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Summertime in Vermont

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					                                                                                Spring/Summer 2004 • Vol. 4, Issue 1




                                                                           Summertime in Vermont...
                                                                                             and the livin’ is easy…?
Photo courtesy of Cabot Creamery; Glenn Moody, photographer




                                                              Summertime’s easy livin’ means 18 hour workdays for Vermont’s cheesemakers. Between delivering
                                                              their animals of offspring, milking the herd or flock usually twice a day and turning their farm fresh
                                                              milk into a wide variety of cheeses, it’s a busy, hectic, productive time of year in Vermont. And as
                                                              cheese-lovers know, there’s no time like it. For a list of Vermont cheesemakers you can visit, see the
                                                              cheese trail map inserted in this newsletter.
MESSAGE        FROM THE         PRESIDENT

                                             Cheese Trends:
          The Restaurant Connection
        he past three years have seen a surge in                the times are changing, and buyers are becoming

T       national interest for artisinal cheeses. Who
        could resist? Creamy exotic Brie-styles
emerged from all corners, fresh chevres found their
                                                                more knowledgeable and casual about obtaining fine
                                                                cheeses.
                                                                   It is in upscale restaurants that the connection is
way into restaurant dishes, and a selection of                  most notable. The last few I dined at in Burlington,
distinctly original cow’s milk cheeses with rustic and          Vermont, proudly displayed the names of producers
romantic names entered the marketplace.                         on the menu, and fromage was no longer merely a
   This upward trend can be                                                             separate course. Cheeses –
attributed to favorable media               APPETIZER RECIPE FROM                       especially farmhouse cheeses -
coverage and the growing                        SHELBURNE FARMS                         were exciting accompaniments
sophistication of the American                                                          to grilled meats, the heat
                                               Geoff Mockbee, Head Chef
palate, but the role of food                                                            awakening aromas and flavors
service and retail should not be          Beef Carpaccio with Aged                      that would be hidden in a stand-
underplayed. Both sourced out            Cheddar and Arugula Pesto                      alone offering. Cheese is also
and offered new cheeses to                                                              showing up next to sweet
appreciative customers, and a           To Prepare:                                     desserts – apple pie and cheddar,
few eventually made it their               Heavily season the beef carpaccio            move over! Poached pears and
specialty.                              (a natural cut of eye of the round)             honeyed bread bring out the best
                                        with salt and pepper. Then, sear it
   SYSCO, for example, paired                                                           in washed-rind and blue cheeses.
                                        over high heat. When it is cooled,
with ChefEx to carry a limited          wrap and put it in the freezer. When            The pinnacle of cheese paradise
selection of boutique cheeses.          the beef is sufficiently frozen, slice it       is having wait staff suggest the
Of the 15 currently offered,            very thinly. Shave the aged cheddar             best cheeses from their selection
seven are from Vermont. Such            (use Shelburne Farms, Cabot, Grafton            to complement a wine you have
distributors carrying more and          or other fine aged Vermont cheddar)             chosen.
                                        in very thin slices and layer over the
more cheeses have broadened                                                                Diners inevitably search for
                                        carpaccio on a serving plate.
the horizon for small                                                                   “the cheese they had at the
                                           Surround the beef and cheese with
companies that were once                an arugula pesto. This will create              restaurant,” and a cycle
exclusive to their local markets.       bitter and savory flavors that will             completes from restaurant to
   Obtaining those coveted              compliment the beef and cheese.                 retail, then back again to the
spheres of cheesy goodness              Serve with Shelburne Farms cheddar              producer. With the enthusiastic
often means accepting that              crackers.                                       support of chefs and distributors,
cheesemakers may have                                                                   Vermont cheeses will continue
                                        The Pesto:
seasonal or limited production.                                                         to go places!
                                           Chop four cups arugula leaves in a
Those circumstances were                blender add and blend 1/4 cup toasted
previously considered                   almonds, 1-4 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup                       Dawn Morin-Boucher
detrimental to breaking in to           extra virgin olive oil and an equal                                      President,
the national marketplace. But           amount of Reggiano cheese.                                Vermont Cheese Council




                                                            2
                         Neighborly Farms
                               A family-centered labor of love
         isiting Neighborly Farms in     “I’ve never worked so hard in my           feed grown without pesticides. The

