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News From The Vat

Hello folks!
 
It’s been a week of thrills at Cherry Grove Farm. We passed an exhaustive 3rd party audit with flying colors (whew), received some cider lees to wash cheese with from our friends at Three Springs Fruit Farm, and visited a new brewery with a lot of ambitions less than ten minutes from the farm. 
 
 referendvisit  The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington, N.J. was quite the sensory experience. Lots of great smells and tastes in rooms full of wooden barrels aging beer. Sean and I sampled quite a few, one with a particularly complex aroma, that reminded me of our own honey, with notes of jasmine and honeysuckle, had been aged in a whisky barrel. James Priest runs the place, and his goal is all spontaneously fermented beers. We look forward to collaborating on a project soon and in the meantime encourage you to try out his tasting room!
 
Speaking of encouragement, you can taste that lees-washed funky number, if you come out to High Street on the 28th for a Ploughman Cider dinner. Check out the menu : http://highstreetonmarket.com/menu/#test
 
Anyway, back to the old cheesers, Cheeses of the Week:

 
Buttercup Brie: Young but tasty, very buttery 1/16 batch living up to the Buttercup name. Thicker, jumbo 2#+ wheels available upon request for those who like that layer cake ripening effect. Mini Camembert rounds available too. Average wheel 1.50# right now. LIMITED as we begin to feel the effects of the winter milk supply. 
 
Havilah:  May 2015 batches  Bright citrus aromas, brothy herbal notes, and sweet, burnt caramel abound. A great friend to drinks that accompany the dark days of winter: heady trappist ales or Brit style old ales, spiced winter ales, those highly tannic Piedmontese reds, or anything with the brown spirits like an Old Fashioned.

Herdsman: Very flavorful, piquant early October and September batchs. A versatile pairing partner for wines, beers and an array of cured meats. 
Toma: 1st batch of Toma to be matured in our newly refurbished aging room. A very nice looking, pleasing cheese. Buttermilk notes with a piquant edge.

Wild at Heart: We still have a limited # of wheels from this experimental bloomy batch.
Custardy, eggy, brothy notes. Brie size (1.50#) rounds, Little rounds (.20-.30) w/a smatttering of ash and smoked paprika on the rind.
 
wildheart
Happy eating and enjoy your weekends, friends in cheese!
 
Paul Lawler
Head Cheeseman

Black Friday Class Special

Give the gift of learning this holiday season by taking advantage of our special Black Friday offer.

We take pride in our commitment to educate and engage with our community, reconnecting our neighbors to the land and the source of their food. We offer a wide range of classes, both demonstrative and hands-on, each designed to teach you new skills, give you new ideas, and expand your thinking on food and the land from which it comes.

Classes are 10% off- All day today!

The Cow Parade Is Back!

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Are you ready for the fun?

Local Music, Local Food, Educational Presentations and Vendors, Face Painting, Story Time, Hayrides, Farm Tours, The Annual Parade of Cows, and the Evening Bonfire.

Saturday, Nov 5th from 1pm to 8pm.

Who is going to be here?

Stonybrook Millstone Watershed Flying Fish Beer
Jammin’ Crepes Birds and Bees Farm
Mecha Artisan Chocolates Madame Fromage & Marisa McClellan
Artist and Chemist Soapmakers Mercer Master Gardeners
Pinelands Folk Music and Basketry Emma Morrow’s Handspun Wool
Jake’s Oxen and Drayage Demo Sunnycrow Photography
Four Pups Organic Dog Treats Face Painting by Lawren
Mercer County 4-H Lori Lee, Children’s Author

Featuring music by Sparkle Pony.

sparkle-pony

What a great way to say thank you for a good harvest and a great year! We hope you will come and join us!

 

 

Everything is Made Magic in Moonlight

From April to October, the farm runs a public farm tour each month. On September 16th, we’ll offer a moonlight stroll of our meadows and cow paths.

Each tour is a chance for us to stroll the farm and really talk with people interested in what we do: cheesemaking, sustainable farm life, homestead animal husbandry, and the benefits of unplugging from the world for a time.

Moonlight Field by Jody9 on Flickr

Moonlight Field by Jody9 on Flickr

We always talk about the farm (and answer questions) but our themes change… in April, for  Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day, folks toured with the cheesemaker and learned about farmstead cheesemaking. In June, when calving started, we chose a walk with our dairy farmer to “Meet the Milkers”. Over the summer we touched on native plants and pollinators, local lore and history, and how European-style agriculture impacted the native woods and fields. It is all a riff on the same idea, how farming sustainably is a long-term kindness to our lands.

This month we will do a little star-gazing, watch for bats, and listen for owls and other night creatures. Enjoy the farm as few ever see it, on a moonlit Indian summer evening.

We are encouraging folks to bring a blanket or mat, wear clothes for walk in in tall grass and good walking shoes. Join us at 9pm, Friday, Sept 16th.

See details and reserve your space here

 

Notes from the Vat

Greeting Cheese Fans,

With our milk at full summer volume we decided to make a large batch of Toma today! 
 
Below you can see the wheels after they have been taken out of the cheese press and flipped for the last time before they go into the brine. Our aging rooms are started to fill up again with a lot of tommes and jacks.
 
We are retrofitting our old alpine space into a brie and bloomies room. That should make a big difference in brie availability closer to the holidays. For now, Buttercup Nrie is in short supply!
 
 
Herdsman: Basket wheels are firm, around 6+ months old and full of flavor. Raw Milk.
 
Havilah: Autumn 2014 batches. Grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut and fudge, with a really great texture. Raw Milk.
 
Lawrenceville Jack: November wheels. Grassy, mild and creamy. Raw Milk.

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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