Disclosure: I visited Ayers Brook Goat Dairy and received samples from Vermont Creamery as part of my attendance at Camp Gathering Vermont 2015. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting businesses and brands that I love and trust.
Are you ready for some cuteness all up in your computer screen?
I hope so. Because I’ve got pictures of goats! Including the cutest baby goat you ever laid eyes on. I mean, just look at the sweet face on baby F113. I can’t even deal.
So if you’re wondering why I’m gushing about goats, it’s because I had the pleasure of visiting Ayers Brook Goat Dairy as part of my attendance at Camp Gathering Vermont 2015. For me, this particular outing was one of the highlights of the trip, so I wanted to share a little bit about it with you today.
Also, I want us to stuff our faces with goat cheese all day, every day. That’s just some real talk for your Monday morning.
Ayers Brook Goat Dairy is a sustainable goat dairy farm located in Randolph, Vermont. Established by Vermont Creamery, Ayers Brook Goat Diary, along with many other local farms, supplies milk to Vermont Creamery, who then turn that milk into award winning, artisanal hand crafted cheeses and butters. Holy yum.
But there is something extra special about Ayers Brook Goat Dairy. Because not only do they supply Vermont Creamery with goat milk, but they also serve as a working model for commercial goat dairy farms. Ayers Brook Goat Dairy is establishing itself as a place where students and other farmers can train, learn best practices and acquire genetically high quality dairy goats for their own herds.
Their commitment to education was made very clear during our tour of the farm. Miles Hooper, the Crop and Equipment Manager, eagerly greeted us at the barn and was happy to share his knowledge and answer all the questions we had about the farm and the goats. We learned about the different breeds (you can tell the breeds apart by their ears), the feed and how it changes over the course of their milking and breeding cycle. And how the farm manages and monitors the well-being and genetics of the herd.
To celebrate such a wonderful visit with Ayers Brook Goat Dairy and Vermont Creamery, I just had to make something with one of my favorite Vermont Creamery products: their classic chèvre. Because you can never go wrong with a classic.
I’m not going to lie. This Crusted Goat Cheese Spring Panzanella Salad is all about the cheese and the bread. And I’m totally OK with that. And I think you’ll be too. Because warm, almond-crusted goat cheese and balsamic-soaked bread is certainly enough to win anyone over. But for good measure, I did throw in some mixed greens and snap peas. You know, so we can safely call it a salad. And I added a few honey-roasted apricots to sweetened the deal. Let’s just say it’s my new obsession and I’ll be chowing down on this salad all summer long.