V        Randolph Center is like
         traveling back to a simpler
and more wholesome time. Rob and
                                         life,” says Linda who, in her spare
                                         time, has three children to raise, an
                                         1800 farmhouse to take care of, and
                                                                                    fields are similarly untreated with
                                                                                    anything but pure cow manure. The
                                                                                    resulting cheese is organic as well.
Linda Dimmick have taken on the          a barn full of animals that she knows      This factor appeals to a lot of
challenge of living the family farm      by name and clearly loves.                 Neighborly Farms accounts such as
life with all the hard work and              The Neighborly Farm cheese-            coops and Natural Food Stores across
uncertainty that that                    making operation is a model of             the state and into New Hampshire.
implies. And they do it                                                                               Despite the
with enthusiasm. When                                                                              convenience of a new
you visit their cheese-                                                                            cheese making plant and
making operation,                                                                                  having a refrigerated
you’re likely to share a                                                                           truck for deliveries,
cup of coffee or sample                                                                            Linda and Rob Dimmick
their cheese while you                                                                             are “new age” pioneers –
sit at the large farm                                                                              forging a life out of their
table in the quaintly decorated retail   modern efficiency and cleanliness.                        own labor and ingenuity.
space. The green and white-              But it started as a hand-made              And it’s life they weren’t both born
checkered wallpapered and knotty         business and a one-woman show.             into but rather sought out. They live
pine trimmed room is a comforting        “It’s incredibly satisfying work,” says    and work on a beautiful piece of
oasis in a hectic world. Then Linda      Linda who made every single pound          property – some 168 acres of crop
will lead you down the hallway and       of the roughly 10,000 pounds of            and grazing fields that support their
invite you to take a look into her       cheese produced the first year and         organic dairy. Rob’s folks bought the
world – cheesemaking in the pristine     still managed to run the retail shop,      land in the ’60s when they moved
cheese room on the right, the tidy       host visitors who came to view the         here from Connecticut. They
barn with their 90 head of cows tied     farm and cheesemaking operation six        brought Rob and his brothers up on
up on the left.                          days a week, and deliver her cheeses       this farm, teaching them the
                                         to retailers across the state – all with   importance of working in harmony
Coming to Cheesemaking                   a smile. And, did I mention, she and       with the land. And it was to this
   Linda Dimmick came to cheese-         Rob, have three young children?            place of quiet beauty and hard work
making via dental hygiene. Traits                                                   that Rob wanted to return when he
learned in that field including a        A Working Partnership                      and Linda married in 1989 and had
compulsion toward germ-free                 Though Linda would be the first to      their first child a year later. Linda,
working conditions, has translated       tell you, she’s hardly done it alone.      who was born and raised in upper
well into the world of cheesemaking.     First and foremost, she credits her        Michigan, took to rural Vermont
And, while her path from there to        husband, Rob. He’s the “common             naturally when first she came here to
here seems a bit round about, it all     sense” behind the cheese business          take a job in dental hygiene. By the
makes perfect sense when you listen      they launched in April of 2001 as a        time she met and married Rob, she
to her tell her story. A petite woman    way of adding income to their farm         felt very much at home in Randolph
in her late 30’s, who looks younger      revenue. He works the fields as well       – a community where orchards and
despite the schedule she keeps,          as having an off-farm job and              dairy farms dot the landscape.
Linda exudes warmth and an easy          maintains a farm that is entirely
friendliness. For the past few years     organic. The animals, 48 of which          Let’s Make Cheese
she’s been spending her days making,     are milked twice daily by Rob’s              In early 2000, after reading about
marketing and delivering cheese          brother-in-law, receive no hormones        the burgeoning cheese industry in
under the brand, Neighborly Farms.       or antibiotics and eat only organic        Vermont, Linda suggested they use


