Latest News from the Farm

Notes From A Cheese Cave

May has arrived in all her floral glory, and it is time to say Hello to Havilah season!

We broke open the first official wheel of the season today, and can’t wait to share this batch with you. These Havilah wheels are a perfect balance between hints of lightly toasted nuts and roasted meats, with a delicate layer of citrus-touched butter notes underneath. 

Golden Dreams of Havilah

Havilah
The very first batch of the season, huzzah! These premiere wheels our raw milk alpine-style dream are layered with flavors of roasted meats, mushrooms, and scallions. Undertones of browned butter whisper of clothbound cheddars, with light hints of citrus and toasted cashews. Raw milk, sold at 12 months minimum.

Herdsman
Delicious buttery flavors, with hints of fresh cream and sea salt, and additional seasonal citrus & toasted walnut notes. You can taste those last few days on autumn pasture in these fall wheels. Raw milk.

Toma
November wheels are as complex as they are delicious. The slight extra age imparts layered notes of salted pretzels and roasted malt, with hints of barnyardiness and a little funk that is perfect on the palate. Beautiful cloudy sunrise-colored rind and a raclette-esque texture. Raw milk.

Bette Davis Eyes
These dense, raw milk blue wheels are crumbly, fudgey, and brimming with flavor in every bite. Touches of dark chocolate twine with earthy limestone notes, and hints of anise enliven the intrinsic blue flavor, which remains prominent without becoming overpowering. Raw milk.

Abruzze Jawn
Our award-winning jack-style cheese is enhanced with the flavors of a variety of sweet and smoky peppers & chiles mixed throughout, which deliver both spice and savor to our already-delectable raw milk.

Orson Orwell a newborn Jersey calf.
Orson Orwell catches some rays.

Our 2019 theme for baby names is literature!

Six Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

Its Earth Day and we wanted to think about ways to be kind to our grand blue marble, Earth.

Here are 6 simple things you can do to drastically reduce your plastic waste.

With all the plastic being dumped into landfill and floating in our oceans, the time has come for all of us to behave more responsibly.

And that’s actually pretty easy.

You don’t have to be perfect, or completely change your way of living. Just follow these simple steps and you will cut down a lot of unnecessary waste.

Change your mindset

It all starts with changing the mindset.

Once you start to actively reduce your waste, you will realize just how much waste there is everywhere. And then, you’ll be able to make conscious decisions about what you buy.

You will be better prepared and will be likely to buy less “stuff” – as you’ll only buy what you need. That, in turn, can help you save money!

2. Say no to plastic bags

The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. So if you choose to stop using just one type of plastic – the plastic bag is a great place to start.

Stock up with a few reusable bags and you’ll never have to contribute to this waste again.

For example, reuseable produce bags are great to use to pack your fruit and veggies at markets. Pop your produce straight in the bags, and when you get home – wash them inside the bag, and pop them straight in the fridge.

They are also handy to use while shopping in a grocery store, or for general organization too.

3. Swap your plastic toothbrush for bamboo

It’s recommended that we change our toothbrush every 3-4 months. If these toothbrushes are plastic toothbrushes, that’s a huge amount of plastic waste that is being discarded every single year.

In fact, over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in America alone.

Imagine if 50% of the American population swapped their plastic brush for a biodegradable bamboo brush. That would prevent 500 million pieces of plastic entering our environment every year, and 5 billion every decade!

Check out these bamboo toothbrushes – they work super well, have been recommended by multiple hygienists, come in cute colors, and work out to cost under $1.49 per brush (often cheaper than plastic ones.)

Swapping your plastic for bamboo toothbrush is another small change you can make, and save money while helping the environment, too.

4. Rethink the straw

Plastic straws are a one and done event. They are too small to be recycled, so their only destiny is either landfill or floating in our ocean.

Ask yourself: Do you really need the straw? Maybe it’s an added luxury…and you could get used to drinking without one?

Alternatively, you can keep a small pack of reusable straws in your bag at all times…and whip out in times of need. They are easy to clean and kind to our wildlife. Whether you prefer stainless steel drinking straws or bamboo straws, you’ll never have to drink with a plastic straw again.

5. Buy locally

At Cherry Grove Farm, we’re all about sustainable farming and treading lightly on the land.

When you buy from local markets, you can cut down your consumption of plastic packaging and will end up throwing less away.  We have a small “Sustainable Re-useables” section in the farm store that makes cutting back on waste a bit easier. Try our re-useable tea bags and coffee filters, or reusable beeswax wraps to keep food fresh without using plastic wrap.

6. Make more at home

There’s nothing wrong with getting take-out; the problem is the packaging that the take out often comes in.

Plastic lids, cutlery, wrap, styrofoam, polystyrene… None of it biodegrades which means that even though your meal only lasted once, the packaging will last forever.

We know it can be difficult to find the time for home cooking, but cooking meals in bulk can cut down a huge amount of time. And make enough to last two or three meals and it can be just as convenient as a take out – but with all the added benefits of being home-made, chemical-free, and plastic-free.

