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Best Local Cheeses from a REAL Farmer?

Where and what kind?

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  1. I can only speak of my neck of the woods, but here in Franklin County, MA we have at least two award winning farms, both selling various goat cheeses:

    Goat Rising, in Charlemont www.goatrising.com
    Hillman Farm, in Colrain Hillman does not seem to have a website that I can find, but if you Google it, you will find lots of references.

    1. There are a lot of terrific New England farmstead cheeses. Here are 2 of my favorites:

      Taylor Farm in Londonderry VT

      Smith's Country Cheese in Winchendon MA

      See an entire list of New England made cheeses (some farmstead, some not) at www.newenglandcheese.com

      1. Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, CT. They make a couple cheeses that I enjoy, I believe one is called Hooligan.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NE_Elaine

          I second Cato's Corner, very good stuff.

          1. re: NE_Elaine

            Ooh...Hooligan. I just tried it for the first time, and I have fallen deeply and dangerously in love. It's downright nasty, and I mean that in the nicest way.

          2. Great Hill Blue from Marion, MA. It's delicious, and I think they make it on the farm, with milk from their Guernseys.

            1 Reply
            1. Best kept secret in the NE cheese world - Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley New Jersey. Have not had a bad cheese from them ever. The cheese not to miss - Nettlesome.

              1. These are all in Central Mass -- Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, on Rte 68. www.chevre.com. The nifty little farm store has their goat cheeses but also whatever microbatches they're working on. They also sell online and at various stores. I've had a wonderful cheddar, and my fave is Hubbardston Blue which is a bleu goat cheese. I can vouch for Smiths Country Cheese below; their gouda is world-class and actually they are within15-20 mins of Hubbardston off Rte 2. Try it on a burger and die happy. In Sterling, Crystal Brook Farm is another goat cheese producer, smaller than Westfield Farm.

                1. Beltane Farms in Lebanon, CT makes some dreamy goat cheese, both fresh and aged.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: thinks too much

                    You have to be joking. I have had all their cheeses (the two they actually make), not one is even noteworthy. The chev is goaty, way too acidic and wet...it even comes in a tube that makes you think "toothpaste". The ripened cheese is ok, but too much ammonia, it is not memorable, but not gagworthy either. I recently tried their "aged cheese", which appears to be the ripened cheese that was left out for a few months. That one is gagworthy, unless you like tasting concentrated goat.

                    1. re: chad in litch

                      Who's cheese are you talking about?

                      1. re: chefstu

                        Beltane. Sankow is ok, but I've never been a fan of sheep cheese.

                    2. re: thinks too much

                      agreed. If you need a day to relax, I recommend taking the trip up to the farm and hang out by the pond for lunch.

                    3. Maybe not a farmer, but real cheesemakers - Harman's Cheese in Sugar Hill NH - www.harmanscheese.com

                      1. We take the drive out to Meadow Stone in Brooklyn. It's a nice trip if you take the back roads and the cheese is awesome, they always have different, unique stuff. Last time we went out they had some multi-layered cheeses that were mixed milk. Kris and Annemarie are very nice we love watching the goats.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chad in litch

                          I'm starting to hear that name more and more. They must being doing pretty well. Is it worth a trip up there?

                          1. re: spork5150

                            yup, worth the trip. they do some markets in CT too....we got their cheese down in stonington over the summer. the farm is still being added to, there's a giant hole in the ground where they are putting a cheese cave.

                        2. Twig Farm in West Cornwall, VT ( www.twigfarm.com ) makes an excellent tomme and I'm in love with Berkshire Blue Cheese from Great Barrington, MA ( www.berkshireblue.com )

                          1. Not so far over the line into NY State, in Old Chatham, the farm, flocks, and CHEESES of the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. Straight sheep's milk, and mixed milk (my favorite, the Tom's Camembert, OUTSTANDING). They have a small "automat" at the farm, and you can watch the sheep being milked in the milking parlor every day at 3 pm.

                            1. Crowley Cheese in Headville VT. The gourmet all-natural Colby cheese is made at their Headville location and sold at their cheese shop on Rte. 103 in Mt. Holly...just west of Ludlow.

                              Also, The Grafton Village Cheese Company, Grafton VT. A fine cheddar has been made there since 1892.