big picture farm.
Big Picture Farm’s caramels are unlike anything you’ll ever taste. When our goat’s milk is
boiled down here at our farm, its unique makeup of amino acids imparts complex notes
of savory goodness and is, on the whole, characterized by a rounder, creamier, earthier,
and longer-lasting flavor (and is less generically-sweet) than, say, a cow’s milk-exclusive
or no-milk varietal. Moreover, it is velvety and melt-in-your-mouth-soft (and more
easily digestible) from having smaller fat globules and less lactose in the milk.
Our caramels have been awarded top honors at the prestigious Fancy Food Show five out
of the last six years, and the Good Food Awards organization has repeatedly recognized
us as one of the top producers of high-quality, low-impact confections in America today.
We use only high-quality, GMO-free, local and/or organic ingredients to supplement
our farmstead milk. Welcome to the new age of artisanal confections!
We are very pleased with our newest line of organic chocolate
covered sea salt caramels. These 'edible vignettes' (which
feature one of Louisa’s delicate cocoa-butter goat portraits)
consists of our original sea-salt and vanilla caramels enrobed
in the finest organic, fair-trade (and GMO-free) 74% cacao
dark chocolate. The result is a perfect match that reflects and
integrates the unique flavors and narrative elements that make
Big Picture Farm's products what they seek to be:
one-of-a-kind, of the highest-quality, and memorably
“A cheese--even a fresh chèvre--is never just a thing to put in your mouth.
It's a living piece of geography. A sense of place."
-- Brad Kessler, from Goat Song
Each cheese and caramel made at Big Picture Farm is a living piece of geography. It
carries with it and reflects the animals that graze on our hillside here in Vermont, the
deciduous woodlands they browse on, the lush pastures and wildflowers they forage,
and the ethics and hard work of the farmers who care for them, and who further
transform their milk into a delicacy.
And these aren’t just any goats. These are individual, uniquely expressive, deeply
emotive, often ridiculous, beautiful, loving creatures-in-this-world! There’s overly
protective Cicada, head-butting our neighbor’s dog. Or our queen Stella, who fiends
for a head scratch. Eva, the tree climber. Noon, the vocalist. Junebug, the diva. Twig,
the mischief. Manhattan, the tree-toppler. Take, for instance, Fern, who won’t cross a
stream no matter what—even when it’s a slow trickle and several sturdy
stepping-stones path the way to the other side. Not Fern. She’ll remain on the near
bank picking at limb ends, lonesoming the occasional howl at the rest of the herd now
off in the distance.
The concept of “terroir” has been a popular one in the food and wine culture in recent years. It’s a term that wineries and
cheesemakers like to use to help draw attention to the place where the product is produced. When we say “Farmstead
Caramels” on our boxes, we are trying to draw attention not only to our particular farm and animals, but also to our
method of production. The philosopher Walter Benjamin famously lamented a loss of art’s “aura” in the age of mechanical
reproduction. Well, the same thing could be said for food in contemporary society. “Farmstead” techniques have
been marginalized and largely eliminated during the modernization of industrial agriculture and food production over
the past century. Small batch, place-specific, traditional food production has been replaced with a centralized and highly
mechanized factory process. Which means a lot of food—despite being sold under different brand names – tastes pretty
much the same. On a farmstead operation, even reproducing the exact taste from one batch to the next can be a
challenge. That’s because all the living variables are still invited to the party.
And when we place our “Animal Welfare Approved” seal on each package, it means
the farming standards we implement at Big Picture Farm are the most rigorous and
progressive animal care requirements in the nation, as recognized by the World
Society for the Protection of Animals for two years running now. It’s an expression
of the tremendous pride we take in the work that we do. There’s a lot of labor
involved on the farm side, and the high cost of raising our primary ingredient
ourselves makes it difficult to compete with other candy companies who can simply
purchase their ingredients at commodity prices. But our animals are our family, and
this type of farming is more endangered than ever before, and therefore it is worth
it. And we trust that our customers will think so too. We rotationally pasture our
herd on 100 acres from May-November, using solar-electric fences to move the goats
twice every day to ensure fresh, delicious, and diverse forage. They are fed only
organic pasture, and supplemented exclusively with GMO-free and organic whole
grain, minerals, and alfalfa. Our milk is our medium. And it is a beautiful and
precious one, indeed.
Some folks may see our narrative as overly precious, a ploy. We understand that. Telling the story of
food is a marketing strategy. And each year different terms lose meaning. All Natural, for example, no
longer means a damn thing. Even Organic, which was once associated with local, small-farm production,
increasingly has lost appeal because of the ease with which large companies can achieve/purchase
“organic” status and lean on it in lieu of providing real, intimate knowledge to a customer.
