Our Creamery

Circles of goat cheese that was just made with stamp on top.

We are a grass to table creamery: made on the farm to feed our local community

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm is an artisanal farmstead creamery, which means that we produce our cheese by hand in small batches, using only milk that we produce here on the farm. 

Keep reading for more information on our creamery and artisanal cheese making process, including how we transform our goat milk into a variety of types of handmade cheese, how we share this magic with our community, and how we see our goat milk creamery growing and evolving in the future. 

We Are Farmstead

We use only milk that we produce here on the farm

black and white and brown goats in a pasture with barn and home in background.

Our creamery begins with the pastures that the goats graze, which gives the milk its fresh sweet flavor profile, that is uniquely Pumpkin Vine milk.

We are Artisanal

We produce our cheese by hand in small batches

artisanal cheese wheel with two slices taken out and shown by it's side made by Midcoast Maine goat milk dairy Pumpkin Vine Family Farm

We are science nerds, and we love magical chemistry that occurs in the vat when we add our cultures and rennet.

Cheesemaking is a long process of “hurry up and wait” so we can slow down and notice the beauty of the process, like when we cut the curds. 

Each type of cheese is different, and requires special care:

Our chevre has to culture overnight before it sets, then is gently hand ladled into cheesecloth and drained for 24 hours

Draining goat milk cheese.

Semi-soft cheese like our Somersalt feta ripens in a matter of hours, then is cut with a curd knife and drains under its own weight, before being aged in brine for a minimum of 2 months.

goat milk feta cheese draining in midcoast Maine creamery at Pumpkin Vine Family Farm.

Our hard cheese is pressed under weights in order for the curds to knit properly, so we have to identify each wheel with a unique brand and batch number. 

Wheel of hard goat cheese with blue imprint of a goat buck head and number

By making small batches, we can make a variety of hard cheeses, that age for 2 – 12 months, some with a natural rind, some with a cream wax, and some bathed in a red wine. 

Goat milk cheeses aging until ready! Made by Pumpkin Vine Family Farm in Somerville, Maine

We are Local

We love to use ingredients made in our local foodshed

Our latest cheese was inspired by our customers, who kept mentioning the wonderful work that was being done by the Pour Farm, a local brewery in Union. When we finally had time to visit, we discovered kindred spirits who shared our commitment to building community. When we tasted their porter, we just had to try it in our cheese. Our first batch of Teleporter was made in the fall of 2021 and perfectly captured the delicious aroma of the beer. Definitely to be repeated!

We are Small 

The development of our own creamery has been a labor of love, as we had big dreams, but limited means

bottles of Pumpkin Vine Family Farm goat milk on a stainless steel table in the creamery

Out of necessity, we started our goat farm and creamery small.  At that time we were milking just three goats and making batches of cheese by hand in our kitchen.

farmer Don pouring his milk in the creamery Pumpkin Vine Family Farm now uses.

Realizing we needed to expand, we decided to fix up the old milk room in the barn, where the farm’s former owner, Don Hewett, once stored his own cow’s milk. 

Grandma Sylvia hand milking a goat at Pumpkin Vine Family Farm.

Even as our heard expanded, we continued to milk each goat by hand for many years thanks to Anil’s powerful hands: it’s not for nothing that Anil was called the “human milking machine” when he attended ag school (a trait he apparently inherited from his mother Sylvie, pictured above with Juniper, one of our first goats.)

We are Educators

We love connecting the dots for people, sharing the magic – and science – of what we do. 

kids watching goat milk get poured into the vat.

Here on the farm, visitors can see the whole cycle of cheese making, from grass to milk to cheese. When they enjoy our delicious dairy products at the farmers market, they appreciate the hard work and love that has gone into its creation. As I delight in telling visitors on farm tours, cheese-making is an equal mixture of art, science, and dishwashing! 

We have Dreams 

We’re still growing!

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm creamery

We’d love to upgrade our milking parlor so that we can more efficiently harvest our milk and to expand our creamery so that we can meet the ever growing demand for our goat milk dairy products. Having come so far already, we have no doubt that we will get there, supported by our amazing goats who make the milk and our wonderful community who appreciate being able to eat unique local products. 

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