But if you must have those pot stickers or tacos al pastor, why not have a handy reuseable bamboo cutlery pack in the car and just say no to the plastic utensils? Reduce waste in your life.

***

Earth Day is a good day to think about what we can do to reduce waste and single use disposables. Hopefully these 6 simple steps have given you a little inspiration to reduce your waste today. And remember – it doesn’t all have to be implemented at once. Just one small change can make a big difference.

We are considering expanding our “Sustainables” section in the store to include bamboo reuseables. Tell us if this would help you reduce waste in your life!

Resilient Agriculture

This winter we got a call form the Education Group at Stone Barns about participating in a video that would be used for their Food Ed Curriculum. If you know Stone Barns, you know they are a leader in the promotion of
sustainable agriculture, local food, and community-supported agriculture. It was a real pleasure to be a part of the story.

Paul Lawler, our head cheesemaker, and Anna Reinalda, our new dairy manager do a great job of explaining what we do and why it is important.

Please share this video

The Appreciation of Raw Milk Cheese

rarebird
Sunset-hued Rarebird

Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day kicks off our grazing season every April, and it looks like mother nature is cooperating… the grass is greening!

We will be celebrating on both Saturday, April 13th and Saturday, April 20th between 11am and 3pm with:

Meet the Makers tents featuring great local chutneys, butters, jams and marmalades that complement our raw milk cheese. Visit with Naomi from Le Bon Magot, and Gino from Eat This Yum the weekend of the 13th, and Barbara from Muirhead Foods, and Naomi from Le Bon Magot, the 20th.

Free Public Farm Tours – about an hour long pasture walk into the back forty at 11:30 and 3pm. Free Hayrides – Hayrides take you back to the pond, if the ground permits. Too wet and we cannot pass. Rides will run about 20 minutes long, from noon until 4pm.

If you are on farm at 4pm you might as well hang out and watch milking and calf feeding!

On Saturday, April 13th at 2pm we will offer a free class “Building Your Best Cheeseboard”. The session will be between 30-40 minutes long and get into some pairings tips as well. This will be first come first serve with a max of 20 people. A sign up sheet will be in the farm store that morning.

Why celebrate raw milk cheese?
Well, number one, its delicious. And a healthy form of protein. But also, to raise awareness about this superior artisan product is being made right here in New Jersey.

Raw milk cheeses have a richer, more complex flavor than their pasteurized brethren because of the increased microbial diversity. Once you heat treat milk, you lose the good microbes along with the bad. Our cheesemakers will tell you that raw milk cheeses ripen faster, develop more intense flavors, and have more “nose” than pasteurized milk cheeses.

And we also like the idea of tradition. Before pasteurization, all milk—and thus, traditional cheese—was raw, so raw milk cheeses keep with the old ways.

Steak and Kidney Pie

A glorious cold weather treat, steak and kidney pie is pretty simple and easy to make ahead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon beef drippings or cooking oil
  • 1 12 lbs chuck steaks, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 12 lb ox kidney (or lamb, trimmed and diced)
  • 12 ounces puff pastry
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into rough dice (5/8 inch)
  • butter
  • 4 large flat baby bella or cremini mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pint veal or beef stock (or equivalent of water and stock cube)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Directions: 

  1. Heat a large frying pan with a little of the dripping or oil. Season the diced beef with salt and pepper. Fry in the pan until well colored and completely seared. Lift the meat out and transfer to a large saucepan. Add a touch more oil, if necessary, to the frying pan. Season the kidneys, frying quickly to sear and color in the hot pan. Also transfer to the saucepan.
  2. Melt a knob of butter in the pan and cook the onions and carrots in the melted butter for 2 – 3 minutes. They will lift any flavors left from the meats. Put the vedge into the saucepan with the meat. Saute the mushroom slices in a little more butter which will become part of your roux), just turning in the pan for a minute or two; keep to one side.
  3. Place the saucepan on medium heat, stirring in the flour, and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, bay leaf and mushrooms. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. The meat should just be covered with the stock; if not, top with a little more stock or water. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During the cooking time it may need to be skimmed several times.
  4. After 1 1/2 hours, check the meat for tenderness. If not quite soft enough, cook for the additional 30 minutes. If the meat is cooking gently, it will not need to be topped up with any additional stock or water. The sauce will have reduced, thickening its consistency and increasing its flavor.
  5. Taste for seasoning, adding a dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce to the mixture. Transfer to a 2 pint pie dish and cool to lukewarm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  7. Roll the pastry 1/4-inch thick. Cut a strip of pastry to sit around the rim of the dish. This will help the top to stay on. Brush the rim of the pie dish with some beaten egg and apply the strip. Brush again with egg. Making sure the pastry top is bigger than the dish, sit it on top. Push down around the sides, trim and crimp for a neat finish. Brush completely with egg wash and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

“This is Gary Rhodes recipe for a great steak and kidney pie, which also allows you the bonus of making the filling the day before you need.

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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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