Located on fifty-eight acres of agricultural reserve land in Boyds, Maryland, Cherry Glen farms is one of the last of it's kind, a truly artisan farmstead. From flock to finished product--it all happens right there.
Last week, the From the Farmer team was treated to a tour and taste of their G.O.A.T. cheese. Our enthusiastic tour guide, Dave, began by giving us a brief look at the grounds. Among beautiful sprawling pastures and giant Pyrenees standing guard we found something unexpected: a field of solar panels! Dave recounted that a staggering energy bill, prompted the farm to go solar and now it's one of the few completely solar-powered farms in the state.
Next up on our visit was the main attraction—the goats! Cherry Glen’s goats are an award winning flock, a fact made evident by the colorful ribbons that adorn their quarters! We were warned to keep a safe distance but we received a warm welcome from the curious bunch. A short distance from the barn, we checked out the milking stations. Despite having milked 120 goats just a few hours prior, the room was remarkably spotless. Dave notes, “We’re constantly cleaning, always scrubbing!”
After the milking station, we peeked at the giant milk holding tank and the pasteurization room. Then onto what I'll call the "cheese lab," where handcrafted meets high tech! Here, cheese makers donned white lab coats and busied themselves with monitoring giant bags of whey and molding cheese with medical grade ash. After the cheese leaves the lab, it's aged in a “state-of-the-art” cheese cave. When Dave mentioned the cave, I was preparing to step into some sort of miniature Luray Caverns, but the “cave” revealed itself as a small, ambient-lit room with shelves of uniform mounds of cheese. Though very unassuming, this is where the magic happens!
Last stop on our visit was getting a taste of the labor of the great folks at Cherry Glen! Dave proposed that we taste from ‘mild to wild,’ and so we tried Monocacy Gold and Silver first. After each bite, we found ourselves looking at each other with that "OMG did you just taste that!” grin. Even more deliciousness ensued with Monocacy Ash, which we’d actually witnessed being crafted earlier. We reluctantly finished our savoring session with Monocacy Chipotle. One nibble of the chipotle, and I instantly thought G.O.A.T (greatest of all time)