One of the things we love about farming here is connecting people to this place. This happens when friends and neighbors come over to dig wild leeks with us in the spring, when we share a story with a customer at the farmers' market, when a student on a field trip holds a lamb for the first time, or when someone in a place far away tastes our cheese that carries elements of the particular grass and clover the sheep were eating on our farm when that cheese was made.
This week Anne Saxelby and Benoit Breal of Saxelby Cheesemongers wrangled a group of chefs and cheese mongers from New York City and Chicago (including folks from Eataly, 61 Local, Ardesia, The Meat Hook and Diner) and brought them north to these green hills to make the vital connection between the animals, places and people who are part of the cheeses they represent so passionately in their stores and restaurants. At Bonnieview they visited the cheese house where a fresh batch of Mossend Blue was on the table, visited the cave, walked out to the pasture to get the sheep, watched the beginning of milking, visited lambs, and tasted cheeses in our kitchen. They offered their insight and expertise on the flavors and textures of the Braeburn, the Blended Feta, the Bonnie Blue and the Patmos Peak, as well as a Gouda made by Marjorie Urie at Shagadee Farm. They also got to meet our dear friend and neighbor Maria Schumann of Cate Hill Orchard, who has started a sheep dairy just a few miles away where she currently milks 40 sheep. It was wonderful for us to connect with the people who work with our cheeses once they leave the farm, and to offer them a fuller sense of this place. We are grateful that they made the journey!