                                                            3
Neighborly Farms                          of business. Today,                               12 and 13. Another
continued from page 3                     Neighborly Farms’                                   generation of
                                          cheesemaking                                          farmer/cheesesmakers
                                          operation employs                                       on their way.
some of their pure, organic milk in       four full-time and                                          Today, Neighborly
the making of cheese for sale. With       four part-time                                           Farms offers raw
the help of consultant, Peter Dixon,      employees                                                 milk cheddar as well
Linda made cheese for three days in       including a                                               as eight varieties of
the farmhouse kitchen before              cheesemaker and                                           flavored cheddars,
deciding what kind to go with. When       an assistant                                              Colby, Feta and
the time came to start making             cheesemaker in                                            Monterey jack.
cheese in earnest to sell, they           addition to Linda                                        Their big sellers are
decided to brand their cheese             and her husband,                                        the feta and aged raw
“Neighborly” after the kindness of        Rob. Linda trained                                     milk cheddar. Hours
the neighbors Charlie and Sandy           her assistant Melissa                                are everyday, except
Russell who helped them get started       Komorowski to be as                                Sunday, from 9 – 5.
when they first returned to the farm.     compulsive about
“You really rely on your neighbors,”      cleanliness and quality control            Come Visit Neighborly
says Linda, “In good times and in         as she is. Together with the help of     Farms:
bad.” Bad times are potentially just      apprentice cheesemaker, David               If your travels take you anywhere
around the corner in the world of         Goldsworthy, the two are churning        near Exit 4 off Route 89, you should
family farming when milk prices and       out the Neighborly Farms line three-     treat yourself to a 10 minute detour
weather are just two of the critical      days a week, year round. Linda adds      and visit Neighborly Farm. Chances
factors that cannot be controlled. But    that cheesemaking days for Melissa       are, once you get there, you won’t
what can be controlled – the care         come before and after she tends to       want to leave. Take Exit 4 off I-89 to
and development of the land and the       the water buffalo calves at the          Randolph. Go east on Rt 66 .5 miles
tending of the animals – sets the         Woodstock Water Buffalo Farm in          to Vermont Technical College.
Dimmicks aside as first class farmers.    South Woodstock, where her husband       Continue on Rt 66 another .5 miles
                                          is the herd manager. “She’s the          until the Y. Take a left onto Ridge
Meeting their goals                       amazing one, these days,” says Linda,    Road. Go 1.4 miles and turn right on
  The Dimmicks’s original estimate        who spends her time focusing on          North Randolph Road. Go exactly 1.5
that they could produce as much as        marketing and selling 1,000 pounds       miles to the four corners. The
80,000 pounds of cheese in a year         of cheese a week as well as home-        Dimmick’s big red barn and farm
was met within their first three years    schooling her three children, ages 11,   store is on the left.



                New Institute for Artisan Cheese in Vermont
       he University of Vermont           remarkable,” says Jeffrey Roberts,       Center for Food Entrepreneurship.

T      (UVM) will soon be home to
       the nation’s first compre-
hensive center devoted to
                                          principal consultant to VIAC. “This
                                          state has the greatest number of
                                          artisan cheesemakers per capita in
                                                                                   The Vermont Institute for Artisan
                                                                                   Cheese has emerged from the NECFE
                                                                                   with Professors Cathy Donnelly and
hand-made or “artisan” cheeses. The       the country.”                            Paul Kindstedt, as co-directors.
Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese         The artisan cheese movement in           Roberts reports that in January,
(VIAC) will provide education,            Vermont was part of the impetus for      the John Merck Fund appropriated
research, and technical assistance for    the creation for the Vermont Cheese      $150,000 over three years to get the
cheesemakers from across the              Council in 1997 which helped open        Institute up and running. A matching
country and across the world.             national markets to small-scale          fund of the same amount has been
   As international food language         cheesemakers. Others also saw the        made by an anonymous donor. The
goes, cheese is as good as it gets. And   potential of small-scale food            goal, according to Roberts, is the
Vermonters have taken that to heart.      entrepreneur businesses. In 2000,        creation of a nationally-recognized
“Over the past 15 years, the growth       UVM and Cornell University were          program that will help elevate the
and quality of Vermont artisan            awarded the largest-ever FDA grant       production and distribution of
cheeses have been nothing short of        for the creation of the Northeast                       continued on next page


                                                            4
New Institute                             exchange will also be at the heart of
                                                                                  Farmers’ Market
continued from page 4                     VIAC’s mission, says Roberts, who
                                          will continue to work with the VCC      Season Underway
artisan cheeses worldwide. The main       and other interested parties as the
activities of the VAIC will fall into     Institute evolves.
                                                                                            ith the melting of the snows
three categories: teaching, research
and services. International
cooperation and information
                                             For more information, contact
                                          UVM Professor, Cathy Donnelly
                                          (802) 656-8300.                         W         comes the best time of the
                                                                                            year for Vermont food-
                                                                                  lovers: Farmers Market season. Many
                                                                                  of Vermont’s hardest to find cheese
                  SPOTLIGHT: VERMONT SHEPHERD                                     varieties can be found at outdoor
                                                                                  markets state-wide starting mid-late
                                                                                  May and running through Foliage
       Come See Cheese in the Making                                              season. Among the markets where
                                                                                  cheeses are sold:
      Vermont Shepherd’s rustic farmstand is open 7 days a week, year
   round. It is located at the end of their driveway, 875 Patch Road. 7 miles
                                                                                  BELLOWS FALLS FARMERS’ MARKET
   from I-91, exit 4 and 5 miles from I-91 exit 5 (from Exit 5 the road is
                                                                                    The Way Point Center,
   called Westminster Heights Rd.) if you’re coming from the north. Look
                                                                                    Fridays from 3 pm – 6pm
   for the oval Vermont Shepherd sign. They will hold an Open House at
                                                                                    cheeses from: Vermont Shepherd
   their Vermont Shepherd Cheese Cave on the following dates in 2004:
   • Every Friday from May 30 to October 29, 12 – 3pm, including a                BRATTLEBORO FARMERS’ MARKET
     demonstration of cheesemaking.                                                 cheeses from:
                                                                                    Peaked Mountain Farm
   • Saturday Open Houses from 10 am – 3 pm on:
                                                                                    Westminster Dairy
     • August 7
     • September 25
                                                                                  BURLINGTON FARMERS’ MARKET
     • Saturday October 9 and
                                                                                    City Hall Park,
     • November 26, 27, 28 as part of the Putney Craft Tour 10am – 4pm
                                                                                    Saturdays, from 8:30 to 2:30
     For a list of other cheesemakers who welcome visitors, please review           cheeses from:
   the map included in this issue.                                                  Willow Hill
                                                                                    Green Mountain Blue Cheese
                                                                                    Doe’s Leap

