Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 781 : Next stop on our Hudson Valley - Sprout Creek Farm

Sprout Creek Farm located in Poughkeepsie came to life in an interesting and unusual but truly fabulous manner. Their story starts in the mid 1980s when three Connecticut high school teachers decided that they were dissatisfied with the manner in which their students saw their future --whether this was a strict function of the educational system or more of the socio-economical climate, they were not sure. But they knew how they wanted to change it and that was by creating an educational and working farm to educate the future generations of America. In 2011, Sprout Creek Farm became a 501 c 3 incorporated not for profit corporation. Today Sprout Creek hosts weekend classes for children and adults along with an overnight and day summer camp program. Not only do you learn how to care for and milk goats and cows you also learn about vegetables, plants. But ultimately it is their goal to : "To teach both children and adults to love our fragile earth, to understand our connectedness to it, and thus to develop a passion for protecting its integrity."

Sprout Creek Farm primarily produces goat and cow's milk cheeses and since this is kidding season, we had the pleasure of seeing lots of little baby goats and young calves.

With the milk from their animals, Sprout Creek produces an extensive selection of cheeses. Each unique and stunning in their own way, you can have a tasting of some of their cheeses at the farm's retail market. 

Under each dome was a selection of cheeses with somewhat of the same theme -- whether it was goat's milk, cow's milk, washed rind, their cheesemaker's choice or aged and smoked cheeses. 

So what were my favorites?

Madeleine - This is their only raw goat's milk cheese and is aged for anywhere between five and nine months that is firm and slightly crumbly. Light and citrusy with herbaceous notes and crisp slightly nutty finish. Great as a snacking cheese, grated over salads, and melted into sandwiches. Elegant yet approachable.

The Cheesemaker's Choice Washed Rind Eden - This washed rind semi soft raw cow's milk cheese was just everything that you want in an ooey-gooey stinker. Washed in local Brooklyn beer and aged for three to five months, it is rustic and briny yet round and flavorful with a nice kick. Great with a nice IPA.

Overall a great visit to such an inspiring farm that really is trying to have an impact on their community not just by the same artisanal production cheeses they craft but in terms of their educational opportunities. I'll leave you with what the person who showed me around said about the farm and what it is about: 

"Animals. Plants. People."

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