I Got the Vapors From the Vespers
Beltane Farm, Lebanon
May 16, 2010
I’ll do the world a favor and start off with a PSA: If you plan on visiting Beltane – and you should – approach the farm from the north. Their website tells you to drive up Roger Foote Road for a mile. Unless you have a 4WD vehicle, you’ll want to go around (adding only a couple miles, but still probably faster.) Roger Foote Road is a fairly rugged dirt road in pretty terrible shape as of May 2010.
Also, now that I think of it, if you can time your visit to not concur with an article in the local newspaper, you’ll be better off. While it’s fantastic that our local farms and cheesemakers get press and therefore income, I’ve never had to wait in line to taste some cheese. Again – much deserved and awesome for Beltane… Not so good for Damian and us.
That’s the (incredibly picky and mild) bad. Now for the good: Beltane Farm is awesome. It seems that our Connecticut cheesemakers have an inherent niceness gene. From Bethlehem to Union to Colchester to Lebanon, everyone we’ve met along our “We Made it Up But it Should be Real” CT Cheese Trail have been wonderful. (Ironically, the only time we ran into a slightly gruff proprietor was a nun in Bethlehem – where we’ve yet to sample/buy some cheese!)
We arrived at the farm and found some very happy and lazy goats lolling about, unpenned. Such is life at Beltane. The name Beltane refers to the old May Day celebrations of Celtic Europe. In this pagan celebration, fresh cheeses and dairy products were enjoyed as an integral part of the celebrations welcoming a renewed milk supply from the successful kidding and lambing season of early spring.
I wish we had had the nun cheese at Regina Laudis Abbey in Bethlehem… The ultimate cheese showdown! Pagans vs. Nuns!
While we walk around the farm with Damian (she-goats, he-goats, horses, cows, dogs and a cat), you can learn much more about Beltane Farm at the CTMQ Cheese Trail page here