                                                                                  DANVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET
                                                                                    Wednesday, 9 – 1
                                                                                    cheeses from:
                                                                                    Hope Farm (starting in August)

                                                                                  MONTPELIER FARMERS’ MARKET
                                                                                    intersection of State and Elm,
                                                                                    Saturdays from 9 am – 1 pm
                                                                                    cheeses from: Lazy Lady Farm

                                                                                  NORWICH FARMERS’ MARKET
Above, Dr. Paul Kinstedt is                                                         Saturdays 9 – 1
honored as the first life-                                                          cheeses from:
time honorary member of                                                             Cobb Hill Cheese
the Vermont Cheese                                                                  Thistle Hill
Council at the April meet-
ing. At right: newly elected                                                      ST. JOHNSBURY FARMERS’ MARKET
officers are, from left,                                                            Saturdays 9 – 1
President Jamie Miller of Shelburne Farms, Treasurer Mark Fischer of                cheeses from:
Woodcock Farm, and Secretary Victoria Von Hessert of Jasper Hill Farm.              Hope Farm (starting in August)
Vice President Jon Wright of Taylor Farms was unable to attend.


                                                             5
       Cheesemaking Workshops
“I got a very good feel for
what commercial artisan
cheesemaking was all about.
It helped me make a more
informed decision about my
artisan cheesemaking
project.”
                 — Shannon Nichols,
       dairy farmer and conservation
        program specialist, Graze-NY


                                                                                                              Peter Dixon
       ate in 2003, Westminster                                                                               (left) getting

L      Dairy received a Northeast
       SARE Grass Roots Grant to
fund their cheesemaking training
                                                                                                              “hands-on”
                                                                                                              with novice
                                                                                                              cheese-
center so that they could expand                                                                              makers.
their resources and offerings. Dr.
Paul Kindstedt; Margaret Morris,          Dixon’s vision is to provide a            the Training Center for Farmstead
consultant and owner of Glengarry        resource that will provide farmers         Milk Processing at Westminster Dairy
Cheesemaking and Dairy Supplies in       with the knowledge and tools to be         can help to regenerate dairy farm
Alexandria, Ontario; and Greg            successful at the business of process-     processors as vital parts of their com-
Lockwood, Vermont Department of          ing their milk into dairy products on      munities.
Agriculture and Markets’ dairy plant     their farms. He hopes to expand the           In all, Dixon and colleagues offered
inspector are collaborators with dairy   programs in the future to bring in         six, two-day workshops since January
farmer Bill Acquaviva and cheese-        instructors from other countries           attending by approximately 30 people
maker Peter Dixon, owners of             where farmstead milk processing is a       from states including VT, NY, CT, WA,
Westminster Dairy, on this project.      part of the social culture. In this way,   ME, and British Columbia. Remaining
Since January 2004, Westminster
Dairy has played host to a series of
workshops and seminars on a variety      “Overall it was a very informative two days. You can be a total
of subjects about processing milk on
                                         novice, or an experienced cheesemaker, and still get something
the farm including: cheesemaking
and aging, sanitation, making butter     out of the workshop. The other good part is that it takes place
and cultured dairy products, ice
                                         in an actual working cheeseroom and not some college class-
cream manufacture, regulations and
compliance, practical dairy              room. Peter has alot of knowledge, and like a true lover of the
chemistry and microbiology, starter
                                         art, he doesn’t hold back on the “secrets”. He wants people to
culture technology, business
planning, and organic grass-based        learn and know how all of this works. It was a good experience.
farming and its relationship to
                                         One I would welcome again in the future.”
seasonal changes in milk quality and
utilization for dairy products.                                           — Jamie Miller, Shelburne Farms cheesemaker




