Tieton Farm & Creamery
Producers: Ruth and Lori Babcock
Located in: Tieton, Wash.
Supplying PCC since: 2010
Supplies PCC with: Creamy, decadent chèvre made in small batches with milk from their herd of pastured goats and sheep. Typically available from April to October.
An ever-growing menagerie: The Babcocks also raise pigs, turkeys, chickens and ducks on their 21-acre spread in Tieton, Wash.
A perfect partnership: Ruth Babcock loves to farm and cares for their livestock; Lori Babcock, a gifted cook, makes the cheese from the pails of fresh milk Ruth carries in each morning.
Dairy goodness from the ground up
The sheep and goats watch Ruth Babcock’s every move as she strides through their pen, stooping to pet a ewe or shoo away an overly curious kid. They know their favorite moment is almost here: When she lifts their enclosure and frees them to surge toward lush, fresh pasture for grazing.
It’s a daily ritual at Tieton Farm & Creamery, a 21-acre spread tucked in a corner of the sunny Yakima Valley owned by Ruth and her partner, Lori Babcock.
Lori blends fresh goat and sheep’s milk from their herds to create cool, mild, creamy chèvre, hand crafting each cheese in a gleaming room with views of the nearby rolling hills. Ruth brings the milk in each morning and manages their ever-growing menagerie outside: Sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, pigs and ducks.
The pair, most recently of Seattle, launched their farming career back in the last decade in Bellevue as Emerald City Pastures, raising vegetables and making goat cheese while both holding down jobs in the tech industry. They moved to tiny Tieton (rhymes with biotin) in early 2010 to try farming full time.
“In both places we lived I turned pretty much every inch into gardens,” Ruth says. “And she took whatever I grew and just made amazing, wonderful food … that’s how we spent our spare time, our hobby time. So we really just decided we’d really like to do this for our next career. That’s how we got into it, just the love of good food and growing it ourselves.”
Between the months of April and October, find their artisanal, local chèvre in the PCC Deli in four delicious varieties: Plain, smoked paprika, black pepper and cumin, just right sprinkled into a bread salad, melty atop a pizza or piled onto warm bruschetta.