Twig Farm is a small goat dairy and cheesemaking business run by Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman. Located in West Cornwall, Vermont, about ten miles south of Middlebury, the 20 acre farm was established in 2005 and produces aged, raw milk goat cheeses.
Having worked as an apprentice at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townsend, Vermont, Michael manages the goats, and produces and ages the cheese. Emily manages the business and marketing for Twig Farm and simultaneously works as an analyst for a publishing company.
Twig Farm has a herd of 25 milking does, most of which are Alpine, though there is one Nubian and a few Saanens. They make a variety of raw milk cheeses of which Fuzzy Wheel is one.
Fuzzy wheel is a very seasonal cheese, being made only in the early spring months from a mix of Twig Farm’s raw goat’s milk mixed with raw Jersey cow’s milk. The cow’s milk comes from Animal Farm in nearby Shoreham and is left over from their butter-making process. It therefore has a fat content of approximately 2% - ie. partially skimmed.
Since the cheese is made in early spring during the colder months, the cheese maturing room is naturally much drier. The cheeses naturally develop a layer of fuzzy mold on their exterior, but the lower humidity greatly slows the rate of growth allowing Michael to spend less time in the aging room and allowing him to focus on other tasks.
The cheeses are aged for between 70-90 days before release, at which point they have fully developed the ‘fuzzy’ grey mold on the rind, that gives the cheese its name.
The interior paste of the cheese is ivory white in color with a supple texture dotted with small ‘eyes’ or holes. Flavors taste richly of milk, butter and cream with earthy and piquant notes.