Blog Archive for May 2014

28 May, 2014 - by Sara Granstrom, Lincoln Peak Vineyard

Shoot Thinning (& Cuteness Contest)


When I wrote my previous post ten days ago, I could barely find signs of buds swelling in the vineyard.  A few warm sunny days and what do we have?  Young shoots covering the vineyard, reaching for the sun.  In fact, our first big chunk of work in the vineyard begins today– shoot thinning.
Despite our careful pruning, vines almost always pop more buds and produce more shoots than we want in the vineyard.  It’s all about balance– too many shoots means too much fruit, which means lesser quality fruit.  So when the shoots are small and tender, we work through every row flicking off the extras.
We’re aiming for about one shoot every three inches, depending somewhat on varietal.  In this La Crescent vine, the node spacing is almost perfectly three inches.  You can see how the middle two nodes each had four shoots– whoa nelly!– and I removed three from each.  I chose the keepers based on their position and angle– close to the cordon (branch) is good, and aiming down is nice, since we’ll be coming through later this summer to shoot position every one of these.
I know you’re thinking, “Really, Sara, more pictures of leaves?”  But I have to admit I think baby leaves are (almost) as cute as puppies.  Here you go.

This post was originally posted on Lincoln Peak Vineyard's blog.  The warmer weather is bringing out the buds which means grapes which means wine!  Make sure you check out the great wines (and spirits and ciders!) that call Vermont home.  Grab your Wine Passport for a taste adventure!

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21 May, 2014 - by Sophi Veltrop, Golden Stage Inn

Vermonters Create Dinner Specials: Indian & Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Category: Events

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This June, visit the Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast near Ludlow, VT to enjoy two spectacular dinners specially prepared for you by Vermont cooks!  The first will be authentic, homemade Indian cuisine; the second will be a Vermont farm-to-table dinner sourced with fresh, organic ingredients from local farms and fields.  Our specials page will tell you how to book your dinner reservation along with your room or one of our spring specials and packages.  Read on to find out more…but be warned in advance that your mouth may water!
On June 7th, prepare your taste buds for a trip to India…while spending the evening at our Vermont Inn.  Lini Mazumdar has won the Amateur Chef Competition at the Taste of Vermont’s Stratton Festival in both 2013 and 2014.  She lives and works on Anjali Farm with her husband and is passionate about sourcing organic ingredients and Vermont local foods as the season permits.  Experience her talent firsthand through the Golden Stage Inn’s special Authentic Indian Cuisine Experience.  Arrive around 6:00 pm to enjoy appetizers & beverages, and to meet Lini and watch her cook in the Golden Stage Inn’s open kitchen!  Dinner will be served around 8:00 pm, and recipes will be provided for you to take home with you.
Lini Mazumdar also specializes in herbs, as she is a certified Herbalist through the Southwestern School of Botanical Medicine.  She is a certified Ayurvedic Nutrition Consultant and caters Indian food for local Vermonters.  She has created organic Vermont herbal products for sixteen years.  Since moving to Vermont, she has cooked her delicious and healthful Indian cuisine using Vermont local foods and fresh, organic ingredients.  Her passion for plants, organic practices, and medicine translates into the health-inspiring and palate-delighting dinners she creates.  
By late June, farmer’s markets in Vermont will be packed with fresh local produce.  The best way to enjoy the bounty?  Kick back for a delectable five-course meal created by one of Vermont’s very best local cooks.  Nicholas Matush creates stunning dinners using Vermont local foods including meat, dairy, vegetables and more. You may even get a taste of Mad Pickler products, grown and pickled at Nick’s homestead in Springfield, VT!
Nicholas Matush graduated from New England Culinary School’s satellite campus in the British Virgin Islands.  His passion for food extends beyond the kitchen to the farm and soil.  He strives to create meals that please not only the palate, but also the artistic and aesthetic senses.
Nicholas Matush has worked at several fine dining and farm-to-table restaurants across the country, including Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys and Joseph’s Table in Taos, New Mexico.  Internationally, he was Sous Chef at Brandywine Bay Restaurant in the British Virgin Islands.  He was honored to be Chef Davide Pugliese’s sous-chef at the James Beard House in 2010.  Recently, he has started getting back in touch with the land, creating a pickling business called The Mad Pickler.  See below to admire some of Nick’s recent homemade meals!
BYOB cocktail hour for both events starts at 6pm.  Tickets are $50 each, and are limited in supply.  Please order in advance to assure your spot!  We hope to do more dinners like this in the future to support local agriculture and the Vermont farm-to-table movement.  Don’t forget to look into our Road Trip Package or Foodies Getaway to make the most of your spring vacation in Vermont!

All year, Vermont chefs are working to create memorable meals from Vermont ingredients. Here are just two upcoming opportunities in southern Vermont to eat local.  This press release was originally posted on the Golden Stage Inn's blog.  From the tables of India to the tables of Vermont, you will be treated to a taste adventure.   Enjoy!