                                                            6
training dates this spring are:             Havarti, and Trappist from cow         • November 13-14 The Science of
                                            and sheep milk.                          Cheese-making and Cheese-
• May 15-16 Soft-ripened cheeses:                                                    ripening with Dr. Paul Kindstedt:
  Brie, Camembert, Aged Goat              • October 3 The Business and               Tomme and Cheddar cheese-
  cheeses, French Tomme, Butter             Regulation of Farmstead Milk             making and classroom instruction.
  and Creme Fraiche.                        Processing with Greg Lockwood,
                                            VT State Dairy Plant Inspector.          Tel. 802-387-5110 or email
The series will start again in the fall                                            pdixon@sover.net for details.
  with a few dates already set.           • October 16-17 Alpine cheeses:
                                            Swiss, Asiago, Tomme and Toma,
• September 18-19 Cheese of the             Butter and Sour cream from cow
  Low Countries: Gouda, Edam,               and goat milk.




                    Strolling of the Heifers: Take 3
            community party and

   A        fundraiser to benefit
            agricultural programs in
   schools, the third annual Strolling
   of the Heifers parade and festival,
   sponsored by Turkey Hill Dairy,
   will kick off Vermont Dairy
   Month, June 4 – 6 in Brattleboro.
   The weekend begins with the
   Farm Summit, an issue-oriented
   event open to the public that will
   explore ways to support local
   farmers. This year’s topic “The
   Facts & Myths of Diary Pricing:
   Who’s Getting Milked – The
   Farmers or the Cows.” An art
   exhibit of over 30 area artists
   celebrating Vermont agriculture
   opens Friday night at the
   Windham Art Gallery with a
   benefit show and silent auction
   entitled “The Farm Show.”              Flower bedecked, groomed and shining, over 75 heifers identified by
      On Saturday, a parade               name will strut their stuff up Main Street led by Putney School students,
   featuring dozens of bovine             4-H Club members and farmers from across Vermont, New Hampshire
   beauties led by students, farmers      and Massachusetts at the 3rd annual Strolling of the Heifers
   and 4-H Club members will begin
   at 10 am complete with lively
   entertainment and colorful floats,     (9 am- 3 pm) sponsored by Vermont        Tours and the “hearty” Heifer
   including clowns, a dairy fairy,       Country Store at the Brattleboro         Brunch at Adams Farm in
   horses, oxen, alpacas and more.        Common and featuring regional farm       Wilmington.
   The heifers will include black and     products and Best Chefs of Vermont          For more information visit
   white Holsteins; brown Jerseys         cooking demonstrations. Later that       www.strollingoftheheifers.org or
   and russet milking short horns.        evening is the informal Heifer Ball at   call 1-877-VTSBEST. Ask for a list
   The parade will be followed by         7 pm at the Putney Inn, with             of farms that offer stays and other
   The Dairy Fest & Marketplace           Sunday, June 6 given over to Farm        packages.




                                                            7
                                 Update on New Businesses
                  Jasper Hill,                                                                     bliss and Andy’s fiancé, established
                  Greensboro, Vermont                                                              Vermont cheesemaker Victoria Von
                                                                                                   Hessert who is managing the Jasper


                  J  asper Hill owners Mateo Kehler
                     and his brother/partner, Andy,
                     report that after just a year in
                  business, things are going very well.
                                                                                                   Hill Cheese aging facility.

                                                                                                   Star Hill Dairy,
                                                                                                   Woodstock, Vermont
                  Updates on their three main cheeses
                  are as follows:                                                                         his past year has been witness

                  • They are currently producing
                    between 400 and 500 Constant
                                                          Max McCalman and Mateo Kehler
                                                          shown in the model kitchen at the
                                                          Williams-Sonoma flag ship store in
                                                          the new Turner Towers at New York
                                                                                                   T      to much growth, change and
                                                                                                          success at Star Hill Dairy,
                                                                                                   home to Woodstock Water Buffalo.
                    Bliss per week. Demand is so high                                              In January of 2003, their first
                                                          City’s Columbus Circle.
                    that regular accounts are back                                                 cheesemaker, Gregg Lambert joined
                    ordered 2-3 weeks. Constant Bliss                                              them from Shelburne Farms. In
                    is the most widely-served cheese      • Aspenhurst (cloth bound cheddar        November of last year they were also
                    in NY restaurants. Murrays, a New       variant) is looking and tasting        joined by an apprentice
                    York City cheeseshop, has built a       great, according to Mateo. The         cheesemaker, Jon Capurso, who
                    wholesale business around it.           youngest wheels of this cheese         came to Star Hill with a culinary
                                                            have aged six months and will be       background. With the addition of
                  • Bayley Hazen Blue cheese is also        aged six more before they are          these two, Owner, David Muller
                    catching on and is getting a warm       ready for sale. “Look for them         reports that they are now well staffed
                    response on the cheese carts of a       around Christmas” says Mateo.          in that Creamery.
                    number of high-end restaurants                                                    Star Hill’s first product, Water
                    across the country including             Jasper Hill is shipping their         Buffalo Yogurt, began shipping in
                    Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Picholine,    cheeses across the country on a          April of 2003 and since then the
                    Gramercy Tavern and Craft, all in     weekly basis as well as servicing        product line has been expanded to
                    New York City.                        cheese shops and restaurants             include seven different flavors. New
                                                          nationwide. Both cheese are now          to the line is a Low Fat yogurt which
Susan Spaulding




