Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Visiting Farmstead Cheese Makers near Canton, NY

While we are here, we are interviewing farmsteaders for our Cheese Project. We had a wonderful visit to County Meadows, winners of many awards, including the 2004 Overall Champion Cheese at the New York State Fair.

This farm home seems to qualify as a “third place”—a welcoming and neighborly place where once can always enjoy good company. As we sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee and learning about goat farming and cheese making, neighbors stopped by, poured coffee and joined the conversation. Our hosts shared the story of their farm and their cheese. It was a new story for us.

“Are you doing this because you love cheese?” we asked.

“No, we love raising the animals,” they replied without hesitation.

The neighbors added pieces of the story of farms and cheese in the area. One of them had worked for Kraft cheese in nearby Ogdensburg until the factory closed fairly recently. Another told us about the impact of consolidation of farms in the area. Lands merged, but homes and barns were sold off so that a return to smaller, more family-centered farms seems impossible now. This neighbor had been a state trooper and knew Russ’ uncle Charlie, who was the oldest trooper when he retired and the oldest former trooper when he died a few years ago.

The conversations were open, friendly, and welcoming to us Florida strangers. It was a fantastic morning for us.

We visited the barns, met the Nubian ladies, and tasted their cheese and milk. Our hosts sent us back with samples of chevre and feta. The dill chevre was a particular hit at “happy hour” with the camp neighbors that evening.

Notice how in the special cooler, cold water flows onto the cans of warm milk to cool it quickly.

Our hosts could not have been nicer. What a way to spend a morning!

1 comment:

Dianne said...

more great adventures for you! can we be you when we grow up?