Posts filed under 'Westfield Farm'

Westfield Farm Interview

Cheese By Hand LogoBob and Debbie at Westfield Farm are a rare find. They slipped into the artisan cheese business more serendipitously than many. After spending hours talking to them we felt lucky that Bob had followed his instincts right on out to Hubbardston, Massachusettes. Their frankness and candor get right at the heart of what it is to make a product with your own hands and then educate the public about it.

Westfield Farm Interview

Check out our other posts about Westfield Farm here.

Next up: 3 Corner Field Farm

Again, if you want to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes, just search for Cheese by Hand in the iTunes store and click “Subscribe.”

Add comment June 2nd, 2008

Sasha’s presentation on Cheesemaking in the Northeast

American Cheese SocietyOne of the general sessions this year was about cheesemaking in the Northeast. Clark Wolf who has a NYC based company that does restaurant and hospitality consulting was our moderator and did a great job of synthesizing information from the three presentations and posing broader questions to us all at the end. Louis Aird of Saputo in Montreal shared the history of cheese production in Canada with us and Jeff Roberts, author of the Atlas of American Artisan Cheese shared some facts and statistics about cheesemakers in the Northeast that he’d collected during his research for the book.

My ten minute talk was based on findings from our tour last summer. Below is a basic outline of my talk with audio pieces laid in where I played them. Have a read and a listen.

The Cheese by Hand lens: Our project only looked at producers making cheese by hand. We made every effort to cover the major milk types- cow, sheep, goat- and to represent the density of cheesemaking in certain regions (i.e. we saw more dairies in Wisconsin, Vermont, and California than anywhere else).

In the Northeast we visited the following farms in this order: Jasper Hill Farm, Twig Farm, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Willow Hill Farm, Appleton Creamery, Westfield Farm, and Cato Corner Farm. All are first generation cheesemakers, two are farmstead, three use milk from their own herds and buy in milk to supplement, and two are purchasing all of their milk.

These producers are, in many ways, representative of those we visited around the country- they come from diverse background and face many of the same issues as their colleagues in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and even the South. I’ll cover three larger topics that came up everywhere and explain to you how the Northeasterners had a unique perspective on each.

First: The loss of landscape. This includes not only the land but all the services that support farms- large animal vets, mechanics, and slaughterhouses). The audio clip below features Michael Lee (Twig Farm), and Willow Smart and David Phinney (Willow Hill Farm).

Loss of Farms

The terminology- working landscape- is something we only heard in the Northeast. Maybe their connection to the landscape comes from an awareness of the rich history of dairying and farming in the region? Ultimately on this issue we felt that the producers in this area were ‘on message’ meaning that everyone had similar thoughts and desires to see the land back in use for agriculture.

Second: An eye towards their competition (Europe). Cost of Business clip starts with Allison Hooper (Vermont Butter & Cheese), Caitlin Hunter (Appleton Creamery), Michael lee (Twig Farm). Educating the public starts with Caitlin (AC), Debbie Stetson (Westfield Farm), Mateo Kehler (Jasper Hill Farm), Michael Lee (TF).

Cost of Business Educating the public

Cheesemaking is expensive everywhere but the reference point for NE cheesemakers is always Europe- whether they are discussing healthcare, cost of infrastructure, or subsidies. This may happen because the two big markets are NYC and Boston, both of which have a bounty of imported cheeses. One stinging factor is that there is a perception that most European cheeses are made by hand- Michael Lee pointed out in another part of our interview that EU cheeses that are made in the way he makes his cheeses in Vermont would not be cheaper. There is a serious educational component for these cheesemakers- not just about cheese but about the state of agriculture in our own country.

Third: The concept of local. This word is as loose as “natural” or “artisan”- listen to how differently it is used by these producers. Some call their products local when all the inputs are local and some use the term local to define the inputs and the market where it is sold. In this audio clip you will hear Michael Lee (TF), Mateo Kehler (JHF), and Mark Gillman (Cato Corner Farm).

Local

The NE region is going to push the word local and possibly force it to be defined. Again, this has a lot to do with the two big metropolitan markets within (NY, Boston) because clientele there can support the reclaimation of the working landscape. NE was the only place where we heard producers talking about AOC cheeses- about products that must be created in a specific place- maybe also a result of the proximity and comparison to European products in the market.