                                                          featured at the following New York       they hope to ship before the end of
                                                          City restaurants: Gramercy Tavern,       2004. In July of last year Star Hill
                                                          Craft, Picholine, Compass Tabla,
                                                                                                                                            Susan Spaulding
                                                          11 Madison and Judson Grill. In
                                                          addition to direct sales, Jasper Hill
                                                          now works with three distributors,
                                                          Provisions in northern New England,
                                                          Seacrest in southern New England
                                                          and Tomales Bay Foods in the Pacific
                                                          Northwest. Mateo Kehler of Jasper
                                                          Hill participated at the opening of
                                                          the New York City Williams Sonoma
                                                          with Max McCalman, author of The
                                                          Cheese Plate in March.
                                                             Joining the business as full-timers
                                                          are Mateo’s wife, Angie who is doing
                                                          most of the ladling on the constant
                  Jasper Hill’s Constant Bliss                                                     Star Hill’s Buffalo Mozzarella


                                                                            8
hosted an Italian cheese maker, Enzo                                                 Star Hill
Ferrara, who joined them for 7 weeks                                                 water buffalos
to teach them how to make
authentic Buffalo Mozzarella which
began shipping in September of 2003
and is now available in two different
sizes ...a 6oz ball (oviline) and
10gram balls (ceiligine). They have
also made some ricotta and scamorza
which they intend to introduce                                                          Refrigerator Truck
sometime in the future. Over the                                                        to Share
past year they have increased their
                                                                                           Because of all the shipping
number of distributors from 1 to 9         farm operation as they continue to
                                                                                        problems that small producers
and have also started up an on-line        expand their capabilities. On the
                                                                                        have in VT, Star Hill Dairy
store. They now ship product all           farm, Star Hill has increased its herd
                                                                                        decided to buy their own
over the country, including Hawaii         size from an initial herd of 30 to over
                                                                                        refrigerated truck to make
and Alaska.                                225 and expects to be over 400 in
                                                                                        trips to Boston and New York.
    On the staffing front, Star Hill was   the next eight months. They are
                                                                                        They are exploring the
joined this year by Tom Harty,             currently milking about 75 and
                                                                                        possibilities of consolidating
formerly of the Ag Department. Tom         expect that to be over 100 by the
                                                                                        other products onto their trips
is involved in a variety of things at      end of the year. They have also
                                                                                        and would welcome inquiries.
the Creamery including market              started and AI program using semen
                                                                                        Contact Tom Harty at 802 457
development. Steve Judge, of VT            imported from Italy, which they
                                                                                        4540 x 21.
Milk fame, also recently came on           expect will upgrade their per cow
board. Steve is taking charge of the       production substantially.




                    New York Cheese Author/Expert to Taste
      Provisions International Ltd. is a New England             chefs will have an opportunity to mingle with their
   regional wholesale purveyor of fine foods located in          peers and talk to Max about everything they want to
   White River Junction, VT. In                                                           know about cheese. There will
   conjunction with the Vermont                                                           be a special display of Vermont
   Cheese Council, Provisions                                                             cheese and information about
   will host a very special                                                               cheesemakers in Vermont.
   cheese-tasting event with Max                                                          There will be ample time after
   McCalman, author of The                                                                the tasting to speak informally
   Cheese Plate, maitre fromager                                                          with Max and the other partic-
   of the Manhattan restaurants                                                           ipants. Provisions will supply
   Picholine and Artisanal, and                                                           an illustrated and detailed
   one of the driving forces                                                              guide of all cheese included in
   behind New York's Artisanal                                                            the tasting and autographed
   Cheese Center. McCalman is                                                             copies of Max's book will be
   one of the nation's foremost                                                           available. The cost for this
   experts on cheese and on the                                                           event is $35.00.
   restaurant cheese course.                                                                   Space is limited and
      On the afternoon of                                                                 reservations are essential. For
   Monday, May 17, McCalman                                                               more information or to see if
   he will lead a tasting of over                                                         space is still available please
   twelve cheeses, both                                                                   call Christopher at 802-291-
   imported and local, at                                                                 6100 or email her at
   Provisions’ headquarters.
   Cheesemakers, retailers and        Max McCalman



