Members of the Slow Food chapter at Hamilton College supported the club’s mission with a recent visit to Jones Family Farm in Herkimer.
The trip allowed students to meet the farm’s animals, explore cheese-making and taste some of the farm’s award-winning products.
“I wanted to visit to reinforce Slow Food’s goal to bring the consumer closer to the farm, and highlight the stories of local farmers to the Hamilton Community,” co-president of the club Gerard Pozzi ’18 said.
Jones Family Farm serves communities within a 30-mile radius and participates in three farmer’s markets throughout the year. The tailored scope allows the farm to produce high quality products and cultivate unique flavors.
Suzie Jones, the matriarch of the farm, believes that buying milk from five nearby farms also helps improve the quality of their cheeses and gelatos.
After a tour through the facilities and a glimpse at some newly-hatched chickens, only a few of the 5,000 in total, students sampled five cheeses and three gelato flavors.
Meanwhile, Jones revealed some of the farm’s special ingredients that, after some trial and error, produced award-winning cheeses. Some of the featured cheeses included Feta paired with watermelon cubes and a goat cheese soaked in wine.
“My favorite part of the trip was getting to know both the farmers and animals, and learning about the Jones’ story and passion for what they do. This really reflects in the products that we tasted at the end of the tour,” Pozzi said.
Jones recalls hosting a cheese tasting at Hamilton a few years ago.
“It was kind of like a swarm of bees came in and kind of just left,” she said. “I think if I were 20 I’d do the exact same thing.”
The Slow Food visit allowed members of the community to visit a “farm” behind the phrase
“farm-to-table.” While it supported the club’s mission, it also strengthened bonds on campus over a shared interest.
“Often people who would otherwise not meet one another are united by a common interest in food,” Pozzi said.