Rising from humble beginnings in their Wilton garage, Liza and David Porter have grown a thriving cheese-making business specializing in artisanal goat cheeses. Liza came to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market fifteen years ago as a craft vendor, but the absence of any dairy at the market sparked an idea. Kindled into inspiration by a cheese-making conference, it became reality when she started making cheese.
This small operation stationed in the Porter’s garage filled the market niche for cheese. For a time, Liza and David bought milk from a local dairy, but they lamented the lack of control they had over the supply. Thus they looked for their own farm, and in 2004 bought one in Argyle, naming it “Longview Farm.”
The goat herd is the centerpiece of the farm: everything revolves around the goats’ health and well-being. The Porters use sustainable farming methods, which are modeled from natural ecosystems. “Waste” hardly exists, for the leftover whey is fed to the pigs and broiler chickens, which do their part to feed the farmers and clean the fields. Though Longview Farm is not certified organic, it is indeed very organic.
Because their customers also love their cow’s milk cheeses, the Porters get cow’s milk from their dairy friends. Any desire to “scale back” is checked by customer demand: every cheese variety they make is uniquely delicious, from Quark to goat Parmesan.
Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm will participate in the Washington County Cheese Tour on September 7th and 8th. Mark your calendar now for this chance to sample dozens of cheeses at six homestead farms, including Sweet Spring Farm, another fine vendor of goat cheese at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, to be profiled here at a later date.
Julietta Cole, a summer intern at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, wrote this article. A native of Vermont, Julietta will be a junior at Skidmore College this fall, where she is majoring in Environmental Studies and English.
Carrot Salad with Quark Dressing
Serves 12 as an appetizer, 6 as main salad
* Ingredients are available at Saratoga Farmers’ Market
8-10 large carrots, coarsely grated*
¼ cup raisins, for garnish
¼ cup dried cranberries, for garnish
Mix together the following:
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp dried dill or ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped*
8 oz. Quark fresh cheese*
1 tbsp sugar
Mix dressing with carrots in a serving bowl. Sprinkle over the top ¼ cup raisins and ¼ cup dried cranberries. Serve immediately.