It's what you would expect if you had high expectations!
I felt as if I already knew Larry and Linda Faillace when I visited their farm a few days ago. I had just finished Linda's shocking book "Mad Sheep" (2006) about our government's raid on their small farm in 2001, when the USDA seized and subsequently killed all the Faillace's (healthy) sheep. I was in a Mad mood when I drove through Vermont to their farm.
I shouldn't have been surprised when I found the Faillaces happily making cheese, teaching workshops all around the world, gardening and enjoying their three (grown-up) children. They are living proof that, at least in the spiritual sense, goodness always prevails over evil.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed spending time with them in their warm, cozy Vermont farmhouse. Linda and Larry are a team- their love and support for each other radiates around them and it's fun to be there. When one of them tells a story you know the other one has already heard it (maybe hundreds of times) but they still listen and laugh as if it was the first time. (I love that!)
|Linda telling us why her son is a "superhero" during lunch on the back deck.|
I visited one of their 3 day cheese making workshops to see what it's like because I'm planning to take their class in Belize this January (2013) at the Cave's Branch Jungle Lodge. I knew the Faillace's had been to the resort, so I wanted to ask them if it is really as nice as it appears on their website. They told me it's even better- an absolutely fabulous place. (I hope you can join us!)
I also wanted to determine whether their 3 day workshop would be the right cheese making class for me. Could I ask them very basic questions about cheese making and get simple answers? Could I be sure they would cover the things I want to know about? Could I get my hands in the curds or would I just have to watch? Three days is a long time!
I was happy to find that the Faillace's course is perfect for everyone - beginners and for more advanced students. You can see for yourself in the pictures I took that everyone in the class was getting what they needed. More importantly (perhaps), they were having a good time!
|It's always nice to see a welcome sign.|
|I loved this room.|
|The remains of breakfast were still on the table and I wished I had been there.|
|Entrance to the make room|
|View from the entrance|
|The make room is attached to the garage.|
|The aging house is across the field on a neighbor's property. The Faillaces are working on moving it to a space next to their garden.|
|When I first walked in, they were making Gouda from goat's milk. Everyone was so friendly that I immediately felt right at home.|
|Marie MacLeod from Waitsfield, Vermont. She's hoping to have a few goats or a cow soon.|
When she does, she'll know what to do with the milk!
|Julia Langsett from Pennsylvania. She and her husband own a bakery - Pennsylvania Hearth Breads (pabreads.com)|
and their customers are clamoring for artisan cheese to eat with their artisan bread.
|Julia's husband, Chris. (He was timing something when I snapped this picture.)|
|Pam Armstrong. She and her husband both have "day jobs" as lawyers in New York City.|
But, right across the street from their vacation cottage in the Catskills, they have access to good milk.
|Pam's husband, Gene Scheiman.|
|It was light and airy inside the room. I loved being in it.|
|It was clear that Larry was born to teach. He never missed an opportunity to share his knowledge.|
|Gouda curds shrinking|
|Feta draining from the day before.|
|Linda had prepared a fabulous lunch for us.|
|Everyone seemed to have become friends by the second day and it felt like a family gathering.|
|My view as I ate.|
Back to making cheese
|Kadova molds on the press|
|Larry explained why he was overloading the molds.|
|The molds were flipped.|
|The Gouda was draining and the class was ready to move on to the next cheese...|
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit at Three Shepherds Farm and I'm very excited to be taking the workshop with Larry and Linda in Belize this coming January. (For more info, click here.) They are teaching many other classes in the next few months as well:
November 3 - L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland - Only 5 spaces left!
November 4 - L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland
November 10-12 - Artisanal cheese class in Los Lunas, New Mexico
November 16-18 - Luxury cheese class at the Inn at the Round Barn
November 30 - December 2- Artisanal cheese class in Granbury, Texas - Sold Out!
December 3-5 - Advanced class in Granbury, Texas
December 7-9 - Italian cheeses class in Granbury, Texas
January 17-22, 2013 - Italian cheeses class in Belize
January 24-29 - Latin American cheeses class in Belize
April 26-28 - Luxury artisan cheesemaking at the Inn at the Round Barn Farm
May 10-12 - Italian cheesemaking at Three Shepherds Farm
May 17-19 - Advanced cheesemaking at Three Shepherds Farm
Three Shepherds Farm
108 Roxbury Mountain Road
Warren, Vermont 05674