A Farmer’s View of Iceland

Several years ago I lost a border collie pup and took a gamble on a new breed of dog that was totally foreign to me but reminded me of the brains and beauty of border collies with a little less intensity: Icelandic Sheepdogs. Bringing Poppy onto the farm 3 1/2 years ago and then a male friend for her named Roki, opened up an interest in Iceland for me. Finally, in September, I was able to make the journey across the ocean to this incredible, awe-inspiring country to explore the farms, the landscape and the history.

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Icelandic horses a five-gaited breed bred pure for 1,000 years in Iceland.

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Thorvaldseyri, a farm that was effected by the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, causing enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days. See the video.

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A beautiful border collie and Icelandic sheep dog mix that I met on a horse farm we stayed at.

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Roki and Poppy, our two Icelandic Sheepdogs at Fat Toad Farm. The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed of dog of spitz type originating from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings.

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Icelandic sheep: “They are a strong, hardy race which has adapted well to Icelandic conditions.” Learn more.

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Geothermal greenhouses growing tomatoes. Learn more.

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Cow dairies are prevalent in Iceland producing products like, Skyr, a unique Icelandic yogurt.

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The Icelandic fishing industry is a major part of the economy.

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Spicy Dark Chocolate Caramel Banana Ice Cream!

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3 ripe Bananas (frozen)

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 ounces Spicy Dark Chocolate Caramel from Fat Toad Farm

1 cup your choice of fresh berries

Peel skin off bananas. Chop into 2 inch pieces. Blend until creamy in a Cuisanart or food processor. Add vanilla extra and caramel sauce. Blend until fully incorporated. Refreeze and serve with more caramel and fresh berries on top. Enjoy!

Our Spicy Dark Chocolate Caramel comes together by slowly stirring stone ground chocolate and a healthy pinch of cayenne right into the almost finished caramel. Once the chocolate has fully melted, the caramel is dark, rich and beautifully freckled.

Taza Chocolate’s outstanding commitment to conscious sourcing, innovation, teamwork and producing a unique, high quality chocolate makes us proud to have them as a partner-in-deliciousness.

Learn more about Taza Chocolate’s amazing story HERE!

Fat Toad Farm wins Sofi Award for Outstanding Product Line at the 2015 Fancy Food Show

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This year’s sofi Awards, at the Summer Fancy Food Show, were a success for Vermont, goats, and caramel. Fat Toad Farm, a small, family-run, goat dairy in Brookfield, Vermont, received gold for Outstanding Product Line for their Farmstead Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauces, known as cajeta, a traditional Mexican confection. Fat Toad Farm is run by husband and wife team Steve Reid and Judith Irving, and their daughter Calley Hastings. The family has spent the last eight years building a high-quality herd of Alpine milking goats and perfecting the art of caramel making. Their award-winning product line of goat’s milk caramel sauces comprised of eight mouthwatering flavors (Original, Salted Bourbon, Cold Brew Coffee, Spicy Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Irish Whiskey Cream, Vermont Maple, and Cinnamon), can be found online at www.fattoadfarm.com and in specialty food stores across the United States.

The sofi Award is considered a prestigious award in the $109-billion specialty food industry. Winners were selected from over 2,770 entries across 32 award categories. “We are honored to be among so many talented specialty food producers,” says Calley Hastings, co-owner of Fat Toad Farm. “We have worked hard to be innovative and interesting but at the same time we have always stayed true to our process which has allowed us to continue to produce a high quality, delicious goat’s milk caramel sauce. We are grateful to the Specialty Food Association, our customers, our fans, and most of all our goats!”

Fat Toad Farm was in good company at this year’s awards. Three other Vermont companies took home the gold, including Vermont Creamery for Outstanding Classic Product for their Cultured Butter Sea Salt Basket; Big Picture Farm for Outstanding Confection for their Goat Milk Chai Caramels and Outstanding New Product for their Raspberry Rhubarb Goat Milk Caramels; and Wozz! Kitchen Creations for Outstanding Salsas for their Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde.

Fat Toad Farm offers farmer led tours throughout the year by reservation only and has a farm store which is open 7 days a week 10am-4pm. Visit our website www.fattoadfarm.com to learn more about our sofi Award, goat’s milk caramel sauces, farm tours, and more!

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