As part of our new “Meet Your Farmers & Makers” series, here is a Q & A with Dave Randles (DR), of Argyle Cheese Farmer. Keep reading to learn more about Dave, his wife Marge and their incredible cheeses.
(SFM) Where were you born?
(DR) “Glens Falls”
(SFM) What was the first album you bought?
(DR) “Something by The Carpenters.”
(SFM) If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
(DR) “Definitely, Hamburg and Tater Tot Casserole.”
(SFM) What is your guilty pleasure (travel, food, recreation, etc.)?
(DR) “I don’t really have a guilty pleasure. But I really enjoy working with my friend Trish at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.”
(SFM) What is your favorite book?
(DR) “Anything by Ken Follett.”
(SFM) If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
(DR) “1970 – College, when I met me wife.”
(SFM) What does your perfect day look like?
(DR) “A day in the cheese house with no problems.”
(SFM) If you could have dinner with anyone (past or present), who would it be?
(DR) “My wife.”
(SFM) How do you recharge?
(SFM) If you could have a super power what would it be?
(RD) “Unlimited energy would be great!”
More on Argyle Cheese Farmer:
From its petite-sized, sweet Greek yogurt assortment to the popular savory flavors of its cheese curds, Argyle Cheese Farmer has attracted a sizeable following with its high-quality dairy products. Argyle Cheese Farmer began when Dave and Marge Randles decided to move into the value-added dairy market to achieve greater return for the 50-cow Randles Fairview Farm in Argyle (Washington County), which has operated for more than 150 years. Cheese-maker Marge Randles uses milk produced from their hormone-free herd at the farm to create their high-quality yogurts and artisan cheeses.
The Argyle Cheese Farmer display at Saratoga Farmers’ Market typically includes a variety of products: cheese curds, wedges of hard cheese, blocks of feta, cheese spreads, traditional and Greek yogurt, yogurt-based smoothies and cultured buttermilk. The whole milk and Greek yogurt are based on simple ingredients: non-homogenized milk, five active cultures, and sometimes maple syrup or pure vanilla. In contrast to many supermarket brands, Argyle Cheese Farmer’s yogurt does not contain gelatin, fillers or high-fructose corn syrup. The large jars of yogurt are presented in recyclable, returnable glass containers, which many Market customers faithfully bring back each Saturday when they buy the next jar. Great for kids on the go or adults wanting a pre-portioned amount, they offer a snack-sized collection of Greek yogurt that comes in flavors such as Honey, Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry and Raspberry.
Dave and Marge also offer “schmear” which blends the farm’s Quark (a soft cheese similar to cream cheese), with butter, vegetables and spices. Suitable for spreading on crackers or a bagel, Schmear can also be used in place of butter on a baked potato, or as a topping for pasta. The farm recommends blending two of its harder cheeses, Mercy and Grace, for gourmet homemade macaroni and cheese. Grace is similar to Gouda; Mercy is a raw milk cheese that combines the sharp flavor of Cheddar with a smooth, creamy texture. Among the farm’s other hard cheeses are Havarti; Caerphilly – a mild, semi-firm cheese with a buttery texture; and Revival, based on a Scottish Cheddar.
Recently awarded a regional economic development grant by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Argyle Cheese Farmer has plans to expand their cheese making operation in the former Covidien building on Route 40 in Argyle, and add 15 employees over the next five years. Currently, the farm sells through area farmers’ markets and retail operations, and can be found at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, in High Rock Park, every Saturday under the middle pavilion.
This weekend, September 12th and 13th, their farm is a featured stop on the Washington County Cheese Tour. They’ll be offering tours of the cheese room, discussions with the cheese/yogurt maker, a tasting table, and MORE! For more information about the cheese tour or Argyle Cheese Farmer: visit www.washingtoncountycheese.com and www.cheesefarmer.com.