On a trip to England, Karli and Jim Hagedorn were inspired by a program that taught city children about farming. Once home, they created the Farms for City Kids Foundation, a program that brings students from nearby cities, most of whom have never had the chance to travel, up to the farm in southwestern Vermont to spend time learning while helping out. The farm has a small herd of Jersey cows, vegetables, orchards and a maple sugar house that gathers from over 3,000 taps. Cheesemaking has recently been introduced as a means of financially supporting the foundation, and the Spring Brook Farm cheese house is designed with a glassed-in viewing area so the students can watch the cheesemakers while they work.
Ashbrook, a pungent Morbier-inspired beauty, is distinguished by the line of vegetable ash running through the center of the cheese. Spring Brook's partner dairies, Jericho Hill Farm and Fox Valley Farm, provide the raw Jersey cow's milk for this new addition to the farm's offerings. This cheese has a semi-soft, supple texture, and is lactic and bright with a decidedly funky finish. Try pairing with a slightly sour Berliner Weisse or an acidic Pinot Noir.
Farm / Company: Spring Brook Farm
Cheesemaker: Jeremy Stephenson
Proprietor: Karli & Jim Hagedorn
Affineur: Jeremy Stephenson
City, State: Reading, VT
Milk Type: Cow
Milk Treatment: Raw
Aging: 10 months
Size(s): 20-pound wheel