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Local Cheeses in High Demand


The last decade has seen a boom in the locavore movement: the thought is the fewer miles food must travel, the better it is. Often, this theory is coupled with good farming practices, like organic, environmentally sound techniques. It’s good for the animals, good for the farmers, and good for you. Farmers markets abound with local fruits, veggies, eggs, and honey, but often cheese is missed, for several reasons. One big one? Produce farmers need only pick what they grow, but there are a lot of extra steps and knowledge between the cow and the cheese. 

We recently saw a wonderful Vineyard Gazette write-up on the Grey Barn and Farm in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. They sell fresh pork, veal, eggs, and—yes, cider-washed cheese.

Grey Barn is expanding into new territory, adding two cheeses to its list of products. Their Prufrock cheese takes its name from the T.S. Eliot poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The newest edition, Eidolon, is the title of a Walt Whitman poem. Both cheeses, but Prufrock especially, are exceptionally difficult to manufacture and require diligent care and attention. 

Mild changes in the herd’s diet or even the weather can affect their raw milk, which must be accounted for as the cheeses are carefully washed and aged for 6 weeks. Thankfully, because the farm starts with such high-quality milk, they are ensured a high-quality cheese at the end of the process.

Want more on this topic? Read about local cheeses in Virginia and Vermont. Have a favorite local cheese close to you? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Alison L. Mead

Alicia Hahn

Alicia Hahn is an online editorial intern for culture who excels at eating and enjoys writing, crosswords, and cooking (preferably with cheese). Originally from San Francisco, she moved to Boston for school and fell in love with the city (despite an annual campaign against winter). Her favorite place to be is the farmers’ market, where she finds weird and exciting ingredients to make or break her next meal.