Portland has a great food community, including enough cheese enthusiasts to warrant a loosely formed organization of home cheesemakers called the DIY Cheesemakers. This group has been meeting at a great local cheese shop called Foster and Dobbs Authentic Foods.
I attended my first meeting last November and met Gayle Starbuck, who led a class on making fresh cheeses with direct set cultures. She and I talked after the class and I agreed to help set up an email list to help communicate between the meeting participants. That list now lives as a Google group, which can be found at diycheese.org.
I also talked to Luan Schooler after the same DIY meeting. Luan is one of the owners of Foster and Dobbs, and from what I can tell she started hosting the DIY meetings in 2008. I offered to do a cheesemaking demonstration. After an exchange of emails, I am now demonstrating making Feta on January 20th, 2010. I am very excited.
This weekend I have plans to visit a local goat farm to acquire some fresh raw milk and do a trial cheesemaking run at home. If the results are good, they will show up at the meeting on the 20th. I am also going to do a practice run with store bought cow milk to hopefully show the difference between the two milk sources. The demo will done with store bought milk, as that is what most people will be using in their own kitchens.
So if you are in the Portland area, come join the fun. See the details at diycheese.org.