Sprout Creek Farm is a 200 acre working farm located near Poughkeepsie, New York. Originally founded by two nuns from a religious order that focused on education and teaching, Sprout Creek Farm was established with a view to continuing this mission, which it undoubtedly does.
Sister Margo Morris, one of the two original sisters, is still deeply involved and oversees the management of this progressive educational center. In addition to the cheesemaking component, Sprout Creek operates a fully functioning farm, a farmers' market, and residential courses. The courses are designed to give disadvantaged and inner city children a holistic taste of agricultural and rural life through full involvement with the workings of the farm.
The Creamery component at Sprout Creek obtains milk from the farm's own mixed herd of grass-fed Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn and Brown Swiss cows. Cheesemaking methods are based on the European model and great attention is devoted to seasonality and animal welfare.
Sprout Creek Creamery, under the guidance of cheesemaker Colin McGrath, produces
a variety of cheeses from both goat's and cow's milk, ranging in style from soft, bloomy rinds to aged tommes.
Released at three weeks, Rita is made between October and March, during the winter months. These small cow's milk rounds have a very rich, buttery flavor, underpinned by a lactic tang.
Two textures are typical with this cheese, in that it is often smooth and almost runny just under the rind, and yet firm and chalky in the middle.