Early this year I had the pleasure of touring the Monforte Dairy with Ruth Klahsen, and her son Daniel. Ruth and her family opened their new dairy in 2004, and in 2010 deemed it the Monforte Renaissance. Renaissance seemed to depict a transformation that would be one of beauty, passion, celebration, creativity and a new birth. The exterior of the building is covered in local art, a sign of Monforte’s ongoing commitment to it’s community and artists. In fact, before entering the dairy you are greeted by Stella, a small metallic sheep made out of an old propane tank, yet another attribute to Monforte’s cheeky demeanour. The dairy was designed to have three ripening rooms. These rooms are the WHITE MOLD ROOM for camemberts, a BLUE MOLD ROOM, for roquefort and a waterbuffalo blue, and then my favourite, a WILD ROOM for cheeses that can hang out together and develop different molds. We were lucky enough to sample a few of the specimens from the wild room, carved right out of the wheel. It can only be described as an orchestrated event for the senses; the smell of the cheese bursting into the air as the knife cut the large wheel in half, the marbling throughout the wheel, and an oral description of what each strand and vein in the cheese means. With the tour complete (and a shopping bag full of different samples in hand!) we made our way into the town of Stratford for a bite to eat, before meandering out of town to a family farm that Ruth knows. The family welcomed us with open arms into their kitchen where they were packaging their pork for the season. Ruth is helping one of the young daughters learn the art of cheese-making in her spare time, which entitled us to yet another shopping bag, full of baked goods which had not sold at the market, a testament to the family’s relationship with Ruth. We then traveled further out of town to visit Farmer David, were Ruth sends all her curds, to be gobbled up by David’s pigs. It seems everything that Ruth and Monforte does benefits someone else in the community. This is the way things should be: simple, honest, and creative. Our last stop was to visit Ruth’s horse, a Clydesdale named Ruby Sue, who Ruth saved from the slaughter years ago. Ruby Sue is in foal now and will pass down the Monforte legacy to her young foal, scheduled for delivery this summer. A summary in Ruth’s own words: "In a world gone mad for innovation and change, it’s the small pleasures that keep us sane. And in the constellation of small pleasures that salve the mind and nourish the body, what trumps the sheer sensual deliciousness of a well-crafted cheese?" I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is with absolute pleasure that we can now offer OUR customers these truly humble, yet brilliant cheeses. A product of passion and hard work, that we hope you and your family will enjoy. Visit our store and add some to your weekly box order today! All things great, Phillip Collins Co-Founder Fresh City Farms