March 12, 2012

Area rich in local cheeses

I want to start this month's column with a big thank you to everyone who attended the recent "Food From the Farm" event at the Plattsburgh City Gym — both the farmers/producers and the community.

Chef David Allen of Longitude Catering created a local food feast for the folks who were able to secure tickets to the dinner.

The farmers-market portion of the evening was a big hit; more than 300 people turned out to sign up for Community Supported Agriculture programs, purchase late winter vegetables, early spring greens, meats, cheese, apples, honey and wine. The bounty was incredible. We hope you're already looking forward to next year's event.

The delicious edibles at "Food From the Farm" got me thinking about our local cheese options. There are different "levels of local" to choose from. We have artisanal farmstead types, cheeses made by larger companies with milk collected from many of our local dairy farms and a famous cream cheese churned out right here in the Adirondacks.

In the first category, Essex County boasts two licensed cheese makers.

Clover Mead Farm in Keeseville has been producing distinctive cow's milk cheese for the past 11 years with certified organic milk. A cheese cave built by Sam Hendren, the farm owner and cheese maker, ages the wheels at just the right temperature and humidity for his delicious hard cheeses, such as cheddars, Champlain Valley Couronne and more. He also produces mozzarella, farmers' and other fresh cheeses. He has an on-farm shop, or you can find him at area farmers markets.

In AuSable Forks, David Brunner and Rhonda Butler have spent more than 25 years renovating Asgaard farm, previously owned by artist Rockwell Kent, to accommodate a dairy — in this case, goat milk. Their herd of dairy goats produces milk for their farmstead products, including delectable cheeses, caramels and soaps. A farmstead cheese is made from milk produced right on the farm. Asgaard's selection includes award-winning cheeses such as feta, "bloomy rind" soft-ripened cheeses, chevre and an AuSable Valley tomme, a mild, hard cheese. These can also be found at their farm store and farmers markets.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time