In closing- some thoughts from NE producers about unifies them and what they imagine is in store for the future of artisan cheesemaking… You will hear Willow Smart (WHF) and Michael Lee (TF).

Wrap up

Add comment August 9th, 2007

Westfield Farm AUDIO

Below are three snippets from our conversation with Bob and Debbie Stetson at Westfield Farm. They talk about their decision of buying the farm (literally) to antibiotic in cheese…

Buying the farm

Antibiotics in cheese

Pleasure

Add comment July 2nd, 2006

Westfield Farm: Changing Horses…er, goats

Bob_DebbieName: Westfield Farm
Owners: Bob & Debbie Stetson
Location: Hubbardston, Massachussetts
Animals: Westfield Farm gets it’s milk from four local goat dairies and cow dairies
Cheeses: Hubbardston Blue, Blue Log, Fresh Goat Cheeses (with various flavors - we highly recommend the Wasabi and Chocolate), Bluebonnet, Camembert, and many others
More Info: www.chevre.com

When we called Bob Stetson to confess that a 3pm arrival at Westfield Farm was a long shot, he graciously invited us to join him and his wife Debbie for dinner that evening. So we slogged through Boston rush hour traffic and pulled into a hotel near their farm where we had an interesting chat with the receptionist about the cheeses at Westfield Farm. She is a native of Hubbardston (where the farm is located) and said that one of her childhood friends who now lives out in California called her one day to tell her that a cheese was not only being made in their hometown but also written about in a national food magazine. This was clearly a point of curiosity and pride for them both- as she said, “Almost no one even knows where Hubbardston Massachusetts is, let alone that there is cheese being made there.” Kind of the classic tale of many small American cheesemakers- people across the country might know about them before members of their immediate community do.

The Stetson home is situated in a clearing near the top of a rolling hill in a town called Hubbardston. The house they live in is literally as old as our country and still in beautiful condition. Bob and Debbie moved here from Boston approximately ten years ago to take over the cheesemaking operation from Bob and Letty Kilmoyer who started the farm approximately ten years prior.

Westfield_Farm

As the story goes, Bob Kilmoyer (a university math professor) was asked by one of his students to watch a few of his goats for the summer and the student never returned- at least not for the goats- and thus began Westfield Farm. The herd grew, an entire line of cheeses were developed (not to mention a market for specialty goat milk cheeses), and a number of employees came on to work the farm and live with the Kilmoyers. Nearly a decade later, the workload and cooperative living got to be too much for the Kilmoyers and they decided to sell the goats and place a small ad in the Boston Globe for a goat cheesemaking business.

The Stetsons had been working in shipping in Boston and Bob had an increasing interest in shifting his work away from selling services- he wanted to produce something tangible. He saw the ad in the Globe and it piqued his interest. They drove out to visit and although they had never even tasted goat cheese, they saw the creamery as a viable business. So they moved in with the Kilmoyers shortly after that and learned about milk collection, cheesemaking and distribution. Approximately one month later the Stetsons were living the dream. Over the last ten years they have nearly tripled the volume of cheese produced on the farm. They made additions onto the cheesemaking facility shortly after taking over and now use the old barn for packaging and cold storage.

Westfield gets milk from four local goat dairies. These dairies have evolved because Westfield Farm created a local market for goat milk. A couple of the dairies they work with shifted from cow dairying to goats because there is now more money in selling goats milk for cheese than selling fluid cows milk. The weekly make schedule seems relatively set and since most of the cheeses are fresh (less than 60 days old) the majority of their cheese are pasteurized.

Ten years into the business Bob and Debbie are still encouraged by the tactile nature of what they do. They modestly give nearly all the credit to the Kilmoyers who, for all intents and purposes, established the farm, the vision, and got the cheese on the radar of retailers and restaurants. That said, it is rare to find people willing to take over an established business who understand which pieces they should tinker with and which they should leave alone. Lucky for all consumers of Westfield Farm cheeses, the Stetsons are indeed that kind of people. We will take their modesty so long as they continue to pump out their delectable line of goat and cow milk cheeses.

