farm store

Shared Memories

CookbookWhen I was a little girl, my favorite place to be was my grandma’s kitchen. I can still remember the ever-present smell of garlic and butter, herbs and dust. Her refrigerator was a frightening hodge-podge of smelly cheeses, strange fish, and homemade pepper jams and relish. I would spend hours standing on a stool grinding seeds and spices with a mortar and pestle, making spice concoctions that likely made no sense whatsoever, while she rolled out fresh pizza dough and sipped burgundy.

The best part of my grandma’s kitchen, though, was the wall of cookbooks. Small pictureless paperbacks on Chinese cooking. Massive colorful tomes full of Italian olive groves, or the streets of Paris. Julia Child classics and brand new Emeril Lagasse. Whole series of books that covered cooking around the globe, from one end to the other. And it wasn’t just books – stacks of Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine piled up around the dining room, just waiting to have their recipes ripped from the pages and stuffed into envelopes, and cards, and care packages.

My grandmother didn’t just amass recipes; she shared them. And every time I sneak a peek at the donated cookbooks threatening to overflow their home on the bottom shelf in our farm store, I think of her and the love she spread through food, and I wonder where each of these books will end up, whose kitchen they will call home. Because it’s not enough that we have this knowledge and love of animals, and farming, and food – we want to share it, too.

 

Need new inspiration for your dinner table? Come check out our second-hand cookbooks, donated by members of our community and sold to benefit “Farmers Against Hunger”.

Item of the Week: 11/11/12

 

Muirhead’s Award-Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat

 

 

It’s green tomato season—just a little too cold for those stragglers to ripen on the vine. So what can you do with these stubborn nightshades that refuse to grow up? Well, you could bread them and fry them. But, they can also make a delicious sweet treat! That’s why we are featuring Muirhead’s Award Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat as the item of the week! It seems counter-intuitive,  but this mincemeat is not actually made with meat. The ingredients include green tomatoes, apples, raisins, sugar, butter, cider vinegar, and spices. This product can be used in pie fillings, cookies, or even as a delicious pairing with cheese (did someone say fromage blanc??). To make things easy, here is a recipe straight from the jar. Enjoy!

 

MUIRHEAD’S GREEN TOMATO MINCEMEAT BARS

 

Base & Topping:

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ cup all–purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut or chopped nuts
  • ½ cup butter

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine oatmeal, flour, sugar, and coconut or nuts. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumbs firmly in bottom of ungreased 8×8 inch pan. Place Muirhead Mincemeat in bowl and warm in microwave for 20 seconds. Spread evenly over crumb bottom. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and press lightly. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars. Serves 16.

Donation Collection Update!

Mr. Scruffy thanks you for your donations!!

 

We dropped off one truckload of all your wonderful donations today to help those still affected by Hurricane Sandy. Let’s fill it again! We are partnering with OneSimpleWish.org/Sandy and Visitation Church in Brick, NJ.

 

 

Here is an updated list of items still needed:

 

  • Large zippered tote bags, back packs, or duffel bags
  • Women’s socks and sneakers size 9-11
  • Baby diapers, wipes, baby food, pacifiers, & onesies
  • Personal care items: shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, body wash, deodorant, sanitary supplies, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • Gift cards for food and restaurants
  • Medical Supplies: band aids, ace bandages, heating pads, wound care
  • Flashlights and D or C batteries
  • Firewood

*Clothing is no longer needed*

A Fair Day at Cherry Grove Farm

Last week our friends at Fair Food Farmstand dropped by! We had a fantastic time giving them a behind-the-scenes look at how we operate on a daily basis, and we even got our hands a little dirty in the process! Fair Food Farmstand carries our farmstead cheeses and a plethora of other farm-sourced goodies at their stand in the Philadelphia Reading Terminal Market. Next time you are in the city, be sure to check them out! Here is what they had to say about their visit to Cherry Grove:

 

Last Tuesday, the boys of Fair Food—myself, Noel and Nate—took a trip to Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville, NJ. We met some very fine folks including Stacey, our lovely tour guide; Sam, the head cheese maker; and Malachy, our former Farmstand cheese intern. Cherry Grove is a picturesque farm of 400 acres, 250 of which are certified organic pasture for their 115 Jersey and Short Horn cows. From these cows comes the sweet milk that produces some of our favorite cheeses at the Farmstand—the Havilah and Toma Primavera being two of our stand-by’s. 

 

Noel, Craig & Nate gear up for the cheesemaking room.

 

Our first leg of the tour was the cheese room and there was action! Sam was scooping, molding and pressing some fresh Herdsman. Malachy was hand-molding some beautiful bloomy rinds. Giant wheels of Havilah were soaking in their salt brine. We checked out their three caves: one for the bloomy rinds (that buttery Buttercup Brie), one for the Havilah, Herdsman and Jacks and a single cave just for the Toma Primavera.  

 

Cheese Curds

 

Next we took a tour of the farm and pastures. Cherry Grove puts a lot of effort into being a sustainable system. We met “the spreader” which is a nifty conveyor belt that recycles the cow manure into fertilizer. We saw “the sucker” which takes the excess whey from the cheese room and pipes it to their 100% whey-fed Berkshire pigs. Their wood fire heat exchanger provides heat and hot water for all of the cheese making and the farm store. The wood comes from local tree surgeons who deliver the wood that they would normally have to pay to landfill—pretty cool if you ask me! 

 

Cherry Grove’s Pastures

 

Lastly we got to spend some time with the pasture-raised chickens. There is no experience quite like harvesting eggs with 1,000 clucking and pecking chickens at your feet on a 95-degree summer day. We had a blast, to say the least! Living in the city, it’s incredibly refreshing to spend time on a farm—so much that we worked for fun! 

 

Aging Wheels of Toma Primavera

 

We wrapped up our tour with a cheese tasting and we were fortunate to come home with treats: our harvested eggs; delicious pork products for ourselves; and a couple of wheels of Toma Primavera (the first batches of the season!) for your enjoyment at the Farmstand.

The folks at Cherry Grove were so knowledgeable, and fun—I am already looking forward to our next visit! In the meantime we’ll keep on enjoying their delicious cheeses and organic veggies down at the stand!

-Craig

 

 


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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