Jasper Hill Farm Coffee Break

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

It’s 6:30 am and already I’m late! I’m up in Greensboro Vermont, and it’s well past time to start making cheese at Jasper Hill Farm. So, I stumble downstairs to the cheese room and make myself a coffee and get to work. Well, in a relative sense. Somehow emailing seems like a wimpy excuse for work when confronted with all the work happening on the farm. And I find it funny that in New York getting up before 7:00 seems nigh impossible sometimes; but up here it seemed like the only reasonable thing to do. In fact, most of the staff at Jasper Hill arrives around 5:00, so to them, we’re already well past breakfast time.

The milk is warming in the vat, and the washing is being done to get the cheese room ready. It’s a lot of washing. Cheese molds, tables, floors, walls, the work never ends! Mateo, Tom, Emily and the rest of the crew are hairnetted and ready to start making some Bayley Hazen Blue. Soon we’ll add some culture to the milk and really get cheesing, so to speak.

On the other side of the cheese room, Andy and some other folks are out in the barn, finishing up milking the last of their 40 Ayrshire cows. It’s sunny and beautiful and I am having a tough time reasoning why I should leave Vermont at the moment. Everyone reassures me that come November I’d change my tune, when the the six month winter is well underway. But for now, it’s paradiso!

The American Cheese Society conference was a wonderful dairy cacophony of butter, goat cheese, sheep cheese, cow cheese, chocolate cheese (?!) cheese spreads, and innumerable other cheesy comestibles. We found some real gems to bring back home to New York, so keep a look out for plenty of new cheese over the next couple of weeks.

But for now, it’s back to the cheese room. I’ve got to get my hands in some curd while I’ve got the chance. In three months, Mateo will send this batch o’ blue down to New York, and you all can evaluate our cheese making skills!

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