Vermont Cheese Council e-Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1,February 2009


Cheese making equipment

Hope Farm has moved up to a larger system to keep up with the demand for their sheep cheese, and is selling cheese making equipment: If you are interested in:

  • 40 gal tilting steam kettle used as a vat
  • 8 -  5 gal. Stainless milk cans
  • 1- 250 gal bulk tank used as a can cooler
  • cages for the bulk tank to hold the milk cans

All in excellent condition. Asking $2000 or OBO / Contact:
Hope Farm Sheep Cheese, LLC, Barbara and Harvey Levin
 East Charleston, VT 05833

Cheese Maker Job Opening at Jasper Hill Farm

Jasper Hill Farm is looking for a hardworking, motivated person to join our dynamic cheesemaking team. Jasper Hill runs 2 shifts. The work is physically demanding and the ability to work holidays and a weekend day is a must.  Satisfaction and pride can be found in turning milk into delicious award-winning cheese. A background or interest in science is helpful.  This is an immense learning opportunity and we are asking for a commitment of at least 1 year. It is an excellent opportunity for someone who is interested in starting their own cheesemaking business.
Contact Emily Hershberger, Human Resources Manager. /802.533.2566

Artisan Cheese Making Workshops

Sign up for a pair of two-day workshops in making and aging cheese on the farm, taught by professional cheese maker Peter Dixon. Classes are held at Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont. Participants will learn the fundamentals of cheese making and how to set up and improve their own cheese businesses through making cheese and receiving classroom instruction at this licensed Vermont farmstead creamery,. 

Learn to use starter and ripening cultures, make at least two varieties of cheese, and practice some techniques used in affinage (the process of aging cheese).  There will be a strong focus on the technical aspects of cheese making and affinage, as well as information on facilities, equipment, marketing, and operations.  Participants are encouraged to bring any of their cheeses to the class for all to try.  Lunches and course materials, including many tried and true recipes, will be provided.  A separate pair of clean water-resistant boots or shoes is required. 

Cost is $350; a $50 deposit is required and the remainder is payable on arrival.  Overnight lodging is available at the farm for $50 including breakfast.  Classes are from 9 am to 4 pm each day.

Contact Peter Dixon at Tel. 802-387-4041 or 
Email  for further details and to register and receive lodging information and directions. Send deposit to Peter Dixon, 131 West Parish Road, Westminster West, VT 05346.

Class schedule:
March 4-5, 2009.  Beginners Class about cheese making and starting an artisan cheese business.  Topics include starting up a creamery; properties of sheep, cow and goat milk and their use in cheese making; making lactic curd cheese, Tomme, and Romano; cheese brining; cheese ripening; and financial and marketing information.

April 8-9, 2009.  Cheesemaking and Affinage: techniques, microbes and facilities. Exploring the craft of cheese making and  ripening.  On day one we will make a tomme cheese.  On day two we will follow the steps for ripening this cheese and many others.  The focus will be on ripening cultures, bio-reactions, affinage techniques, quality control, and how to design and construct facilities for the many types of cheese.

Become a Cheese Expert

Hungry for more cheese? You'll find expert classes on cheese making and cheese sensory classes available at - Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese ( VIAC) visit their website for more information:

Vist Us on the Web and join our new Face book Page: Post a comment or a photo about your favorite Vermont cheese.


Letter From the
Vermont Cheese Council

Happy New Year from all of us at Vermont Cheese Council!

This time of year, I like to enjoy good food with good friends, and it doesn't get much better than serving a beautiful plate of Vermont cheese. The Vermont Cheese Council is dedicated to the production and advancement of premier cheese from Vermont and our 40 cheese making members collectively produce almost 200 different cheeses. Please support our members and producers who do so much to build markets for local, sustainable food, and bring us the pleasure of healthy food from pasture to table.

Thank you for your support and we welcome you to join us as a friend. To learn more, please click: membership. We look forward to seeing you at our Vermont Cheese maker's Festival on August 23rd at Shelburne Farms so save the date.

