The day before Thanksgiving I plodded back and forth across the snowy yard with strands of white lights and long orange extension cords. It felt good to do something festive, stringing holiday lights. It is a tradition in my family to switch on holiday lights the evening of Thanksgiving and light them every night through New Year’s day. This year I broke tradition and turned them on a day early; I figured we could all use a little extra cheer this year. I have been enjoying Tami Miles’ candles and big tree in the windows across the street.

I heard on the radio the evening after Thanksgiving that on Thanksgiving Day there were record-breaking online sales, and record long lines at soup kitchens around the country. It was such a stark contrast and a tough reminder of how this pandemic is affecting many folks.

During the month of December I’d like to highlight some Waldo-based businesses to support this holiday season. Please email me with your own business information or that of a business you’d like to see featured.

This week I’m highlighting State of Maine Cheese Co., which was bought by Carrie Whitcomb in 2019. She also runs Springdale Farm, both of which are located on Birches Road. Carrie and I were close friends growing up, and it’s great to see her expand the family farm and grow it into a business of her own.

Interestingly, State of Maine Cheese Co. was actually started by my father-in-law, Taylor Mudge, 33 years ago, and is the oldest cheese company in Maine. Carrie interned at State of Maine Cheese during the summer of 2005, and the company used to source dairy from her family’s farm. Ten years later she started her own creamery, in 2015, called Springdale Farm Creamery. She says she made cheese out of a 4-gallon pot back then!

In Carrie’s own words: “With a fiery desire to make more of our cows' luscious milk into cheese, I gradually grew the space and converted the garage into a creamery. In 2019, when the opportunity to purchase State of Maine Cheese Company arose, I knew it was fate. After my history with the company and the cheese being made with our cows' milk, carrying on the tradition seemed like the natural choice.

“My original line of products, still sold as Springdale Farm Creamery, include mostly fresh and ultra-creamy cheeses that showcase our cows' rich milk ― including Fresh Cream Cheese and Triple Cream Brie. The State of Maine Cheese line of products balances nicely, as they are hard and aged cheeses including cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gouda … and of course we still sell the fan-favorite Fresh Cheese Curds!” They also sell great gift boxes.

If this all makes your mouth water, too, you can support Carrie by stopping by the farm store, located at 165 Birches Road, which is open for self-serve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are also at the United Farmer’s Market every Saturday in Belfast, year round. Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate this time of year? You can find out more at and

Lastly, my husband’s brother and family in Concord, Massachusetts, sent us an Advent calendar to celebrate the baby’s first holiday season. It’s a book with 24 different cookie recipes! Perhaps we will try a few and the neighbors will find some treats in their mailboxes.