Fresh Goat Feta and a Visit to Sweet Pea Farm



Ya know, I can’t believe the summer got away from me the way it did. I meant to post this months ago.

No matter, though. This post is essentially about cheese. (And as all good cheese-lovers know, cheese is timeless.)

So way back in June, my mom and I were tooling around in Northern Connecticut, in search of delicious, local treats. We visited a garlic farm and learned all about garlic scapes, we also scored some beautiful strawberries at a roadside stand.

But my favorite stop, however, had to be Sweet Pea Farm in North Granby, where they make (you guessed it), homemade goat cheese.


Sweet Pea Farm is idyllic and inviting—but is still very much a working farm.


When you drive by, it’s easy to want to stop in and say hello. You can see the goats from the road. (And they certainly see you. They lined up for me when I approached their pen.)


The family’s cat came to greet us when we got out of the car, and trotted along beside us as we walked around.


(Friendly little things, aren’t they?)


But you know me. Goats are nice. But I was interested in the cheese.

We headed over to the farm’s shop, which is small but packed with all sorts of treats.


I bought a container of fresh goat feta (mild and slightly salty), and some cow’s milk yogurt (tangy, creamy, and thick). We topped salads and toast with the cheese, and ate the yogurt for breakfast with a drizzle of local honey.


In addition to plain chevre, they also had a bunch of different flavors, including dill, black pepper, maple pecan, and cranberry. It was definitely hard to decide what to walk out with. I’d love to go back and sample some different cheeses. They also sell fresh milk.


Best of all, the shop has a large window that looks in on their cheese-making operation.

A look at how goat cheese is made

Sweet Pea Farm is run by the Hayes family, who were nice enough to let us interrupt them for a few minutes and ply them with excited questions about their cheese.


They even let us take a quick peek at the batch of cheese they were starting.

I’m leaving some steps out, but here are some scenes from the cheese-making process.

Fresh milk is heated in a large, sterilized kettle:


Vegetable rennet is added to the milk to help it curdle:


When the milk/rennet mixture has curdled, the curds are cut and then strained well to release excess moisture:


Cheese-making has been on my list of things to do for years. There are a handful of good, online tutorials on the subject, as well as a bunch of interesting-looking books. Stay tuned!

Scenes from around the farm

On top of the goats, we also saw some very nice chickens (who weren’t at all interested in a mouse with a camera):


A couple of plump ducks:


And a handful of geese. (Geese are supposed to be very good watch dogs on a property. True to form, when I approached them, they flapped their wings, let out a few loud honks, and hissed at me.)


Visit Sweet Pea Farm

If you’re ever in the Northern Connecticut, definitely stop in to say hello to the goats and pick up some delicious, fresh cheese.

Sweet Pea Farm
151 East Street
North Granby, CT 06060
(860) 653-4157


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


    • Whee! Thanks!

      Yeah, we happened on them totally by chance. I’d love to go back and do a more thorough piece on how they make their cheese, from start to finish.


  1. This looks like an awesome time! Going to the source, especially when it comes to cheese, is always a good plan. Aren’t goats so cool?! I love their eyes.

    I actually was just at a goat cheese farm as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see too much, it was a Sunday, but I was still able to speak with the owner. Her passion about cheese making was very inspiring.

  2. that is such a great farm, I never had goat cheese before but I know cheeses from fresh places like Sweet Pea Farm are the best. I love the photos of the furry critters 🙂

  3. I love goat cheese! When I managed a restaurant, I could eat anything on the menu for dinner – including filet mignon! Almost every night though I ordered one of our appetizers, baked goat cheese on garlic crostini under a bed of thinly sliced proscuitto and drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

    Okay, now I am drooling! Thanks for the farm pics, even in November! 😀