Where’s the (Finger Lakes) Cheese Please!

MC08khp - Photo by Katherine Huysman Photography

Where’s the Cheese Please!

The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is a go-to resource for New York cheese lovers

In our upcoming Fall 2015 Dairy Issue, learn more about the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail and how it fosters community and support among its 11 dairy farm members.

Today, New Yorkers no longer have to travel to Europe to enjoy great artisan cheeses. Enter the 11-member Finger Lakes Cheese Trail started in 2010 to promote the individual destinations where farmstead cheeses are produced in our region. According to Carol Fingar, the trail’s spokesperson, “The founding members of the trail came together through Larry Wilcox of Artisan Foods, who distributed for many of these small, independent farms.” The purpose of the trail was not only strength in numbers for marketing purposes and operational issues, but also to drive visitation to their farms.

One founding member of the Trail is Keeley’s Cheese, named for Keeley O’Brien, née McGarr, a cheesemaker from King Ferry. She says she uses cow’s milk from registered Holsteins and Jerseys that her mother, Connie McGarr, raises on their family farm. Keeley says the Cheese Trail really offers camaraderie for the farmers who are often isolated down on their farms.

“New farms ask established farms advice on everything from cheesemaking to building on-site stores to regulations and more. It’s a great internal network,” Fingar says.

Current members of the Cheese Trail are Crosswinds Farm & Creamery in Ovid, Engelbert Farms in Nicols, Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery in King Ferry, Heaven Scent Farm in Cohocton, Keeley’s Cheese Company in King Ferry, Kenton’s Cheese Company in Trumansburg, Muranda Cheese Company in Waterloo, Side Hill Acres Goat Farm in Candor, Shtayburne Farm in Rock Stream, Sunset View Creamery in Odessa and 4 Tin Fish Farm in Conquest.

For Ellen Leahy’s full story on the FLX Cheese Trail, keep an eye out for our dairy-themed Fall 2015 issue, out soon!

Photo by Katherine Huysman Photography

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