Lure of the Land
A fresh crop of gentleman (and woman) farmers with a shared passion for connecting with the land is sprouting up around Connecticut
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≈ ARETHUSA FARM ≈
LADIES FIRST The sign in the milking barn states: “Every cow in this barn is a lady; please treat her as such.” These well-heeled ladies are known for their “high-quality natural milk.” And once you know who owns the place, you’ll want to spend the day in their shoes…well, maybe their owners’ shoes, that is. George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis (president and vice-president, respectively, of Manolo Blahnik, USA, in New York City) moonlight as gentleman farmers at Arethusa Farm, adjacent to their 18th-century weekend home in Litchfield. Clearly, cow comfort comes first here. “We pay close attention to every animal, so we can manage their development. This is done by providing our cows with excellent care, a safe and comfortable environment, and an excellent nutrition program,” notes Tony. The demand for quality continues at the new Arethusa Farm Creamery in Bantam: “We are exclusively using our milk in cheeses, yogurt and ice cream,” says farm manager Terri Packard. For the creamery’s design and creation, “I worked very closely with my dairy manager and cheese maker Chris Casiello on selecting all of our state-of-the-art equipment, as well as developing our line of products. Our creamery is a full-fledged dairy plant. We also have a full cheese-making facility on the second floor where we can make and age cheese,” says Tony. “In the retail space [coming this summer], we will carry all of our dairy products: milk, butter, eggs and yogurt.” In addition, Tony promises they will introduce some unique products from Europe.