By Helen Brody (January 28, 2009)
Relocating from their home in Wolfeboro, Andy and Jenny Tapper established their farm in 1994 on an abandoned 1798 homestead. The barn had fallen in and the house was not much better off but they saw great potential in the 33 acres, stonewalls, and wells that had supported a family at the turn of the 19th century.
Via Lactea Farm began with a flock of hens, a horse (an Appaloosa), a goat and their shelters that had been moved from Wolfeboro. Today the farm is unusually diverse consisting of six barns, a dairy, and cheesemaking facility, a sugarhouse, six acres of pasture, and an additional 60 acres of woodland.
The main focus of the farm is their goat herd and dairy where they produce a line of goat milk products under the name of Brookfield Dairy. During the milking season (March-December), they make cheese, yogurt and bottle raw milk.
Other endeavors include raising kids for chevon(goat meat), roaster pigs and piglets, and freezer pork and poultry. Their meats are sold live and the Tappers facilitate the custom processing.
As 85% of their land is wooded, they maintain it with select cutting of hardwoods and periodic harvests of pine. The pine has been used to build many of their buildings and hardwood provides a seasoned firewood business.
Andy and Jenny Tapper
Via Lactea Farm
366 Stoneham Rd
Points of sale:
Farmstand: seasonal/call first
Wholesale and retail
see website for retail cheese stores