Intimate knowledge. In our opinion, what makes food truly exceptional is when the context surrounding
its production is inseparable from the product itself. Each caramel that we produce comes from a place,
a specific place, and is made from the milk of a specific animal, eating specific flowers and leaves and
plants at a specific time of year. At Big Picture Farm, we want you to know that Matilda’s milk went into
the caramel you’re now placing in your mouth, so that—in addition to the foreground taste, that creamy
and lingering southern Vermont tang—you’re granted access to the background taste: her breakfast of
striped maple, the season’s first wild baby strawberries and justblossoming vetch.
Let us help you
tell your story.
Whether you need 1 gift or
1000, we’re here to help.
We love working with folks
on custom designs.
Before starting Big Picture Farm, we were working artists – Louisa a
photographer and mixed-media artist, Lucas a writer and poet. The great
passion that continues to drive us resides in the proper artistic expression
and documentation of the life and evolution of our farm and products.
In our minds, modern farming on this scale must be a kind of
poem-making, what Wallace Stevens described as, “the poem of the
mind in the act of finding what will suffice.” Providing a narrative of the
farm to our customers—expressing this life we lead with our goats
sufficiently—will continue to be paramount. So that our customers may
experience our products fully (knowing what’s in the food and where it
comes from has become integral to one’s emotional-nutritional analysis).
And so that we too may experience our lives as farmers and artists fully.
It’s the only way to survive. It’s also the only way to compete at a time
when small farms are being gobbled up and food is being produced by
larger corporations ever more cheaply.
Over time, as the art accumulates, we hope the
‘big picture’ will come ever into focus. That’s the
idea behind our name. That the quirky traditions
and customs of this farm, the way we do things,
the contours and complexities of it all, the beauty
of the landscape being kept in agricultural use,
the tremendously rich lives of the animals, the
sweat of the farmers, and the craftsmanship of
the producers, the who & what & why & how of
it all shall, in time, stand out in sharp relief.
As has been proven by many scientific studies of farmstead French cheeses and
wines, the microbiology of certain products-- and by extension the actual quality
imparted to them—is often unique to an individual farm or location, to that particular
environment. In other words, the contextual factors have too great an impact
on the character and quality of the product for it to exist elsewhere. And therefore
it is not reproducible.
Nor is it permanent. As farmers, we’ve come to think about that a lot: impermanence.
Life and death hang in close proximity to one another on a farm. A
range of lifespans are experienced in the ecology of a place. I’ll always remember
when, after our first season farming, Louisa referred to autumn as the
season of “our goats’ food dying”. We laughed out loud at this new insight. But
the moment also struck me as one when our perspective on Nature took a
When something is imbued with a kind of seasonal sadness (or a ‘touch
of mortality,’ as it were), the great Japanese haiku poet Basho would say
it possessed sabi: a kind of beautiful and lonely quality (beyond happiness
or sadness) that each thing has in its singular existence, when
observed in the context of time. At the heart of sabi is true authenticity.
The understanding that such a thing perches delicately in the moment.
The same could be said for Big Picture Farm and our products. We
love what we do and will continue to do it for as long as we are capable
and have enough energy and spiritual wherewithal to make it all
transpire. Passion may not exhaust, but the body does and time will
likely prove it. A sense of transience imbues and fuels everything we
do. It makes us deeply grateful to our animals, our employees, each
other. It imbues our relationships with our customers. It shapes our
And with all that in mind, please allow us to present to you a tiny
taste of our life’s work: a living sculpture, a gift, an honoring.
Art-in-time. A confection imbued with beauty and delicacy and
possessing a touch of sabi to boot. A little reminder that a herd of
goats once lived on a particular hillside in Vermont and were deeply
loved and cared for by a couple of foolhardy romantics who figured
out how to turn their milk into the finest caramels you ever tasted in
your life. Ha. Go ahead: savor every last bite before it’s gone.
PS: We invite YOU to visit
Big Picture Farm, where
we now offer
boutique lodging and
farmstay experiences for
friends and visitors. An
elegant and spacious
at Big Picture Farm
is available as a whole
house rental for famiily
weddings, fundraisers, or
other special events.
Please email us at
for the latest
information and pricing.
View more details at
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Big Picture Farm.
If you are interested in learning more about our products, please email us at
email@example.com and follow us on our Instagram @bigpicturefarm.
Most of all, thank you for supporting our farm, goat ladies, and mission!!! We
couldn’t do any of this without you!
big picture farm