The Alchemy of Cheese

Fine farmstead cheese does not come easy. While the process is straightforward (manage the herd, collect and coagulate the milk, form and age the cheese), each piece of that process takes laser focus and effort. And it’s all for naught, if you don’t start with the highest quality milk.

Milk quality is everything. Raw milk must be absolutely clean and fresh, from fresh forage and/or high quality hay, to produce fine raw milk cheeses. Lower quality milk shows itself instantly in off flavors, and no affinage alchemy or culture chemistry will cover that up. This is where being farmstead, having total control over our milk source and collection, is to our advantage.

Everything on the farm, as in life, is a connected cycle. It takes good soil to grow good forage, lush pasture to make happy cows who give great milk. It takes proper grazing practices and nutrient management to maintain and improve the fertility of our pastures. Healthy, happy cows produce the best milk. We acknowledge each and every cow that contributes to our milk tank, but we also credit our livestock below the ground. That life inside the soil is the heart of our farm, the terrestrial community: the earthworms, the dung beetles, the arthropods and protozoa, the fungi, and the bacteria. In short, the ecosystem of our soil is the foundation everything is built upon.

Here at the farm, we protect our subterranean community by choosing to operate organically, because we all rely on one another, from protozoa to farmer, from grass to cow, from fungi to cheesemaker, to deliver the highest quality to our customers. If the circle does have a beginning, it begins with those critters in our pastures’ soil.

Fine farmstead cheese does not come easy, but it is magic: an age-old alchemy beginning in the soil.

 


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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