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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!

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

Pickles and Peaches

Pickles and Peaches Enjoy a Nap

You may have noticed that we are missing a couple of our goat girls. Don’t fret. They are in good hands.

Peaches and Pickles, La Mancha/Saanen crosses, were originally part of our milking goat herd. These rambunctious sisters retired to the menagerie when the goatherd decided to give up milking. They have lived with their mom, Pocket, and Auntie Polly in our little menagerie for quite a long time now. Peaches and Pickles were always a team, spirited and armed with the only horns in the group, they tended to dominate.

Pickles Poking Her Nose About

As the play group aged, most of the goats mellowed. But not Pickles. Pickles (whom you may have identified by her broken horn) was born to rule… everyone and everything. She could be overbearing, and her strength of character (some would say bullying) created some stress with the other animals. I have a big soft spot for that big personality, but with limited space and Pickles need to rule, we decided to try and find a local farm that would take Pickles and her sister, Peaches. Relocating them as a team would make the transition easier. And the smaller, less aggressive critters would settle in to some peace.

We contacted Rooster Featherston, who owns a rescue operation in Hunterton County. Rooster has helped us out with calves in the past. When a calf is born in the wrong season, or we just have too many calves, we look for new farm homes. Rooster has been a big help.

Tundra, the calf born just last month, was in need of a home, so we asked if the two older goats could tag along. Rooster was open to adopting the girls, so Peaches and Pickles relocated with Tundra to Rooster’s Rescue Foundation.

You can like Rooster’s Rescue on Facebook, and learn about adoption and volunteer opportunities as well. We are looking forward to visiting the girls once they are settled.

We will miss our diva goat sisters, but seeing how calm and relaxed the menagerie is now assures us we made a good choice. We will post location information so you can visit the girls soon.

Pickles, Our Little Handful.


Notes from the Vat

Hello friends in cheese! 

Hope everyone has recovered from those tryptophan trips. It’s time to reset those cheese cases and cheeseboards with care and abundance for the holidaze joy!

It a mild day here in Lawrenceville, as our cheese elves enjoy this brief respite from the frigid weather to make a batch of Toma that will ripen for February’s chill. A belated reminder that all our farm elves here at Cherry Grove are grateful for your support this holiday season.

What’s In Our Cases?

OOOOUUMAMMI
Beautiful soft ripened mixed rind tomme/brie hybrid. The paste in most wheels is about 1/2-2/3 broken down, meaning the texture is extremely decadent, smooth and buttery. (Think foie gras minus the baaaad karma.) The flavors and aromas we’re getting from these wheels range from: buttered hen of the woods mushrooms, chicken stock, damp earth, and roasted brassicas. Purrfect with turkey in leftover turkey and cranberry sammies. Raw Milk.

Abruzze Jawn
The supply in the farm store now will last through the holidaze. Get it while you can. Abruzze Jawn is a popular choice for any cheese platter with its sweet and smoky peppery flavors.

Buttercup Brie
Nice supply of our ever-popular winter white brie in the farm store through New Years Eve.Pasteurized.

Herdsman
Nice selection from the 1st week of September. These have some nice creaminess to them, where we like them. Some basket cuts and small rounds for slicing into bite sized wedges and rounds. Great for a cheese plate! Raw Milk.

Harvest Tomme
Speaking of baskets, a wee supply of this one, a variation of Herdsman with ash through the middle. This batch is distinctly cheddar-y, but with a squeeze of lemon & horseradish. Raw MIlk.

Toma
Bright grass milk paste with equally bright fall fruit flavors and a roasted malty flavor on the rind. Beautiful creamsicle colors and a raclette-like texture. Into our August wheels, we should have a nice supply of this through the holidaze. Raw Milk.

Rarebird
As delicious as ever. Come and get this pleasantly funky washed-rind beaut. A soul warming eyeopener for those holiday cheeseboards, with an Old Fashioned chaser. At least that’s how our gathering will play it. Raw Milk.

Havilah and Havilah Reserve
This aged alpine cheese is one of our most popular cheeses, and sales have been so brisk that it will became a truly seasonal cheese. Havilah is only made in summer, when the cows are on grass. Then each wheel ripens over 12 to 15 months before leaving the caves and debuting at market. A few wheels are held and aged to 24 months to become our Reserve. This year, we will sell out of all our 2017 Havilah wheels sometime in early January. So get this cheese board star while you can. A limited supply of Reserve will be released in December. Raw Milk.

Lawrenceville Jack and Jack Reserve
Lawrenceville Jack is a farm favorite showing all the seasonal qualities of our grass fed cows’ milk. A limited number of Reserve wheels will be cut for sale during the holidays. Raw Milk.

Stay dry and afloat during our winter storms!

As always, thank you for your support.

Paul and the team

Nereid’s Voyage

As a small-scale, pasture-oriented operation, Cherry Grove Farm works in very close contact with Mother Nature. Her wills and wiles dictate our day-to-day life, and for the most part we exist in harmony, but, now and again, we do find ourselves at cross purposes.

Back in April, a severe thunderstorm rocked the farm one night. Trees went down, power flickered on and off, and the creek spilled over into the marsh. During the storm one of our cows, Nereid, was caught by a large falling tree branch, and knocked on top of an electric fence line with the branch pinning her down. Poor Nereid received a series of shocks overnight, until we found her the next morning when the herd was brought in for early milking. The storm and its repercussions were frightening for all of our cows, but Nereid’s accident was extreme and she showed prolonged signs of weakness and lethargy. With little improvement over the weeks, we feared that she would not recover.

Over the summer months, fed by lots of personal attention and TLC, Nereid made a full recovery — and, was confirmed pregnant!

We are very happy to see our beautiful girl rejoin the larger herd with the other pregnant cows, and eagerly await greeting her new calf this spring. Congratulations, Nereid!


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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