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Mar 9, 2010 04:36 PM

Cheese CSA?

Has anyone subscribed to this? I am curious about variety and value.

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  1. We've subscribed, but haven't yet made our way to SLM to pick up any cheese (it's a bit out of the way for us). I'm pretty sure that the variety is a bit limited at the moment, given that they're just getting back on their feet, but there will be more soon (though I stand to be corrected). Having had their cheese in the past, I can attest that it's excellent.

    As to value, you get more voucher value (which you can use for any product - like cash) than what you pay (eg. pay $200 for $250 worth of vouchers), so it's definitely good value if you like Monforte cheese.

    Overall, I think it's a great program and I would encourage everyone to consider subscribing/supporting the dairy. Monforte's still in the process of actively looking for new CSA members, because in order to get a government grant of some sort, they need to match it with subscriber dollars:

    3 Replies
    1. re: torontofoodiegirl

      It is a truly amazing program but my problem with it is that the cheese is only available in Toronto. For many, it is hard to be certain that one won't be moving in that time frame.

      1. re: Hmm

        I don't think that's accurate -- Because I live in Toronto, I didn't pay a lot of attention, but I'm pretty sure I've received correspondence from them about cheese being available at other farmers' markets and/or, they talked about having regular drop-off points elsewhere in Ontario.

        1. re: torontofoodiegirl

          They will have a location at the dairy in Stratford and did solicit some ideas for pickup locations west of the city, but I also did not follow the resolution of that.

          However to Hmm's point, it is a 5 year scheme, if one is in a position where they might not still be in Ontario let alone Toronto for the next 5 years (students, high mobility professions etc) then this isn't the plan for you.

    2. When Monforte was running in rented space they had one source of sheep milk, nevertheless from that they produced a good variety of cheeses, if memory serves they had three flavours of creme cheese, an aged hard Italian Pecorino Romano style they call Toscano, a sheep cheddar and curds, a bloomy rind Camembert style, ricotta and one of the best Feta's I've ever had and small runs of various things herb or ash crusted, They were always experimenting with things. We had more than one dinner party where we were able to present a varied cheese board using only Monforte products.

      In the new facility they will have 4 milk streams (sheep, cow, water buffalo and mare) so for sure there will be even more variety. I don't really care as long as they start making that feta again soon.

      There is a risk component here, there is a very small chance that having sunk all the money into the capital side of the new facility that they could have operating cash flow problems and leave the subscribers hanging, but frankly that's pretty unlikely, I've met most of the people involved, they're very committed to this and will do what it takes to make it work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bytepusher

        Monforte will in fact be working with five milk streams: goat, cow, sheep, water buffalo and mare's milk.

      2. Why don't you try some of the experimental varieties. Ruth was at Wychwood Barns farmers market on Saturday with around a half dozen types.

        1. thank you everyone. I am still not sure if I am going to subscribe...I live out in Pickering. But there seems to be no doubt that people like Monforte cheese.

          1. Anybody know any other GTA cheese CSAs? I love this concept but I can't commit to a 5 year plan.

            5 Replies
            1. re: graydyn

              Can two people share a CSA? I'd be willing to go halvsies and even take over if the other party bowed out after a year or two, provided I'm happy with the cheeses.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                The Montforte CSA is based on a voucher system - i.e. you are sent vouchers that you then use as cash at the Montforte booth/table at various farmers markets. So you could conceivably split it any way that you want to.

                1. re: gregclow

                  I love this idea, particularly if more the annual amount is split into multiple vouchers and can be shared.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    Annually you get a stack of $5 vouchers you can spend anytime.

                    1. re: bytepusher

                      Great news! I can share a CSA with more than one other person!