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A small group of students from the Putney School gets a hands-on cheese-making education as they spent 10 days at Parish Hill Creamery.

WESTMINSTER WEST — A small group of students from the Putney School got a hands-on cheese-making education as they spent 10 days at Parish Hill Creamery. The creamery is run by Rachel Fritz Schaal and her husband, Peter Dixon, a Putney School alumni.

Dixon, with about 40 years of cheesemaking experience under his belt, guided the students through the craft. Checking PH levels, removing whey, and forming the cheese, the students got their hands slimy each step of the way.

Ilona, 16, a sophomore at Putney School, enjoyed the hands-on learning.

“I enjoy the weird texture of the curds and tasting things, and all the weird things they get to do,” said Ilona. “I think the science aspect behind making cheese is really interesting.”

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Issy, 15, also a sophomore, said she also enjoyed learning about the science.

“We started learning the chemistry behind it while doing the [cheesemaking] process. You have to check the PH levels, make sure it settles, you can do the process pretty second nature,” said Issy. “We made hard cheeses and soft cheeses, we made a couple of fresh cheeses. I really enjoyed the process of cutting the curd and then folding it over and pressing it into the mold; it’s very satisfying.”

It’s not just the people that have a connection to the Putney School, but also the milk, which is brought in from the school and made into different types of cheese inside the processing area.

Rachel Fritz Schaal said it was wonderful to connect with students who are responsible for milking the cows that will be made into their cheese.