Tuesday February 19, 2013 | 03:57 PM

Writer Clifton Fadiman once said, “Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.”

This spring, tie on an apron and take a leap with Caitlin Hunter, Appleton Creamery’s farmer and cheesemaker, by enrolling in one of her cheesemaking classes. Learn about pasteurization, rennet, milk quality, starter cultures, and more. Hunter’s methods can be replicated in your home kitchen.

French Fun - March 2&3 – five spaces
Get your hands in the curd with this two-day workshop where you explore some classic French-style cheeses, including but not limited to Camembert, Chaorce, Tomme, Banon, Epoisses, Chevre. As Charles de Gaulle once famously said: "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?", so there is no one cheese that represents France. Explore the different regions of French cheesemaking, and how some of those cheeses came to be. There will be a discussion on milk chemistry, rennet, and the use of starter cultures, and affinage.

Fee: $250 or 
$475/couple or 2 family members
*Experience is useful, this is not a beginner class.

Goat Cheese 101- April 16 – five spaces 
Learn the basics of goat cheese. You will make chevre (a French style of fresh goat cheese), and many of its variations, as well as feta and a quick mozzarella and ricotta. There will be a discussion on how goat milk is different from other milks, and why certain cheeses are better made with goat milk. Do you have goats and want to make cheese? Are you thinking of getting goats? Meet the goats and decide for yourself!
Fee: $125 per person
No prior experience.

Appleton Creamery is a small scale family farm in Appleton, Maine producing small batches of award-winning goat cheese hand crafted daily using traditional methods and milk from their Alpine dairy goats. In addition to their own product line of award-winning goat cheeses, Appleton Creamery creates cheeses from Hope’s Edge Farm’s cow’s milk and sheep milk from Northern Exposure Farm in Holden Maine.

For more information on classes visit here, and the Cheese CSA here

Apprenticeships:
For a more intensive experience with cheesemaking and goat husbandry, Appleton Creamery offers an apprenticeship through the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The season runs from March or April through October, and they offer room and board and a small stipend. For 2012 season, the farm will be offering three full-time apprenticeships. Personal interview required.

According to Hunter, the apprenticeship program has become one of the most satisfying things she does. “I train the next generation of cheesemakers,” said Hunter. For more information on the experience visit here and on the application here

Resources:
Culture Magazine 
The Cheesemaker’s Manual by Margaret Morris
Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
The Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins
Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best by Max Mccalman
American Farmstead Cheese: The Complete Guide To Making and Selling Artisan Cheeses by Paul Kindsedt

Photos by Sharon Kitchens. (top - Manchego Cheese, 2nd from top - Chevre, bottom - Caitlin Hunter and her goats)

About this Blog

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About the Author

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.

When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.

In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.

Sharon can be contacted at kitchens.sharon@gmail.com or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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