There are many benefits to buying food that has been locally grown: supporting the local economy, protecting the environment, and knowing where your food came from and how it was made. But one of the most important benefits and the reason why we at Jessica’s Restaurant choose to buy locally is eating food when it is at peak ripeness. As soon as a crop is picked, made, or harvested, the nutrient value begins to decrease. The more steps it has to take to get to your table, the more time there is for the freshness, taste, and nutrients to decrease, but also the chance of being contaminated in one of those steps increases. When grown and sold locally, farmers can wait until the crop is much closer to peak ripeness to harvest because it’s not going very far, but with crops that travel, the crop is harvested before it’s ready to prepare for the miles it has to travel.
We are starting a blog post series that features the local farmers from which we buy our ingredients and talk about how we use those ingredients in some of our fan-favorite dishes. First up: Boucher Family Farm.
The Boucher Family Farm is a small commodity dairy farm located in Highgate, VT. The farm’s history goes back nearly 400 years ago when the Bouchers received several allotments of land in what would later become Quebec, Canada. Boucherville was named for Pierre Boucher, who saved Fort Trois Rivieres by making peace with the Iroquois. Pierre’s statue stands on the grounds of the National Assembly Building in Quebec City. For 14 generations the Boucher Family Farm has been passed from father to son. In 1940, Rene moved the farm to Vermont. Two of Rene’s grandsons, Daniel and Denis, now perform the daily operations on the farm.
In 1998, Daniel’s wife, Dawn, began handcrafting cheese. Using the farm’s own milk and re-purposed equipment she made 100 pounds of blue cheese a month. The farm now produces 300 pounds a week of unpasteurized cheese that’s been aged a minimum of 60 days on site, with some varieties aging over nine months. They continue to diversify their products and are now making butter, and bottling milk and buttermilk. You can find them at the Burlington Farmer’s Market in City Hall Park every Saturday from May through October, selling the farm’s meats, eggs, and cheeses. Visit their website for more information on their animals, cheeses, recipes, and more places to purchase their products: http://boucherfamilyfarm.blogspot.com/p/where-to-find-us.html
We feature Boucher’s Blue cheese on our Swift Burger, as well as accompanied by other local cheeses in our Artisanal Cheese Selection. The Swift Burger is made using grass-fed Boyden Farm ground beef, and topped with Boucher Blue cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, and crispy tobacco onions on a challah bun. We offer a Vermont Farmhouse and Artisanal Cheese plate served with fresh fruit and warm baguette as an appetizer, or for $3 per cheese, you can choose as many or as few cheeses as you would like as a dessert option. Join us Thursday through Sunday evenings, 5:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m., in Middlebury, Vermont to taste one of these delicious menu items!