                                                             9
                                  SMALL BITES
   Grafton Village Cheese has             Willow Hill’s Sheep’s Milk Yogurt
introduced a new cheddar...Five Star,   was listed as one of 100 Best Things
aged on-site for a minimum of five      To Eat in Saveur’s Special January/
years. Described by Peter Mohn as       February issue called the Saveur 100.
“Exceptionally flavorful with a dry,
almost brittle texture. This cheddar
quite literally melts in your mouth
and the flavor is very long-lasting.”
Available now in one-pound bricks,
vacuum-sealed in black cryovac with
a handsome gold foil label. Re-pack
labels are printing now so 10# and
40# sizes will soon be available.
Grafton has a viewing room to watch                                                 A Request for Proposal has been
the cheese-making process. Hours                                                 issued by the Vermont Agency of
are 8am-4pm, M-F and 10am-4pm                                                    Commerce and Community
Sat & Sun, with no cheese-making on                                              Developed to find a cheesemaker
weekends.                                                                        interested in running the existing
                                                                                 cheese making facility at the Coolidge
                                                                                 State Historic Site in Plymouth, VT.
                                                                                 One of the oldest cheesemaking
                                                                                 factories in the state, the Plymouth
  Vermont Butter & Cheese
                                                                                 Cheese Factory was completely
Company has produced an unsalted
                                                                                 renovated in recent years to bring it
cultured butter in an unsalted roll,
                                           Vermont Shepherd was featured         up to code as a contemporary cheese
due to customer demand.
                                        on the cable show, “Food Nation with     making facility. For information on
                                        Bobby Flay” on January 7th 2004          the selection process or award,
                                        and in New York Times (syndicated        contact the office of Commissioner
  Vermont Shepherd provided a
                                        article) by Martha Stewart, February     James Saudade, (802) 828-3211.
                                        21, 2004. “Don’t be afraid to say
                                        cheese at your next dinner party.”


                                                                                    Farm to Table Food Fair took
                                                                                 place on Friday, April 16, from 11am
                                          In the World Cheese Contest            to 2pm on the lawn of the State
                                        sponsored by the Wisconsin Cheese        House in Montpelier. The objectives
                                        Association, Cabot Creamery              of the event was to raise awareness of
Vermont Shepherd provided a                                                      the wealth of local food in Vermont
                                        Cooperative took a second place
“Gourmet Cheese Selection” to the                                                that is GMO-free and the impact
                                        with a score of 98.2 out of 100 for
Orvis catalog during the ‘03-’04                                                 GMOs could have on that wealth.
                                        their Five Peppercorn Cheddar and
holiday season and put together a                                                Participants were grouped by county
                                        repeated with a third place ribbon for
fun, successful Valentine’s Day                                                  so that they could easily meet with
                                        their Unsalted Butter.
Promotion by co-marketing their                                                  and talk to their legislators about
Timson with the fun, crazy “cheese                                               pending legislation affecting
love story” by Sarah Kate Lynch                                                  genetically modified foods in
book, Blessed Are The                                                            Vermont.
Cheesemakers, published by Warner
Books, 2003.


                                                          10
             A Bigger Bite:                                                      Vermont Cheese
            Great Cheeses of                                                     Council Member
                                                                                  Cheesemakers
           New England News
                                                                                Blueledge Farm, Salisbury
                                                                                Blythedale Farm, Corinth
           estminster Dairy              course.

