Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | News | Local News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Support local cheese makers on first Essex County tour

October 10, 2014
Editorial , Lake Placid News

Agricultural regions across the country - most notably next door in the state of Vermont - long ago created tours, festivals and trails to celebrate their crops and hand-crafted food and drink products to attract tourists, and they've done extremely well. The Adirondack Park is doing a fine job catching up, and local farmers and food producers can use your support.

Adirondack Harvest and three cheese makers in Essex County will be debuting the first-ever Essex County Cheese Tour on Sunday, Oct. 12. It's a self-guided driving tour of three artisanal farmstead creameries, and it promises to be a unique way to celebrate our local agricultural heritage while supporting local businesses. Plus, you get to taste and buy cheese direct from the people who made it. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing the people who made your food and shaking their hands.

Cheese Tour organizers say that artisanal farmstead creameries are gaining ground in Essex County. Participating farms include Asgaard Farm & Dairy in AuSable Forks, North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm in Keeseville and Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay.

While all of these creameries are fairly new to the Adirondacks, Asgaard Farm & Dairy is the senior member, having produced their goat cheeses since 2008. Owners David Brunner and Rhonda Butler own the stunningly beautiful farm, previously occupied by artist/activist Rockwell Kent. When their young daughter wanted to raise a couple of pet goats, they became hooked on the animals. They now produce fresh chevre, a soft cheese, in many flavors, feta, a raw-milk tomme and a new gouda. They have recently built a cheese cave and are experimenting with new varieties to age. Their field rotations include other livestock to help to keep the land healthy and the animals nearly parasite-free without chemical controls.

North Country Creamery is the middle-age farm of these three, but still young, only in its second year. Ashlee Kleinhammer and Steven Googin create an array of fresh and aged cheeses, yogurt and raw milk. Their herd is unique in that the animals consume only grass with no grain supplements. Their farm is Animal Welfare Approved (as is Asgaard Farm), and they have a cave carved into their property for aging their cheese to the perfect ripeness. People may remember that this farm was previously owned by Sam and Denise Hendren, who produced and marketed delicious cheeses under the name of Clover Mead Farm. Ashlee and Steven are continuing the farm's heritage.

Sugar House Creamery is the newest farm, just in its first season. This hillside dairy is owned by Margot Brooks and Alex Eaton, both transplants from notable creameries in Vermont. They are producing four different small batch cheeses, ripened in their underground cave on the farm. Their signature product is Dutch Knuckle, a hard alpine-style cheese, but they also offer softer varieties such as Troubadour, Pound Cake and Little Dickens.

The tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during which time all the creameries will be open to the public free of charge for on-farm tours and sampling. For more information, call 518-962-4810 ext. 404 or email



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web