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17 May, 2014 - by Sarah Spira, Formaggio Kitchen

A Heavenly Cheese: St. Em from Spoonwood Cabin Creamery

Category: Place Profiles



A big welcome to the newest cheesemaker on our wall – Spoonwood Cabin Creamery! Spoonwood is a teeny-tiny 1,000 square foot “nano-creamery” in the town of Jacksonville, Vermont, 25 minutes west of Brattleboro – it is owned by Nancy Bergman and Kyle Frey. The name “Spoonwood” refers to the common name for the Mountain Laurel, which is prevalent in the region.
Nancy and Kyle, originally from New York City, discovered the Brattleboro area as a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and their careers in the restaurant industry. Eventually, they purchased a home in Jacksonville, and began to establish themselves in the community. Nancy can’t recall the exact “eureka!” moment, but recognizing the access to great milk from nearby Sumner Farm, she began experimenting with cheesemaking, and taking courses at the University of Vermont’s Institute for Artisan Cheese.
Eventually, Nancy and Kyle began taking the cheeses into work. They figured if the cheeses had a positive response from their chefs , then they had a reason to continue. And, so they have continued! Four or so years ago they made the decision to make cheese full-time. Just before Hurricane Irene hit in 2011, they found a home for the creamery in a former restaurant, next to the town’s general store. After the storm, they gutted the building and began to construct their creamery.
Nancy now lives in Vermont full-time, and Kyle – manager and sommelier at Cafe Luxembourg – commutes to New York City. Spoonwood Cabin cheeses are found only at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market and Co-op, and a handful of restaurants in New York City – among them Casellula, Craft and Cafe Luxembourg. We feel very lucky to work with Nancy and Kyle as their first retail partner.
Nancy tends to produce cheeses that she especially likes – soft, delicate and traditionally made. Primarily she works with cow milk from Sumner Farm – an organic farm with a herd of 25 Jersey cows just outside of town. When available, she also makes small batches of goat milk cheese.
St. Em is one of our favorites made by Nancy. The name of the cheese is an homage to the inspiration for the recipe, Saint Marcellin (the letter “M”), as well as to Malcolm, the owner of Sumner Farm, and also Emily, the fromagier at Casellula – who is also a big fan of this little cheese. St. Em is a lactic set cheese, with just a little rennet added, and a geotrichum yeast rind. Nancy developed this cheese during the winter, when no goat milk was available. Nancy wanted to make something from cow milk that was mild, milky, pretty and charming. She certainly accomplished that goal with St. Em! Young, tangy, with notes of fresh cream and butter – there is also a hint of mushroom from the cheese’s remarkably thin and delicate rind.
Enjoy St. Em warmed in the oven wrapped with a slice of speck, or on a cheese plate with cider jelly. At Casellula, St. Em is served baked atop rabbit ragù – hearty, early spring fare. Nancy and Kyle recommend enjoying St. Em with Champagne and hard cider. Eventually, they hope to open up the front of the creamery and convert it into a small shop that sells bread, wine and cheese – the perfect trifecta!
Sarah Spira is the domestic cheese buyer and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen South End, Boston.

This piece was originally posted on Formaggio Kitchen's Cheese Blog.  Formaggio Kitchen specializes in artisan cheese, charcuterie, and specialty foods.  They have three locations in the Boston area and they offer their consumers many amazing Vermont cheeses.  Spoonwood Cabin Creamery is their newest cheesemaker and the newest cheesemaker to join the Vermont Cheese Council.  Welcome indeed!

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15 May, 2014 - by Chelsie Markel, Stouts and Stilettos

Craft Beer Vacations: Vermont Beer Trail

Category: Place Profiles


In honor of American Craft Beer Week, check out this post about great beers in Vermont originally published on the blog Stouts and Stilettos.  Vermont tops the list of U.S. state breweries per capita.  Check them out and enjoy! Happy American Craft Beer Week!

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9 May, 2014 - by Rachael, Cabot Creamery Cooperative

Farmer Friday: Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester, Vermont

This post appeared in Cabot's regular Farmer Friday blog post.  What a great glimpse of life on a family farm.  If you'd like to experience life on a farm (instead of just reading about it) visit Liberty Hill for a farm stay experience.  Check out other farm stay opportunities available as well.  

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7 May, 2014 - by Erica Houskeeper, Happy Vermont Blog

A Vermont Roadside Attraction Helps Promote Local Cheese

Category: Place Profiles

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The green and rusted 1947 Chevy 1 Ton Truck that Jon Wright purchased a dozen years ago sits on the side of Route 11 in Londonderry, across the road from his farm. The truck is something of a Vermont roadside attraction, where people stop to take photos and inquire about its make and model.
When Wright bought the truck, he thought he would restore the classic pickup and try to keep it running. But Wright, who owns Taylor Farm, eventually had a better idea. Hoping to promote his Vermont cheesemaking business, he spray painted “Vermont Cheeses!!” on a piece of wood and propped a makeshift sign across the vehicle’s driver side door.
“People ask about the truck all of the time. I often laugh because people will stop to photograph the truck, but then they won’t stop to buy cheese,” Wright jokes. “What the hell good is that?”
Wright, who makes some of the best cheese in Vermont, has spent nearly 40 years at Taylor Farm. As a teenager, he started working at Taylor Farm – a small working dairy farm – in 1975. He took over the farm in 1989 and began making cheese in 1998. The farm is perhaps best known for its award-winning, signature raw milk Gouda cheese.
Of course, the farm is also well known for the old Chevy truck parked outside, where it has stood on the side of Route 11 for about eight years. People have occasionally asked to buy the truck, but Wright says he intends to keep it.
“It won’t be sold or replaced, but I may build a shed over it to protect it,” Wright says.
For those of us who enjoy offbeat landmarks, we hope the Taylor Farm truck sticks around for many years to come.
**If You Go: Taylor Farm is located at 825 Route 11 in Londonderry.
The Vermont Cheese Trail

This post was originally published on the Happy Vermont blog.  You never know what you're going to find as you travel on the highways and byways of Vermont.  In this case you'll find a great landmark and some delicious cheese.  Check out these other cheesemakers that call Vermont home.  If you love cheese, don't miss the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival in July.  Happy exploring!

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2 May, 2014 - by Amy Beston, Cedar Circle Farm

Cycles and Seasons

This article was originally posted on the Cedar Circle Farm blog.  Their farmstand is now open.  As the seasons change it's refreshing to read this post about cycles, seasons, and working on the farm.  If you want to get onto the farm, check out Cedar Cirlce and these other farms visits.

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