Third Annual Made in the South Awards

by Vanessa Gregory, Elizabeth Hutchison and T. Edward Nickens - December 2012/January 2013

Dixie's best in Home, Style + Design, Outdoors, and Food

Winner: Food Category

Nature’s Harmony Farm
Product: Farmstead Cheese
Made in: Elberton, GA
Est.: 2008

Five years ago, Tim and Liz Young were living on a golf course north of Atlanta. Disenchanted, the couple decided to make a change. “Rather than doing something sensible,” Tim says, “we bought a hundred and twenty-six acres, moved to the country, and became farmers.” Their foray into the cheese business began as a sustainable solution to the lingering problem of what to feed their Ossabaw Island hogs—the pigs could eat the whey and the Youngs could sell the cheese on the side. “But the thing is, I discovered I loved making cheese,” Tim says. “That first year, I did a lot of trial and error. And ended up giving about sixty percent of the cheese to the pigs.” Today, the pigs are back on a whey diet, and the Youngs maintain a small herd of grass-fed Jersey cows. Using old-world techniques, they handcraft three varieties of organic, raw-milk farmstead cheese, including Fortsonia, a hard Alpine style similar to Gruyère. Slightly nutty, it makes a killer grilled cheese but is best on its own, accompanied by a glass of good red wine.

Price: $15–$150,