My family moved to Fairy Tale Farm about 10 years ago, after I worked on other farms as a cheesemaker and interned at goat and sheep dairies. We fell in love with the changing seasons, the evening light, and the predominance of small family farms and busy little towns in the Champlain Valley. We started out making cow cheeses in a rented creamery at Scapeland Farm, while we renovated the old dairy barn on our farm, but the goal was always to milk sheep. My children grew up on the farm, bottle feeding lambs in the spring and doing chores, and I will always be glad for their time here. These days I host WWOOFers and interns, many of whom are hoping to have their own farms some day.
And we grew our flock of East Friesians and Finns, learning as we went. Now all of our cheeses and gelatos are made here in our small dairy and creamery, and every year we raise about 90 lambs both as backyard buddies, and as breeding stock for a farm in east Vermont. We work hard to steward the land in our care, using no pesticides or herbicides on our pastures, conserving our water, powering our dairy and creamery with 100% farm-grown solar, and working to maintain wildlife and bird habitat in our forest and shrubland.
Fairy Tale Farm lives up to its name: storybook-pretty, but with thorny thickets, secret caves, and dark woods. For 150 years, people raised sheep here, and the sheep love the ledges and rocky terrain. Modern farm machinery, not so much. So we’ve learned how to do some things the old fashioned way, which suits us.
Dairy sheep are seasonal creatures, who prefer to get pregnant as the days get shorter and lamb when it begins to get brighter and warmer. They encourage us to live more in harmony with the seasons as well, with the busy time of spring lambing, the high gear of summer milking and making, slowing down in the late fall and the winter left for reading, some skiing, and fixing things.
Currently you can find our cheeses at Middlebury and Burlington area Farmers Markets, and locally at Dedalus Wine Shop, Healthy Living Market, and Cheese and Wine Traders in Burlington, the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop, Monadnock Food Coop, Brattleboro Food Coop, the Mad River Taste Place, the Vergennes Laundry, and Minifactory in Bristol.