Hi there, welcome!
Ploughgate creamery is a farm Owned and operated by butter maker and entrepreneur, Marisa Mauro.
Ploughgate Creamery has been crafting small-batch, cultured butter of the finest quality in Vermont since 2014.
A special thanks to The Vermont Land Trust, which provided Marisa with the opportunity to purchase the century-old Bragg Farm in Fayston, VT. Their incredible Farmland Access Program allows ambitious farmers to compete to purchase land at an affordable rate. Marisa submitted her own business plan to claim Bragg Farm and was the selected winner in 2013. She has been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime, building her small business in one of the most picturesque corners of the world.
First, cultured butter: what is it?
In short it's butter made in the European style by adding live active cultures to cream before churning, similar to cheese or yogurt.
Cultured butter is tangier and richer than your everyday stick butter, with a taste reminiscent of cheese. That’s because cultured butter and cheese share a critical first step – the addition of beneficial live bacteria (the ‘culture’ in cultured butter). All Ploughgate Creamery butter begins as pasteurized cream from a dairy cooperative in St. Albans, Vermont.
To begin the butter-making process, Marisa adds active cultures to the cream and lets it sit for 48 hours. This imparts complexity to the aroma, flavor, and texture of the finished product. After two days it’s time to churn. Gratefully the days of hand churning are long gone, and Marisa’s industrial churn does the work of separating the pale yellow butterfat from the frothy buttermilk. A drain on the underbelly of the churn releases the buttermilk into a five-gallon bucket. A mason jar’s worth is saved to make salad dressings; the rest is fed to Marisa’s pigs. Finally Marisa folds in sea salt by hand before wrapping the butter into tidy half and one-pound packages. The end result is nutty, grassy, and sweet – simply divine.
Ploughgate Creamery is not the first to make butter at the Bragg Farm. In fact, Marisa is reviving a hundred-year old tradition on these grounds. To learn more about who Marisa is, how she found her way to Bragg Farm, and the history of this land read below.