Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is putting on their first annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival on July 28, from 11:00am-5:00pm at member farm, Shtayburne Farm, in Rock Stream, which is approximately 10 miles north of Watkins Glen along Seneca Lake. The creameries of the trail will come together for one day to sample and sell their cheeses and offer lots of fun, family activities and local, wholesome foods from the Finger Lakes.
“The Trail does a lot of events with wineries meant for adults,” explains Lorin Hostetler, owner of Shtayburne Farm and member of the event planning committee. “We wanted to create an event that is specifically geared toward families. Let the kids -- and their parents -- come spend a day on a farm. Even though we’re a rural area, many people don’t have that opportunity.”
The inaugural event will do just that. In addition to the array of cheeses from the Trail that will be available, there will be many farm activities including tours, a petting zoo and the Barnyard Olympics. 4 Tin Fish Farm Farm will bring their goats and let people try their hand at milking. Tom Pinello, cheese maker for Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese will lead a cheese making class, where people can purchase a cheese making kit and try making cheese themselves. Four Season Alpacas will have their alpacas at the event, offer a yarn spinning demo and selling alpaca wool rugs. “It shows the entire process of creating a product from farming,” said Hostetler.
There will also be plenty of food available too, including a barbeque put on by Triple R BBQ, Dar’s Delights Homemade Ice Cream and juices from Red Jacket Orchards. Shtayburne Farm will be offering homemade pie and fried cheese curds. In addition to the cheese, there will also be other local packages foods that guest can take home with them, like Mom’s Mustard. “Bring coolers so your cheese and other foods you purchase will stay fresh while you enjoy your day,” advises Carm Hoffman, owner of Sunset View Creamery and founding member of the Trail.
“We know it’s tough to drive the entire Cheese Trail,” continues Hoffman. “So having a way for people to tour the entire Trail with just one stop is going to be so easy! Although we do have our next Trail-wide Open House on Saturday August 25, and we invite everyone to come out and visit us on our individual farms.”
Shtayburne Farm is located at 2909 Chase Road off Route 14 on the west side of Seneca Lake, and admission to the Cheese Festival is free. The cheese making class will require sign-up. A complete schedule of events will be listed on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Facebook page.
About the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail:
The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is comprised of 14 working, family dairies throughout the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. They offer a variety of artisan cheeses, including cheddars, goudas, chevres, brie and mozzarella. While a few of the farms do not have visitor hours, most do and encourage visits throughout the year. Trail members’ cheeses are available at their farms, local shops and farmers markets, and several wineries and restaurants throughout the Region. Each year, the Trail hosts four Open Houses at their farms, and encourages the public to come visit and tour their farms. They also participate in many community and Regional events throughout the year. People can learn more about the trail at www.flcheesetrail.com or on their Facebook page, Finger Lakes Cheese Trail.