For the Cabots, the family business is (now) the cheese business. Siblings Stephanie and Christopher, along with their spouses, are responsible for Boggy Meadow Farm, a dairy-based farm in Walpole, New Hampshire on the banks of the Connecticut River. Records show that Jonathan Mason, a retired United States Senator from Massachusetts, purchased Boggy Meadow Farm in 1822, and the 400 acre farm has been owned and operated by his descendants ever since. Though the land has been in the family for centuries, Stephanie and her husband Marcus moved there in 2004 to take over the cheese operations that her father had maintained.
The cheese operation was originally developed to save the farm from financial ruin, producing a baby Swiss that contributed to a mini food renaissance in the area. But Stephanie quickly learned that maintaining a cheese farm was not as leisurely as eating the cheese; It took almost three years to achieve sound financial footing for the farm and its cheese production. Today, cheese is made twice a week in the creamery, located in the converted, original, 18th century barn and farmhouse across from the dairy parlor. Boggy Meadow’s cheeses are largely based on Alpine-style cheese recipes.
“The interesting aspect of ‘Swiss’ cheese,” says owner Marcus Lovell-Smith, “ is that no salt is added to the curd—the only additives are the bacteria and the rennet, which makes the cheese a ‘pure’ derivation of the original raw milk.”
Overseeing and maintaining the 400 acre farm also happens to be both Lovell and Stephanie’s second job, but despite the immense amount of work it takes to produce these cheeses, Stephanie says she has never regretted her decision. “If you’ve been given a legacy like this…you have a responsibility to carry it on to the next generation.”
Photo Credit: Cheeses aging at Boggy Meadow from Matthew Cavanaugh for the Boston Globe