8 Hands Farm looks to produce sheep’s milk cheese

north fork table farmers market

8 Hands Farm is hoping to expand its product line in 2015. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Adding to its already popular farming operation in Cutchogue, 8 Hands Farm is looking to get into the cheese business in 2015.

Owners and farmers Carol Festa and Tom Geppel are hoping to construct a new 1,000 square foot cheese-making facility on the farm’s 27-acre Cox Lane property. The cheese, Festa said, would complement 8 Hand’s existing business — raising Icelandic sheep for milk, meat and wool for sale at the retail farmstand that opened in October 2013.

“It is a natural extension of what we are doing, bringing good local food to the community,” Festa said Friday.

Festa said they plan on making both soft and aged cheese from the farm’s sheep’s milk. There is also potential for teaming up with other local dairy produces to make mixed cheeses with cow or goat milk.

The proposed cheese making facility is pending approval from Southold Town Planning Board. There will be a public hearing at Southold Town Hall on Monday, Dec. 15 at 4:30 p.m.