• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Farmers' Kitchen—No Ordinary Cheese Puffs

Orb Weaver Farm—Marjorie Susman and Marian Pollack

Marian Pollack and Marjorie Susman

Written on

September 01 , 2009

 

The day-to-day swing of life at Orb Weaver Farm is determined by the season. Spring, with its lengthening days, finds us ending our cheese-making and cow chores and looking forward to the summer growing season. Beginning in June our cows are literally “put out to pasture” for the warmer months, and our efforts turn toward our market garden, which for the past 29 years has supplied our local food co-op with a variety of organic produce.

As the fall vegetable season winds down with broccoli and shallots, energy shifts back to the barn. Our herd of seven Jersey cows freshens (calves) just before Thanksgiving. By the end of November we are back in our cheese room, making cheese every Monday and Thursday. We produce an aged raw milk cheese that either ripens in our cave with a natural rind, or is aged in a walk-in cooler in wax. When the days are at their shortest, and the sun makes its low arc in the south, it can be cold and icy here in the Champlain Valley, but with the sun streaming through the south-facing windows, the warm milky aromas, and folk music on the iPod, there truly is no better place to be.

Spring and summer meals on our farm tend to be light and spontaneous, revolving around whatever is ripe and ready for eating. Winter meals are based on all the produce we’ve frozen, canned, or dried; cooking can be more complex, but the goal is still warmth and gentle comfort. This cheese puff recipe is an elegant and fun way to begin a winter feast.

Marian Pollack and Marjorie Susman have been producing cheese at the their Orb Weaver Farm in New Haven since 1981. The cheese can be found in stores in the Middlebury and Burlington areas, and at food co-ops throughout the state. Visit their website and blog at www.orbweaverfarm.com.

 

 

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.