, and frequently is, booked for Weddings, Dinner on the Porch, Cheese Making Classes, Farm Tours, School Visits and hosts a Summer Day Camp for kids (the human kind). Read about all events at Elodie here.
While we stood on the porch, Dave talked about visiting Dinner on the Porch Chefs and how they typically come to the farm early. They almost always end up sitting on that porch in a rocker, sipping a drink, relaxing before getting to work. Many have commented on how much they like cooking at Elodie and mingling with the guests in the “no pressure” environment.
After touring the farm, I took a walk through the house. Loved the built-ins and colors, but especially loved the remodeled kitchen. Some time down the road, when budget allows, Dave plans to expand the kitchen, adding a commercial area for large meal prep work.
Elodie Farms Cheeses can be purchased at the Durham Farmers Market and Weaver Street Market (Carrboro and Southern Village), as well as by appointment at the farm. For a list of restaurants serving their cheese, click here.