We are off to the American Cheese Society’s annual conference in Richmond for four days of education, awards and cheesy fun! On Friday we will get the final word as to which cheeses stood out to the judges. Keep your fingers crossed for us. And stay tuned for more news!
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…
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!
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…
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.
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.