NE-DBIC Multi-Business Dairy Agritourism Grant recipient Sunflower Farm Creamery has been busy catalyzing goat dairy agritourism in Maine. Sunflower Farm Creamery is a Nigerian Dwarf goat dairy farm in Cumberland, Maine that makes goat milk products including cheese, yogurt, skin care products, caramels, and fudge. In addition, they host a farm store, educational workshops, and goat yoga taught by farm owner Hope Hall.
The farm kicked off their grant project by hosting a release party for “Simply Good Chèvre: A delicious guide to all licensed goat dairy farms in Maine.” Before applying for the grant, Sunflower Farm Creamery had already developed the 100+ page cookbook celebrating the best of Maine through the lens of one product: chèvre. Restaurants, home cooks, and goat dairy businesses submitted recipes starring goat cheese from Maine goat dairy farms. In addition to recipes, the magazine-style guide highlights day trips related to goats.
Sunflower Farm Creamery used grant funds to print the cookbook and distribute it for free to participating goat dairies and featured farms who have programs to educate visitors about Maine dairy products. In turn, those farms will sell magazines for a small profit and to help to generate buzz around small dairies. Farms will use the proceeds from cookbook sales to further develop dairy goat agritourism opportunities, which are celebrated and amplified on social media using the hashtag #GoatAdventureME.
The cookbook launch party in July was attended by over 100 people who enjoyed local cheese, live music, conversations with Maine cheesemakers, and of course, goats. Still to be developed later in the project is a four-page guide to Maine goat cheese and goat related day trips for distribution at events including Open Creamery Day. In addition, Sunflower Farm Creamery will develop an online version of the full length cookbook.
The NE-DBIC’s Multi-Business Dairy Agritourism Grant program elevates dairy businesses through agritourism across the Northeast region of the US. Projects funded through this program benefit multiple dairy businesses by promoting the access and sale of regionally produced milk and related products. An additional round of this funding will open in early 2022.