NAM 9-29-13

Talitha Thurau and her partner Dan Jones spent five years planning and building the Edgwick Farm microdairy and creamery that began production in 2012. Talitha grew up on a small organic farm in Middleboro, Massachusetts that included dairy goats that produced milk for her family consumption. In 2005, they purchased three goats in 2005 for that same reason. With the excess goat milk, they experimented with making a wide variety of cheeses that they shared with friends and neighbors. The response was very positive and an idea began to form.

Starting in 2007, Talitha and Dan explored whether a farmstead cheese making business would be viable on their nine acre farm in Cornwall and supported by the Hudson Valley. They worked closely with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County and attended a number of livestock management courses. In 2009, they took an artisan cheese making course with Peter Dixon at Consider Bardwell Farm. They visited numerous farmstead goat milk cheese making operations in New York. In 2010, they build a hoop house large enough to house 65 goats (the limit that would be sustainable on the farm land) and moved the existing herd of 20 out of the old barn. Working with Taconic Design and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, a state of the art microdairy and creamery was designed. The Cornwall Planning Board approved their site plan in late 2010. Construction of the creamery took most of 2011. During 2011, the goat herd expanded to 40 does. With kidding beginning in January 2012, the milk began to flow and the first batch of farmstead goat milk cheese was made in the JB Precision vat and Edgwick Farm was born!

Edgwick Farm milks between 40 and 60 does seasonally. The goat herd is predominantly Nubian with some Alpine mixed in and some Boer-Nubian crosses. Nubians are preferred because of their rich milk which makes great cheese. The milking does are housed in a hoop house with a large exercise pen with rock piles for climbing. In the spring, summer and fall, the goats are rotationally grazed around the property eating fresh browse all day. Year round, they have unlimited orchard grass/alfalfa hay available. They also have free choice minerals, baking soda and kelp. On the milking stand they are fed a non GMO goat chow mix. Seasonally the does are bred beginning in late August to kid beginning in late January.