Vermont Farming: Fresh Maple Butter


Perfectly ripe local blueberries alongside a piece of warm toast with fresh maple butter on it… this is my Vermont breakfast today. It is a dream come true for Marisa Mauro, the woman behind Vermont’s Ploughgate Creamery whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently. Marisa has a knack for crafting flavors that people love, a skill bourne from her decade-long career in artisan cheese-making. The cultured butter she produces is tangier and richer than your everyday stick of butter, with a taste reminiscent of cheese. Sought-after by restaurants across New York, Boston and even California, her butter is churned right here on the farm, molded and packaged each week. I was gifted with some and I can’t imagine a better souvenir.

The barn was built in 1909 by one of the Bragg family, the lumber sourced from the surrounding forests.

The barn at Bragg Farm was built in 1909 with lumber sourced from the surrounding forests. Marisa, bottom right, sees big potential in it.

Marisa’s is an inspiring story and hearing her tell it is fascinating. It has become clear to me that she came this far because of her unwavering ambition; sure she’s had a lot of help from family, friends and to my surprise other Vermont dairy farmers, but she alone has always been the driving force. After a fire took down her cheese-making facility she wanted to give up—but in 2014 she took part in a competition organized by The Vermont Land Trust whereby she pitched her business plan and was awarded the chance to buy the historic Bragg Farm land at an affordable price. It’s on that farm she now crafts small-batch, cultured butter from fresh Vermont cream. She later learned the Bragg family had also made butter there a century earlier, so she happily carries forward tradition. How great is that?!

Vermont_pig farm

The farm sits high-up in the town of Fayston overlooking one of Vermont’s most scenic valleys. Marisa has a small garden where she grows edible flowers, and nearby a pen for her pigs who dine on the buttermilk leftover from butter churning. This place is seriously tugging the heartstrings of my inner farm girl.

bragg farm scenic view VT

The scenic farm overlooks the Mad River Valley and ski runs known as Mad River Glen.

Vermont_farm in autumn Vermont cultured butter Vermont_farm cattle and garden

oOo

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Meet Suzette
suzetteWelcome! I'm Suzette, an Emmy Award winning visual effects artist and travel photographer passionate about doing some living! I have been traveling for the better part of the last ten years in an effort to get out of my bubble and gain some understanding of the world. No matter where I go, I seek out gems off the beaten path and this site is my attempt to show you how to do the same.

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