With Warm Regards,
Ellen Ecker Ogden
Coordinator, Vermont Cheese Council / 866. 261. 8595

In the News

Fat Toad Farm To Make
Maple Chevre In Season

Fat Toad Farm will start making its unique goat's milk fresh cheese, Maple Chevre, again starting in March, just in time for sugaring season.  This trademark cheese uses Fat Toad Farm's mild fresh chevre mixed with our neighbor's maple syrup.  Think maple cheesecake!  Amazing when paired with fruit or used in desserts.  Spread on crepes, waffles, pancakes or bagels.  Put a dollop on a half a fresh fig and lightly broil.  Fat Toad Farm Maple Chevre will be available at many stores around the state, several sugarhouses, and at the Montpelier Farmers Market..  Check our web site for more location information

Read about their new goat cheese caramel in Edible Green Mountains

Cobb Hill Cheese Awarded Best of Show

Cobb Hill Cheese Wins Best of Show

Adding to our Vermont Cheese Council member awards from 2009, Cobb Hill's Ascutney Mountain cheese was honored with the Best of Show award at the first annual Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition for regional cheese makers held in late August 2008.  Ascutney Mountain is an Alpine-style, raw Jersey milk farmstead cheese, aged 7 months or longer. Calling itself "the first annual Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition", the event was modeled on the ACS competition. Cheeses were submitted in particular categories and judged for technical and esthetic qualities. There were a total of 88 entries in this first year.

For more information contact Cobb Hill Cheese 5 Linden Road Hartland, Vermont 05048

Consider Bardwell Farm
Introduces Equinox

Equinox is a hard, sharp, extra-aged, raw goat's milk cheese. Inspired by dry Italian cheeses like Piave, Asiago, and the many regional Sardinian tommes. This is a mountain of a cheese, named after our local high-point, Equinox Mountain. Aged six months or longer, Equinox is ideal for grating over pasta, adding zing to a vegetable dish, or a nice sharp snack. Available year-round in 20 pound wheels. Peter Dixon, cheesemaker.

We are hosting a tasting and "launch" event for Equinox cheese at the (appropriately named)  Equinox Resort on Wednesday, February 4th from 5PM to 6:30PM in their Falcon Bar.

Finding The Right Analogy
Are You The Captain of Your Vat?

Cheesemaking is without doubt one of the most multi-dimensional crafts that someone can learn.

Perhaps that’s what makes it so astonishing when we find a new cheese maker who has apparently mastered the craft very quickly.

But it is far more rare to find in these new entrants to what I have implied is a challenging craft an entrant who two, three or five years down the road hasn’t had some event which has challenged their confidence. Cheesemaking is not a canned course in how to.


Travel to France to learn about
Cheese and Wine

Join friends and members of the Maine Cheese Guild for a cheese and wine tour, scheduled for February 22 - March 3, 2009. Travel in a small group with professional tour group leader, and experienced farmer Janet Spear. For more information and pricing, visit:
Estimated group size of 25 

Arrangements include:

  • 8 hotel nights based on sharing twin room (3/4*)
  • 8 breakfasts, 7 dinners and 3 lunches (As indicated by BLD on the itinerary)
  • Coach services for duration of tour as specified on itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing of: Paris, Mont Saint Michel
  • Entrances to:  Chenonceau, Mont Saint Michel
  • All farm and technical visits
  • Guided tour of Rungis market (including breakfast)
  • Wine tasting (Cote d’Or)  & Calvados tasting (Normandy)
  • Services of Stita tour manager
  • Baggage handling in hotels, 1 piece per person

Join the Vermont Cheese Council as a friend:

We welcome you to join the Vermont Cheese Council as a new member to support our mission. For more information, please visit our website: and go to How to Join.

To submit information for the newsletter, please contact Ellen Ecker Ogden at or call 866. 261. 8595.

This newsletter can also be viewed on our website.