Introducing Curly Willow Farmstead!


Our busy farmstead is located near Zeeland, Michigan, and happily populated by a family of nine children, their loving parents, a large (and growing) herd of dairy goats and cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, horses, ducks and more!

We are new to goat cheesemaking this year, but not new to goat, sheep or cow milk, as we’ve been milking and enjoying our animals’ milks for years now.

We’re also teaching the area’s visitors about the wonders of goats and their milk at Holland’s Dutch Village, and interest is always high.

Our turnkey cheesemaking system came from Birchbark Farm in Northwest Michigan, where for nearly a decade their herd of registered Oberhasli goats provided a dedicated co-op of artisan cheese fans with wonderful products. We aim to continue — and expand — this tradition.

Our beautiful goats, including five different breeds (Nubian, Saanen, American Alpine, Toggenburg and Oberhasli), are fed the best grains and hay available to create the foundation of our health-giving cheeses. The milk is only 24 hours from having been hay — the freshest you can get! They are milked twice daily by our older children, and you are welcome to come and visit in-season.

We also offer fresh lamb, goat and chicken meat, as well as chicken and duck eggs for those who want their protein straight from the local farmer. Please call us for pricing and availability, at 616-566-1117.



Asparagus Chevre Galette

As any casual reader of this blog knows, I adore pie. So this easy-peasy unfussy galette scores high for me as a brunch star! Thanks to Aimee at Simple Bites for the recipe and picture!

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves/Yield: 6
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or chèvre
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. To prepare crust, combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together yogurt, water, and lemon juice. Pour over flour mixture and use hands or a wooden spoon to form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and store in freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare filling, whisk together olive oil and garlic clove in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the three cheeses and stir in one teaspoon of olive oil mixture. Refrigerate until ready for use.
  3. To assemble galette, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. On a well floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 12-inch circle, trimming edges until smooth. Transfer dough to lined baking sheet. Leaving a 2-inch border, spread the cheese mixture evenly over dough. Arrange asparagus over the cheese (as either full spears or as chopped pieces, which may make the cutting and eating easier), then drizzle remaining olive oil mixture over the top. Fold over the edges of dough, pleating to make it fit.
  5. Whisk together egg yolk and water. Brush over the crust and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is puffed, asparagus is tender, and crust is golden brown.

Mushroom, Chevre and Spinach Frittatas

If you are looking for a no-potato, heavy-on-the veg frittata that features goat cheese, look no further! These are a lovely addition to brunch. If you like them a little spicier, feel free to sprinkle in some chipotle seasoning or chopped jalapeño peppers!

Thanks to Momtastic for the recipe and the pic!

servings: 6
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 25 minutes
total time: 45 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ small red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 scallion stalks (green parts only, thinly sliced)


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Thinly slice onions; set aside. Slice mushrooms; set aside. Slice scallions; set aside.

Step 3: In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add sliced onions, and saute until fragrant (about 3 minutes).

Step 4: Add sliced mushrooms, and saute until cooked through (about 7 – 10 minutes).

Step 5: Turn off the flame and add baby spinach leaves to the hot skillet. Mix well. Allow mixture to cool down.

Step 6: In a bowl, whisk eggs, crumbled goat cheese, grated parmesan, and salt & pepper together.

Step 7: Grease a 6-cup muffin pan (best if it’s silicone).

Step 8: With a spoon, scoop out mushroom-spinach mixture, and evenly distribute between cups.

Step 9: Pour egg and cheese mixture over the mushrooms. Sprinkle tops with sliced scallions.

Step 10: Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Apple Yogurt Cake

Cakes which resemble the dense, moist lovelies I enjoyed while an exchange student in Germany really appeal, and this is one of them. The batter is thick, but the apples inject their juices while the cake bakes, making the texture of the cake just scrumptious.

Thanks to David Rocco and Kitchenhealssoul for the recipe and picture!

  • 1⅓ cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (115 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅞ cup (200 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus a little extra for buttering the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cups (125 mL) goat yogurt
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) granulated sugar (for the topping)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch cake round.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the ½ cup of sugar and the melted butter until it has lightened.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the yoghurt, beginning and ending with the flour.
  6. Stir in the sliced apples and the lemon zest, and pour the batter in the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the ⅓ cup sugar evenly over the top of the cake.
  8. The original recipe suggests a baking time of 40 minutes, but I think it needs to bake for over one hour (until a tester inserted into the center (not through an apple if possible!) comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.

Carrot Cake Bars with Goat Cheese

These are just lovely, moist bars — perfect for a brunch, tea or dessert. The chèvre makes them taste very creamy, and really sets off the carrots. Enjoy! Thanks to the fabulous Baker Boys at Lake Country Quark in the UK!

  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 8 ounces goat quark or chevre, thinned with 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 6 medium grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

The Icing

  • 1 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chevre
  • 1tbs honey


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Whisk together the sugar and sunflower oil, add to this the eggs then the chèvre thinned with milk

Step 3

Next add all the other dry ingredients followed by the raisins, carrot and coconut

Step 4

Stir well and pour into a greased 9 x 11 rectangular baking pan, or 12-muffin tin

Step 5

Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean

Step 6 – The Icing

Once the cake or muffins have cooled, sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl then add chèvre, the butter and honey and mix well until smooth

Step 7

Top your cake or muffins with the icing

Lemon Chevre Cookies

These cookies, found on, are dense, toothy and luscious. We served them at this year’s Member Open House and they disappeared. Think of them as a main dish cookie. Yummy.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.13.46 PM


40 Servings


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounces fresh chevre
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


For the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant. Set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the large bowl combine the butter and lemon sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until they are fully incorporated.
  • Add the ricotta cheese and lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake cookies in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.
  • Once all the cookies are cool, prepare the lemon glaze.

For the Glaze:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.
  • Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze.

Place cookies on a wire baking rack or wax paper and allow the glaze to harden before serving.



How to Choose a Goat Cheese

Laura Chenel (legend in the artisan cheese world) posted a helpful video today on her blog and in Facebook. It’s a basic primer on how to select a goat cheese to please your palate. It’s got some good advice, but is by no means exhaustive. There are hundreds of goat cheeses out there, so get busy and start eating your way through the choices!