|Brattleboro Food Co-op Focus on: The Cheese Department|
by John Ferrara
As we returned from our field trip to the Jasper Hill Farm & Cellars located in Greensboro, VT, members of the Cheese Department could not contain their newly-acquired excitement and enthusiasm regarding what it means to support and promote local farmers and cheese makers. Andy & Mateo Kehler are responsible for the creation of “The Cellars.” They are busy developing systems for farming, cheese making, and cheese aging that expand well beyond their own self-interest.
As we toured their facility we were given a first hand look at sustainability, supportive ventures, risk taking for the benefit of many, cooperative industry, employee recognition, and team effort. We came away with an understanding of affinage, the art & science of caring for and aging cheese; terroir, the effect of landscape on the quality of product; taste profile charts, a way to determine and describe the effects of affinage and terroir. We learned about green water-waste recovery systems. We witnessed the production of hot water being assisted by the heat generated by the compost pile. We were introduced to the study of microbial biology. We sampled incredibly delicious cheeses.