Ivan Larcher, master cheese maker, has made cheese in every continent but Antarctica, but, he joked, “Vermont is close enough.”
Larcher is faculty for the Artisan Cheese Institute, offered by Sterling College and the Cellars at Jasper Hill. On August 20th, he gave the inaugural public talk at Common House, now a part of the Sterling College campus, to discuss the economics of French cheese making and dairies, and talked about the 94-acre farm he and his wife run.
On Ferme de l’Or Blanc—White Gold Farm, in English—Larcher and his wife, who is also a highly trained cheese maker, tend a herd of 14 Jersey cows, unusual for that area of France. (A regular question is, “Are they full grown yet?”) They also make butter, yogurt, cheese, and rice pudding.
Larcher spoke about the French government’s programs to help young farmers, including grants and loan subsidies. French institutions, such as schools and hospitals, are required to buy a certain proportion of local foods, and the Larchers sell directly to them.