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An aged alpine style cheese made from pasteurized organic cow milk by Von Trapp Farmstead in Waitsfield, Vermont
It all starts with the cows and the land. The Von Trapp farm was established in 1959 off the Common Road in Waitsfield. Erika Von Trapp emigrated with her husband Werner from Austria, where she'd studied agriculture. She ran the farm while Werner traveled and sang with his family. (Yes, the same ones depicted in The Sound of Music.) The farm has roughly 100 cows, about half of whom are milked. (Why? Some are calves and heifers, young cows who aren't yet producing milk. Some are dry - not currently producing milk. All dairies operate with a mix of dry and milking cows.) They spend their spring, summer, and fall eating forage from the ~100 acres of organic pasture. In the winter, they eat organic hay harvested by the Von Trapps.
Martin took over the farm from his mother in 1979. In the early 2000s, the farm underwent the complex organic certification process. Kelly married Martin and joined in on the farming in its early days. She now manages the herd and milking, while Martin manages the haying and equipment. Together, they run the farming side of the operation to make sure the cows are happy and producing high-quality milk.
Molly and her husband Sebastian, Martin and Kelly's son, run the cheese and yogurt production right next door to the milking barn. Sebastian proposed the idea of cheesemaking in 2009 to bring stability and profitability to an industry that is rarely either of those. In 2021, the Von Trapps started making yogurt and boy, we are glad they did!
Von Trapp Farmstead on Instagram