Producer Spotlight: Vermont Shepherd

VermontShepherdVermont Shepherd is a 250-acre sheep dairy located in Westminster West, Vermont. Vermont Shepherd is one of the oldest sheep farms in Vermont and is the second oldest sheep dairy in the United States. The Major family has had sheep on the farm since 1965 and have been a sheep dairy since 1987. The farm is now run by the Major and Ielpi families, and is home to over 300 ewes.

To celebrate their unique character and seasonal spirit, we’ve put together a package that not only reflects their cheesemaking talent, but the farm itself and the surrounding community. In addition to making their small batch cheeses, Vermont Shepherd sends small amounts of their sheep’s milk to an artisan in the neighboring town of Bellow’s Falls to be turned into a gentle, fragrant soap.

Scenes from the farm.

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A New Saxelby Exclusive: Calderwood from Jasper Hill Farm!!

Calderwood

After a lengthy R&D process, we’re proud to premier our latest Saxelby exclusive!!!

Calderwood begins as a wheel of Alpha Tolman, Jasper Hill’s delicious alpine-style cheese, which spends several months of its aging process coated in hay from lush Vermont pastures located right on the farm.

The hay used to make Calderwood is harvested from pastures surrounding Jasper Hill Farm and dried in a special hay drying machine. The Calderwood Cropping Center, the first machine of its kind in the United States, can dry hay in a matter of a few hours, where it would take 3-4 days to dry in a sunny field. Jasper Hill Farm’s founders, Andy and Mateo Kehler, observed a hay dryer in action in Parma Italy, a region whose cheese calls for grass-fed milk, but whose climate is a bit too rainy for making consistent dry hay, and were inspired to bring the Italian technology stateside. The Cropping Center allows them to make high quality dry hay for feed that lasts the whole year, which is paramount to their quality standards as cheesemakers. Many of Jasper Hill’s award-winning cheeses are crafted from raw milk. Good quality hay is a key ingredient in the cheesemaking process, ensuring the microbiology of the cows’ digestive systems and the milk itself is at an optimal place for cheesemaking.  

Read about Calderwood in the New York Times! >>

Andersonville_Farm_hay dryer-web

Above: Calderwood Cropping Center