Searching for the Blues in Vermont

August 22, 2015

In a few months, tourists will be visiting the quiet and beautiful town of Craftsbury, Vermont, to ski and snowmobile, but for now summer clings to the days while nights give the first breaths of autumn. Craftsbury is the embodiment of the picturesque New England community steeped in history, complete with white clabbered buildings lining the commons where the farmer’s market is held every Saturday.  Around 1,300 live in the 5 hamlets that make up the community, with Center Commons at the summit. 

 photo by Kandice Marchant

 

Located in Center Commons, Sterling College is the focal point of idyllic Craftsbury.  Sterling College is a small, hands-on learning institution focused on unconventional education with an environmental bent.  Sterling also offers continuing education classes on a wide range of topics, including food-related seminars on everything from charcuterie to fungi, fermentation, and - you guessed it - cheesemaking.  Sterling is 1 of only 7 work colleges in the US, meaning work participation is required of each and every student for the daily operation of the institution.  This model provides students with important life skills, a strong sense of personal responsibility, and appreciation for the work and efforts of others.

          photo by Kandice Marchant

 

This time last year, I first traveled to Craftsbury for a two week intensive course on artisanal cheesemaking at Sterling.  This year I'll be taking a short course on blue cheese production, also taught by Frech master cheesemaker Ivan Larcher, in collaboration with the Cellars at Jasper Hill and the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick. 

 

Over the next weeks, I'll be bringing you cheese-insider posts about my experience in Vermont at Sterling College and in nearby Greensboro at Jasper Hill.  

 

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