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.
Reading (pronounced "Redding"), one of two cheeses made at the farm, is a semi-soft cow's milk cheese with a washed rind that imparts a hint of funkiness. The interior paste has a smooth texture with flavors of butter and nuts. This cheese is modeled after Raclette, which is classically melted and served with roasted potatoes and gherkins. In the Swiss Alps, this type of cheese is also served alongside tea or other warm beverages.
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: 3-4 months
Size(s): 14-20 pound wheel