Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A visit to Sprout Creek Farm

While we were upstate for an Engagement party, (ask me about that later - it was great) the family and I decided to stop by Sprout Creek Farm in the idyllic town of Poughkeepsie.

The head cheese-maker, Colin McGrath, was about to work with 2500 Lbs of fresh cow's milk (and then 1000 Lbs of goat's milk) so only had a little time to give us. We tasted a few of the (delicious) things he was working on and had a brief tour of the (spotless) facility.
Here he is in front of one of the many aging rooms - you can see Barat on the racks on the left. The lovely Miss Audrey was our guide for the rest of the tour.
Cheese in the salt bath. Each of the cheeses is given a bath before it enters the aging area. The cheese-making facility produces both cow and goat milk cheeses, and each is placed in its own aging room.
Some of the finished product in the case, in the (beautiful) market. Along with cheeses, they had produce from the farm and other local delicacies.
Yearlings had just been added to the herd and the goats were nervous. The farmers milk around 18-20 of the herd of 60 goats every day. I also saw the area where the cows and goats were milked, but we were too late for the morning milking.
A closer look at the Barat aging on the racks. Colin makes about 8 - 10 aged cheeses. They also sell fresh goat cheeses and fresh ricotta.
The farm also sports chickens, ducks, Guinea fowl, pigs, sheep, and cats. These are mostly used as teaching tools for the many school groups that visit throughout the year.

The Park Slope Food Coop cheese department is currently selling Toussaint, a raw cow's milk cheese with a distinctive Alpine flavor and a smooth tight texture. We'll be carrying more of Sprout Creek Farm's cheeses in the fall. 

I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area. There are cabins to rent, and even just a walk around the Platonic ideal of a farm is refreshing and gives you hope for the new generation.

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