Our Cheesemaking and Cheddar

  • Cheesemaking starts with the great milk from our Brown Swiss cows. They're brought in from pasture for milking twice a day.
  • We haul the milk from the holding tank at the dairy, up to our cheesemaking facility at the Farm Barn. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 1. We add starter culture to the milk to begin the cheesemaking process. Rennet is added soon after to coagulate the milk into a tofu-like consistency. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 2. We cut the coagulated milk to separate the curds and whey. The curds are then stirred and cooked in the whey. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 3. The whey is drained into an underground tank, then we form the curds into two semi-firm "packs" on either side of the vat. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 4: Packs are cut into slabs and then stacked, turned, and restacked several times. This is called "cheddaring." © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 5: We mill the slabs into "fingers" to maximize the surface area for salting, which inhibits further action by the starter culture. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 6: We put the fingers into metal forms (“hoops”). These are pressed overnight to remove the last of the whey and form solid, 40-lb. blocks of cheese, ready for aging. © A.Blake Gardner
  • STEP 7: After aging for 6 months to 3 years, each block is hand-cut into various smaller-sized blocks and waxed. © A.Blake Gardner
  • Our cheddar, in various weights and ages, is available online, through mail order, and at our Welcome Center. © A.Blake Gardner

Since 1980, Shelburne Farms has made an artisanal, Vermont cheddar, using only the raw milk from our pasture-raised herd of Brown Swiss cows. Our cheesemakers craft about 170,000 pounds of cheddar annually, which keeps the ‘farm’ in Shelburne Farms.

View our cheesemaking in action at the historic Farm Barn, daily 10:00AM–4:00PM from mid-May to mid-October. Discover the full story of our cheddar during a Sun to Cheese Tour, every Friday 1:45–3:45PM from mid-May to mid-October (see our calendar for details). Can’t make it to the Farm? Shop online.