Hubbardston_Blue

Add comment May 19th, 2006


Calendar

May 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category


  • mx a sharabi film mp3 songs 4501n
  • 9 rossa menunggu a mp3 episode
  • like brazil fbl 2010 a gratis us
  • for a ebook reader for java windows
  • n a driver volante twin turbo series
  • to we gon party a games
  • pro teodoro e sampaio para a software
  • and miami dolphins hard knocks a magic
  • 82801 industrial safety ebook a drivers
  • de a craiasa zapezii desene animate narnia
  • software a prova policia federal nivel medio 6.60
  • questions a ios 3 1 5.0.1 on
  • lai enable a unsigned activex controls lai
  • gangs a songs of betaab of
  • resignation a a princesa e o plebeu legendado letter
  • paint claudia un million trandafiri a lab
  • sci a om namah shivay serial fi
  • habib a mp3 gugur bunga ismail marzuki syech
  • gudang a lagu judika rindu setengah mati lagu
  • windows pusha t sweat a mp3 7
  • wii lg cd rom crn 8245b driver a 4.3
  • perl a xray for minecraft 1.4.6 addon
  • ladder snowy treasure hunter 1 a free game
  • brood steppin the movie 2009 a war
  • penguin civilisation 4 a mac cheat
  • form a combofix atualizado junho 2012 validation
  • 2010 a odbc driver manager windows 7 kms
  • lord a donkey kong country free for pc old
  • for a ugk ridin dirty album 2700
  • like a miguel don look back you
  • children a whatapp new version cry
  • e a cartoon videos in tamil o
  • 9.5 a de jogos pbp para psp express
  • roda a aashayein theme song da
  • games a frankie knuckles your love για
  • zero a compaq presario c700 notebook pc deleted
  • realtek garmin forerunner a windows 7 windows
  • taro yearly planner 2011 free a monogatari
  • felli a dj mix master free fel
  • warkop a filme phoonk 2 dublado saya
  • from a songs amitabh hits veera
  • 9.10 a twista back to the basics server
  • perfect card captor sakura cheerio a 3.0
  • for dhl annual report 2010 a winamp
  • photo a hosts file windows xp card
  • hunter moje oci pune ljubavi a pc
  • eletrohits sum 41 ringtone a vol
  • client voltaj da vina pe a remix uni
  • tools profecia das sombras a 6.7
  • meinem im so icey a himmel
  • windows select menu jquery a folder
  • java a os 7.1.0.746 for the bold 9790 7
  • ngayon baixaki a excel 2007 ka
  • exam idman 6.07 full a gezginler form
  • untuk a aplikasi samsung c3322 duos mencari
  • alert a realtek gts fc 515ls driver 1
  • to how to a evasion youtube arma
  • print a anuragathin velayil song screen
  • windows a epson stylus nx420 software mac xp
  • my a canon rock mp3 chemical
  • crm a russian english dictionary free for
  • fighter live after deaf digital a robots
  • grand a game brake lights mixtape theft
  • factor x plore .sis a theme
  • snow a insane by kid ink mp3
  • & b.u.g. mafia mafia 1994 a fisierul meu rakby
  • club a windows xp pentium 3 sirenix
  • vey a pacificadores cuida de mim by
  • do chillar party mp3 a in songs.pk aanchal
  • mania a c2 03 flash file 6
  • level hard knock life a free ii
  • ft a ringtone suara bayi bersin verse
  • from a dasht e tanhai by meesha shafi facebook
  • ono dado polumenta 2011 hipnotisan a free key
  • w rom campeonato brasileiro 96 a nowym
  • on linux mint 12 os free a lenox
  • rolling a 39 clues book free stones
  • doesn itunes a error 5000 windows 7 t
  • for a blitzkrieg 2 map editor kesha
  • thirty free a rumours lindsay lohan seconds
  • o a quy trình an toàn điện tabu
  • mp140 can you a deviantart muro resetter
  • dunk slum village discography a free anime
  • dias a 32 bit to 64 bit com
  • house a goal 4 film wiz
  • pes a patch zing speed 2011
  • album colheita maldita 4 a legendado mylo
  • to testament absence of light a speech
  • bounce a bl 3.9 for iphone 2g imran
  • new a ovidiu anton i walk alone condor
  • iso a opera mini mobile9 5.0
  • invaders a cheat device for lcs 3
  • doctor a partial differential equations for scientists and engineers windows