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County’s newest cheese producer uses sheep milk

Prince Edward County’s newest cheese producer, The County Cheese Company, will feature the finest in Canadian artisan cheese – the vast majority of which is produced with sheep milk.
“The County Cheese Company will initially feature La Moutonniere and KendalVale sheep milk cheese and plans to introduce the County Cheese Company sheep milk Cheddar, Feta type, and a cooking cheese in the fall of this year,” says KendalVale’s John Thompson.

The cheese shop is located at the Waupoos Marina’s Blue Moose Cafe and will also carry Slicker’s Ice Cream. The first Wine and Cheese tasting is tonight 5.30 at the Marina.
“The setting is great for people who want to come down and enjoy the view from the marina,” said Thompson. “It will be a nice destination spot for residents and tourists to relax and enjoy.”

The marina is located on the site of the former Waupoos Canning Company and is also a destination point for sailors and boaters from the Great Lakes and beyond.
A self-guided walking tour on site offers an historical review of the days when canning was part of the heartbeat of Prince Edward County. Called “Cannery Row”, the tour is outside the original factory that was painted orange many years ago by the late Jay Hepburn, who owned the Waupoos Canning Company.
“Cannery Row” was developed by Susan Caissie, of Toronto, with invaluable assistance from The Wellington Museum staff. Waupoos Cannery Row is dedicated to the people who worked at the Cannery since the early 1900s and to the generations of farmers who produced the peas, tomatoes and other produce for processing.  In the early days the produce was brought by horse and wagon and then, gradually, the horses were replaced by tractors.

The Waupoos Canning Company provided work for many local women and men and was a hub for the people in the eastern part of The County. Everyone would catch up on the issues of the day as the farmers waited for their turn to drop off their wagonload of vegetables.  It did not take long for the food to be processed and come out the other end of the factory, canned, sealed and ready for the paste room to be labeled.

In the 1800s, before the cannery, apples were shipped out of the same site. At that time, shipyards and boat builders dotted the shoreline of Prince Edward BayWith walls that are a foot thick, barrels of apples were stored in a cool place until a schooner arrived at the waterside. Then, barrels of apples would be rolled down wooden scaffolding to be loaded into the boat. The schooner would sail to Montreal where the barrels were offloaded into a Clipper Ship destined to England.

Apples trees were about 40 feet tall in those days and the barrels of apples sold for about $40 per barrel, so the owner of the Waupoos Marina, Linda Bell, was told.

The original apple storage building now houses the Waupoos Marina’s Blue Moose Café and the County Cheese Company. It is open daily over the summer from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 65 County Road 38, a short road that runs off County Road 8.

KendalVale Artisanal Sheep Cheese is located at Newtonville, Ontario in connection with Fromagerie La Moutonniere, of Quebec. Visit: KendalVale Farm is a family owned, pasture based, sustainable, local-market farm pasture rasing lamb, beef, pork, chickens and Turkeys. From the sheep, blankets, cheese and socks are produced.

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