Spring Brook Farm is part of the Farms for City Kids Foundation, an educational non-profit organization founded in 1993. The Foundation brings groups of children to the farm for a week at a time to experience a farm based curriculum. Besides learning to take care of farm animals and helping with making maple syrup (in season), the educational mission also includes helping with the aging of cheeses. The cheese house is designed to allow students and visitors to view the cheese making process through windows over the make room and offers a venue for students to study economics, chemistry, microbiology, food preservation, health and nutrition. All funds from the sale of Spring Brook Farm cheeses go to support the Farms For City Kids Foundation
Beginning mid-2013 Spring Brook Farm embarked on a new arrangement in the production of their Reading and Ashbrook cheeses, moving into partnership with two small local Vermont dairies for their milk source. The goal in working with them has been to provide stability and sustainability to their operations by paying them a fixed price for their milk, removing them from the commodity market and the uncertainty that can come with fluctuating fluid milk prices. In exchange, they have taken on the responsibility of producing milk ideally suited to Spring Brook’s style of cheese. This includes no chemical fertilizers on pastures, no fermented feed, and the production of dry hay that is used to feed the cows when they aren’t on pasture. This solid partnership results in a stable milk supply for our cheeses into the future.
Spring Brook Farm specializes in French Alpine-style cheeses. In 2008 the first make of Tarentaise was produced, a farmstead cheese made using raw Jersey cow’s milk. It has a natural washed rind, is semi-firm in texture, and aged for a minimum of nine months. Depending on the season, the flavor profile on Tarentaise can range from bright red berries and floral undertones to deeply brown butter and nutty. Tarentaise Reserve follows the same make process as Tarentaise but is allowed to age for a minimum of 18 months to produce a cheese that is even more complex in flavor. Only a small proportion of Tarentaise wheels are selected for Reserve aging.
Spring Brook’s third cheese is called Reading, first produced in May 2010 and named after the town in Vermont where the farm is located. Inspired by raclette, it is a three month aged, semi-soft, washed rind cheese made from the raw Jersey cow’s milk from their partner dairies. Reading is a versatile cheese, ideally suited to melting but exhibits a subtle yet complex flavor profile that allows it stand alone on any cheese plate.
Ashbrook is the newest cheese coming out of the farm, with the first makes occurring mid-2014. This is an ode to the French Morbier. As with Reading, this cheese is a made from the raw Jersey cow’s milk from their partner dairies and exhibits a distinctive layer of ash running through the center of the paste. It is a semi-soft washed rind cheese that is aged for approximately three months. There are aromas of damp, dark cellar with a mild funkiness on the rind that gives way to a paste that is milky, lactic, and sweet.