Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

The Fat Toad Farm team had a fabulous day at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival at lovely Shelburne Farms on Sunday.   I’m not sure how it is that I’ve lived 4/5 of my life in Vermont and never been there before, but jeezum, that property may just be the most beautiful place on earth.

It didn’t hurt that Sunday also happened to be the most perfect summer day of 2011, either.  Huzzah!  We  met a lot of amazing people and ate our weight in ridiculously delicious cheeses, pickles, chocolates, brownies, breads – you name it – if it was tasty it was there.


Our favorite quote of the day: “Oh my gawd! This caramel is insane!  Do you have a straw?”

We don’t have straws, but buy a jar and you can drink it any way you like!



Brilliant.  When can we sign up for next year?





Welcome, this is a farm house…

…there are cluster flies, alas.  …Actually, it’s more like deer flies in this farm house right now, but I couldn’t find a song about deer flies, so Phish (in all its cliched glory) will have to do. I am going to try to identify the perfect theme song for each of my Fat Toad Farm blog posts, I feel strongly that this will be awesome, but we’ll see if I end up entertaining anyone other than myself.  :)

This is the Fat Toad Farm house in her summer outfit:

I lived here in the pre-Fat Toad years (back when this house only posed as a real farm house and was overrun with teenagers rather than goats) with my dad, Farmer Steve (the farmer formerly known as just “Steve”), my brother Nick, and my step-ladies Judith, Josey and Calley.  As I am no longer a teenager (for the most part) this house is no longer posing, but an honest to goodness Vermont Farm House.  The old living room has made way for FTF office spaces where there are at least 3 computers humming at all times spreading the good Fat Toad word.  The kitchen and pantry, once populated with store bought foods, is now full of freshly picked peas, blueberries, and collard greens, eggs collected earlier this morning, homegrown pork thawing for dinner, ridiculously delicious blueberry muffins that FTF intern Sophie made this morning:

…and obviously, 400,000 jars of caramel in a variety of flavors and stages of eaten-ness.  I do believe there is still a TV in this house somewhere, but I haven’t located it yet much less seen it turned on.  Between the goats, the pigs, the chickens, the ducks, the caramel cooking, the farm store, the emails, the deliveries, the 7 things that just broke, the garden that is starting to explode with food (and weeds), and all our lovely summertime visitors, we often eat meals on the walk between the house and the barn and are axed down by exhaustion by 8:45pm.  By that time even television requires more energy than most of us are willing to spare.  Anyway, all to say, times have a-changed since I was a sullen punk driving too fast up and down these dirt roads on the way to and from soccer practice.

Back in the Brookfield ‘hood after 4 years in college, 2 years in Africa and 5 years in San Francisco, I have officially joined the Fat Toad Crew as the new kid (and simultaneously and awkwardly one of the old kids) on the block. The last two weeks have been a delightful combination of the new/strange/scary, as well as the old/familiar/comfortable.  Lucky for me, “the block” is WAY cooler than it used to be, reincarnated as a small but mighty family-run goat dairy producing cheeses and caramels that will knock your socks off.Welcome, this is a farm house, and this is Fat Toad Farm!


*Check back in next week for another thrilling update on all the action at Fat Toad Farm and another perfect theme song.

Taste of Place: Article on the Christian Science Monitor website

The good folks at Christian Science Monitor took a tour along the Vermont Cheese Trail – of which we’re one of the stops. Read the full story.

A Taste of Place: Exploring the Vermont Cheese Trail

“In Vermont you can smell the color green. The majestic pines and the clover-filled meadows infuse the air with an aroma conjuring up nourishment and quiet. In the distance, the edge of a storm cloud took shape, making its way toward me. I ignored it while meandering the gravel roads, making a couple of stops on the Vermont Cheese Trail.”

Visit the Christian Science Monitor website and read the article.