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Notes From The Vat

Oooooumammi is back, baby! This is the raw milk bloomy rind of your dreams!

Here is what we are featuring this week in the farm store and farmers markets.

Ooooooooooumammi!
Ooooumami has returned at long last, and we can’t wait to share these wheels with you. This batch is a love child between a vegetal brie and an earthy tomme – the mottled rind on this raw milk cheese is just the beginning of the beauty that is these wheels. Underneath that dappled bloomy rind lies a fudgy creamline and a dense center paste that are packed with flavor. Funky earthen flavors of mushrooms and root vegetables are balanced by notes of salted butter, savory meats, and even hints of anise near the finish. Raw milk.

Havilah
These raw milk Havilah wheels, made with summertime milk, boast layers and layers of flavors thanks to our diverse grassy pastures. This batch has a dense, almost cheddary texture, with aromas of fresh scallions and roasting meats. Notes of buttered potatoes and slow-cooked brisket make up the savory side, while the sweet side is peppered with hints of salted caramel and toasted nuts. This cheese packs a meal into each bite. Raw milk.

Rarebird
These young raw milk Rarebird wheels are particularly special: because all Rarebird is made with the milk of just one day’s milking, these little washed rind wheels being on the younger side is a perfect snapshot of exactly what was happening on the farm that day – the fresh grasses our cows were eating, the weather around us, and our dedicated cheesemaking processes, and how all of that influenced the flavors of our luscious fresh milk. These wheels have a soft, sweet cream aroma and a pudgy, palate-coating texture that just about melts in your mouth. The flavors of this batch are simple and clean – wonderful notes of salted butter and fresh baked bread, with a tiny bit of that lovely washed-rind funk near the creamline. At the finish, a tinge of sweetness brings notes of vanilla and almond riding atop subtle hints of grassiness. Raw milk.

Herdsman
This batch of extra-aged Herdsman baskets starts off with notes of cultured butter, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, and a bit of sharpness, which can even be a bit reminiscent of clothbound cheddars at times. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk.

Toma
Toma is especially delicious right now. The wheels start out with a funky, almost boozy aroma, but when you bite into this dense and creamy cheese, you are greeted with flavors of fresh yeasty bread with salted butter, hints of sweetness, and undercurrents of grassy notes. The finish is bright and overall these wheels are wonderful! Raw milk.

Dinner on the Farm!

A summer evening… the wind rustling through leaves, the gently munching cows in tall grass, and barn swallows swooping across the pastures…

There is nothing quite as satisfying as eating a chef’s dinner outside on the farm… meeting the farmers, hearing the love of good food and farming from the man who cooks and the folks who grow and make your food. Sit with friends, old and new, and share a well made meal as the moon rises and the fireflies start their evening dance.

Join us on July 6th when Chef Barry Sexton creates a five-course evening to remember with Cherry Grove Farm cheeses, eggs and meats, and fresh produce from Abe’s Acres. Enjoy a short farm tour, cocktail hour with artisan cheese board, and five grass-fed courses crafted and presented by Chef Sexton of The Rooted Affair.

More details and tickets are available here, at The Rooted Affair’s website

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.



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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