I recently traveled to Vermont to attend the American Milking Devon Association board meeting. We raise this rare heritage breed here at Greene Acres and I've grown to love this multi-purpose breed that can be used for milking, meat and oxen.
Devon milk cheese by Chris
Leon - my new herd sire
Before the meeting I was able to visit a farm that really inspired me. Bunten Farmhouse Kitchen is owned by Bruce and Chris Balch who purchased the farm and farmhouse from her parents in Orford, NH. They are both Chefs by trade and have a complete farm to table restaurant on premise. They turned the old 1800's carriage house into a restaurant. Bruce milks the cows daily while Chris makes fresh cheese, custard, yogurt, butter and more. The beef served in their restaurant comes right from the farm where they raise American Milking Devon cattle and use them for both meat and milk. They also partner with locals to grow produce on their land to sell and to serve in the restaurant.
Devon pot roast, carrots, turnips, greens and brown rice
After the board meeting I traveled up to Lyndonville, VT and had a great visit with Ray Clark, a board member and farmer in Lyndonville, VT. Ray has had American Milking Devon cows in his family since the 1600's I believe. Ray is a wealth of information and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to his farm. Upon departure from Rays I was hungry so I opened up Urbanspoon on my iPhone and found a restaurant-B&B not too far away called, Juniper's at The Wildflower Inn. The name alone was intriguing so I decided to make the short trip and try it out. Wow! Serendipitous discovery can be good. Yet another "Farm to Table" restaurant raising Belted Gallaway cattle and serving it in their restaurant. I had an amazing fried potato dumpling with blue cheese appetizer (not sure what it was called) and the Shepherd's Pie made from the Belted Gallaway grass-fed beef. It was simply delicious. I know I had a good meal when I return home and try to re-create it (I came close).
Chris & Bruce Balch - Farmhouse Kitchen
If you ever get a chance to visit the New England states DO NOT miss the opportunity to have lunch or dinner at either of these places (I suggest both). A reservation in advanced is required at the Bunten Farmhouse Kitchen and recommended at Juniper's.
- Joe Janowski