W          Cheesemaker, Peter Dixon
           was invited to talk about
cheesemaking and New England
                                            On February 12 at the Hyatt
                                         Regency Boston, executive chef Bad
                                         Ozerdem kicked off a cheese dinner
                                                                                Bonnieview Farm,
                                                                                  Craftsbury Common
                                                                                Cabot Creamery Cooperative,
                                                                                  Cabot
cheesemakers at two dinner events        event with a demonstration of
this winter in Boston to promote the     making cheese fondue; one using        Cobb Hill, Hartland
Great Cheeses of New England. He         Westminster Dairy’s Livewater Toma     Creek Road Cheese Company,
was able to talk at various times        and another with Berkshire Blue.         Irasburg
during the meals and describe a          The fondues were accompanied by a      Crowley Cheese, Healdville
farmstead cheesemaker’s daily life       cheese board, which included           Does Leap Farm, Bakersfield
and encourage the diners to come         Westminster Dairy’s Black Mountain
                                                                                Franklin Foods, Enosburg Falls
and visit us and buy more of our         Brie and Provolone Butter Pears,
                                                                                Hope Farm, Charleston
cheese!                                  Taylor Farm’s Maple-smoked Gouda,
     On December 16, executive chef      Thistle Hill Farm’s Tarentaise, and    Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton
Eric Brennan of the Harvest              Berkshire Blue. These hors d’ouveres   Green Mountain Blue Cheese,
Restaurant in Cambridge prepared a       were followed by a three-course meal     Highgate Center
five course meal using Westminster       prepared with Westminster Dairy’s      Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro
Dairy’s River Valley Camembert and       Pinnacle (Asiago-style) and Ricotta,   La Fromagerie du Royaume,
Ricotta, Vermont Shepherd’s Putney       Westfield Farm’s Chevre, and              Guildhall
Tomme, Grafton’s Four Star Cheddar       Berkshire Blue. Wines were provided
                                                                                Lakesend Cheeses, Alburg
and Berkshire Cheese Company’s           by Franciscan Estates and paired
Berkshire Blue. Wine director            with each course.                      Lazy Lady Farm, Westfield
Stephan Sink paired a wine to each                                              Maryella Farm, E. Corinth
                                                                                Neighborly Farm, Randolph
                                                                                Orb Weaver Farm, New Haven
   The French Connection                                                        Peaked Mountain Farm,
             n April 22nd, Earth Day the French premier of The Last Link

   O         took place Pau, France in the heart of the Pyrennes. This film,
             made by Vermonters Tim and Ben Kahn and narrated by Willie
   Nelson, is a tribute to family-based agriculture. Cheese council members
                                                                                  Townshend
                                                                                Pomeroy Farm, Londonderry
                                                                                Shelburne Farms, Shelburne
                                                                                Taylor Farm, Inc, Londonderry
   Nancy Wright and Steve Lidlel of Cheese Traders were on hand for the
   event.                                                                       Thistle Hill, North Pomfret
     The film captures the rich culture of the Basque shepherds/cheese-         Three Owls Sheep Dairy,
   makers who have pursued their way of life for over 5000 years. In the          Granville
   early 1900’s, immigrants brought this culture to the American West, and      Three Shepherds of the
   now, less than 100 years later, it is in danger of being absorbed into         Mad River Valley, Warren
   mainstream culture, both in France and in the US. The Last Link
                                                                                Vermont Butter and Cheese
   examines the decline of this agricultural lifestyle as it becomes less
                                                                                  Company, Websterville
   profitable in our world of high technology and more mechanized
   practices. It underscores the need to maintain an intimate relationship      Vermont Shepherd, Putney
   with the land.                                                               Westminster Dairy,
     The Kahns premiered their film in Vermont last summer at Shelburne           Westminster
   Farms. The panel leading a discussion after the viewing included Jon         Willow Hill Farm, Milton
   Wright of Taylor Farms and also three French shepherd/cheesemakers.          Woodcock Farm, Weston
   For more information on the film, visit www.thelastlink.org.



                                                           11
VERMONT DEPARTMENT          OF    AGRICULTURE                                               NON-PROFIT ORG
Vermont Cheese Council                                                                        US POSTAGE
116 State Street                                                                                    PAID
Montpelier, Vermont 05620-2901                                                                PERMIT #74
                                                                                             MONTPELIER VT




         Calendar of Upcoming Events                                           The Vermont Cheese Council
                                                                                Newsletter is published for
May 15 & 16                           for information
                                                                                    food professionals.
Training Center for Farmstead Milk
   Processing                         May 18                                     With written permission,
Westminster Dairy                     America’s Raw Milk Cheeses                 reprinting is encouraged.
Westminster, VT                       On The World’s Table
Workshop: “Soft-ripened cheeses”      7 pm, Inn at Shelburne Farms,
For information, call                 $50 per person                                     Contact:
   Peter Dixon, 802-387-5100 or       Reservations:                                 THE VERMONT
   pdixon@sover.net for details       Hilary or Caitlin 802-985-8498
                                                                                   CHEESE COUNCIL
May 17                                June 4-6                                       116 State Street
Cheese Tasting with Max McCalman      3rd Annual Strolling of the Heifers               Drawer 20
Provisions International Ltd          Brattleboro, VT
                                                                                Montpelier, VT 05620-1901
White River Junction, VT              For information call 1-877-VTSBEST
For information, call Christopher     or visit www.strollingoftheheifers.org          888-523-7484
802-291-6100                                                                        www.vtcheese.com
Christopher@provisionsintl.com        June 27-29
                                      NASFT Fancy Food Show
May 17-19                             Jacob K. Javits Center
Pasture To Palate:                    New York, New York
The Art of Cheesemaking               For more information, call
Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT        (212) 482-6440, ext. 250.
Call Hilary or Caitlin 802-985-8498

                                                        12

				
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