My wedding day was more than a few years ago but I can still think back to the gifts that my husband and I received. We were given a few gifts that were not on our registry but nothing like the gifts that Katherine and Kipp Valentine received on their wedding day. I am not talking about Christmas china or fondue pots but goats- as in live farm animals! And who would have thought that this odd wedding gift would lead the Valentines to a whole new life? But that is the road on which the Valentines are traveling.
Kipp Valentine has been farming around Charleston County from Awendaw to Johns Island for decades. He has a wealth of knowledge about farming, the Civil War, and of course goats. What started with their initial wedding gift of three goats has evolved into a herd of more than 35 milk goats, and counting. Their twelve-acre farm is pastoral with a dirt road lined with fields full of goats, geese and occasionally one the three family dogs. Next to the fields is a hodgepodge mix of shipping containers, corrugated steel and cinderblocks that actually houses a full dairy complete with a milking parlor, a cheese room and a milk room. Each of the rooms is meticulously clean and Kipp talks us through the whole process of cheese production- from the platform where the goats are milked to the pasteurizing and cooling of the milk and finally, the draining of the chèvre.
Lucky for us, we were able to sample some of the fresh milk and it was rich and creamy, smooth and absolutely delicious. Ninety percent of the goat milk produced at Burden Creek is turned into goat cheese which is now available throughout the Lowcountry at Earth Fare, Harris Teeter, Newton Farms, Piggly Wiggly, Stono Market and Boone Hall Farms. The Valentines also have a slew of chickens and sell fresh eggs as well as goat cheese to many restaurants around town. For an easy and delightful appetizer at home, try topping Burden Creek goat cheese with Sallie’s Greatest Peach Pepper and Ginger Jam.