local

A Local Twist on a Classic Soup

Sam’s Onion Soup

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs. Onions
  • 1 head garlic, crushed (Cherry Grove Organics)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) Dark Beer (Stout or Porter) or Black Style Beer
  • 1/3 lbs. CGF Rosedale, grated
  • 1 baguette (Village Bakery) sliced and toasted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch Thyme, chopped

Directions

Julienne onions and heat medium stock pot over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and then add onions. Caramelize onions over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic 5 minutes before the onions are done.

After adding the garlic, add 6 to 12 oz beer, depending on taste. Then reduce the volume of liquid by half. When reduced, add the chicken/vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce by 1/4 volume. Add chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle hot soup into oven-safe bowls, place a crostini on top with some Rosedale, and then place under the broiler until brown. Enjoy!

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.

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

 

 

Where’s the Beef?

It’s coming! We will be getting all cuts of beef in, including the steaks and ground beef you have all been patiently awaiting. Monday, July 9th, we will be picking up a cow from our butcher, Bringhurst Meats, located in Berlin, NJ. Bringhurst is the last family owned butcher in New Jersey, so they approach their job like it is a work of art instead of a (dis)assembly line.  We have to reserve dates far in advance at Bringhurst, because the animals we send are allowed to walk in on their own accord instead of being poked and prodded. This makes the process much less stressful for the animals and affords them the respect they deserve for providing us with nourishment.

 

 

While we no longer raise meat cattle at our farm, we still source our beef locally from River Bend Farm in Far Hills, NJ. River Bend provides us with registered Angus beef, which of of superior quality and tenderness. The cattle is also raised on pasture, which affords them a diet of primarily fresh grasses. To top it off, River Bend does not use any hormones, antibiotics, or steroids, and you can taste the difference!

 

In other news on our farm, our Garlic Peppercorn Jack is almost gone for the season! We are on the last wheel of this flavorful play on charcuterie, so be sure to stop by the store to grab a slice before it’s all gone! Don’t worry—even though this Jack is hitting the road, it will be back again next fall.

 

 

We are making way for our summertime flavor: Full Nettle Jack! It will be ready for purchase mid-July. We found a more local source for stinging nettles this year, too! Instead of having them shipped from Europe, North Slope Farm will be our new provider. North Slope is an organic farm located in Lambertville, NJ. We are grateful for the opportunity to support our neighbors and lower our carbon footprint!

 

Cherry Grove Farm News – Spring 2012

 

Hard to believe, but our “winter break” is almost over. Every winter, during the cows’ last months of pregnancy, we give them and ourselves a break from milking. We spend January and February recouping, reorganizing and even resting a little.  And now is the time to kick into gear…new calves are being born, their moms are giving milk and we are making cheese again…

The first baby girl of the season was born about two weeks ago. Interestingly enough, her mom was the first baby girl of her own season a couple of years ago.  We were touched by the warm welcome she received (51 “likes” on facebook!). The expecting moms congregate in the barn outside the store and if you’re lucky you can even witness a birth.  The babies are in what used to be the goat barn. Come by and say hi!

Samuel Kennedy, Cheese Maker At Cherry Grove Farm

Sam, our cheese maker announced Friday March 9th as The official first day of cheese making. He’ll start with a few wheels at first and as the milk flow increases he’ll be making more and more…

Jersey Calves 2012 At Cherry Grove Farm

Kelly is training the young cows to get milked. If you come around 3:30 pm, there’s a good chance you will see him in action.The rest of the time he is running around birthing and taking care of the calves.

Soon we and the cows will all settle into the rhythm of another busy season on the farm… hope you can come and share this wonderful experience with us!

Inspiration Is Contagious

Meet Brian Curry, a local agricultural photographer who is currently studying Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University (I know what your thinking..what does this have to do with the farm or cheese?).

Well take a look…

photo credit: Brian Curry

photo credit: Brian Curry

 

photo credit: Brian Curry

photo credit: Brian Curry

photo credit: Brian Curry

 

These photos are more than just amazing talented pictures of Cherry Grove Farm; they are also research for Brian and his Landscape Architect classmates’ most recent assignment – Mission: How can Landscape Architecture help spread agricultural literacy in NJ?

All of us here at the farm are eager to see what Brian and his classmates come up with for Cherry Grove Farm and the surrounding farms (such as Terhune Orchards). As soon as the project is picked and started I will be sure to add onto this blog post to keep all of our friends, family, and local cheese lovers updated on the progress.

I would like to take this time in the blog post to personally thank the team of Rutgers Students who are working hard to help fight the good fight of spreading the knowledge and beauty of NJ agriculture.

 

” –nothing is better than knowing that people are interested in your work.” - Brian Curry

” I also have a photo blog that I update every few days”– Check it out  —  http://briancurryphoto.tumblr.com/

 

Local & Grass-Fed + a recipe

At Our Farm Store Now!

Stop by our Farm Store and take advantage of this wonderful grass-fed ground beef sale, while supplies last.  Locally grass-fed beef is usually much more expensive than the ground beef you can get from the supermarkets, because it locally raised and fed the right way off organic certified pastures.

This Sale Ends: April 14th 2012 – Stock Up While You Can!!

Stock your freezer up for the New Year! Eat right, eat local, and know where your food comes from. Please enjoy our fast and delicious recipe below for a local, stove top, beefed-up Mac and Cheese.

Locally Beefed-up Mac and Cheese 

Created by Our Cheesemaker Samuel Kennedy

1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Jersey Fresh Tomatoes, chopped (available at the Farm Store)

1 package Cherry Grove’s grass-fed ground beef (available at the Farm Store)
1/2 pound Severino elbow macaroni (available at the Farm Store)

4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs (available at the Farm Store)
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

10 ounces your favorite Cherry Grove Farm Cheese, shredded (available at the Farm Store – we suggest Garlic Peppercorn Jack or Herdsman for a kid friendly meal or impress your friends by using Toma mixed with some Havilah )

In a heavy sauté pan, sauté the onion until translucent, add the beef and a little salt and break down with a fork until browned and fully cooked. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In the meantime, in a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Fold in the meat- tomato mixture. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy – Enjoy your locally Beefed-up Mac and Cheese.

 

Give The Gift Of Local NJ Cheese

From Our Organic Pastures To Your Holiday Table

Cherry Grove Farm’s Holiday Cheese Plate is as unique as it is delicious. We have hand selected 3 of our favorite farmstead raw milk cheeses totaling 1 lb. in weight  ready to serve 6-8 people.

The cheeses are arranged elegantly on a natural bamboo platter, adorned with dried fruits and optional almonds. Cards with cheese descriptions, a clear wrap and natural green & blue raffia ribbons complement this perfect Holiday treat.
The complimentary disposable bamboo plate is designed for elegant entertaining. Made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, it’s unbleached, food-safe, and will biodegrade within 4-6 months.


Cheese selection includes:
Good Food Award™- finalist Toma
Full Nettle Jack
Havilah
Price: $29.99
Please visit our Farm Store, email the farm (cherrygrovefarm@verizon.net) or call (609) 219-0053 to order. Please give us at least 1 day notice. Payment is required at the time of the order and all orders must be picked up before noon on Saturday, December 24th.
Thank You From All Of Us Here At Cherry Grove Farm


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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