!Ven, Fiesta!

A few years ago “farm to table” was a new concept. It fell under the same category as whiskey bars and latte foam art. And as much as we love a well-curated whiskey haunt, so too have we come to love “farm to table”. The latter has become a way of life, drawing attention to the importance of organic growing, the ecological havoc wreaked by not eating local, and the true treasures in our own backyards. As a farm, we want “farm to table” to keep its momentum. So the question becomes, how? And with so many small farms popping up, how is our approach unique.

For us the answer lies in Farm Dinners. (Though the concept is the same, we’ve dropped “to table” – the term has lost the shiny new appeal it had in its rollout.) Every farm has its own version, but no two farms are exactly alike. At Cherry Grove Farm, we have a beautiful, peaceful property, just far enough off the beaten path to be “out-of-the-way”, but so close to everything that we could throw a stone to hit it. These dinners provide new eyes through which to see not just our farm, but small farming in general. And since everyone who works here is passionate about what we do (and does cool, related stuff on the side), there’s always a conversation.

Now everyone has an opinion about the type of cuisine for these things, and suggestions run from straight-up local to the Middle East, and with so many talented culinarians 12963407_1140513845989600_2944712135190115925_nin the area, the challenge becomes, not choosing the food, but finding someone who can bring local “farm to table” to exotic cuisine, and transport us, if only for an evening, to another place. Shelley Wiseman is that someone: her locality at Tullamore Farms puts her right in our circle, and she doesn’t just dabble in exotics: she was immersed in Mexican culture, living in Mexico for five years running her own French cooking school. It makes perfect sense for her to kick off our Farm Dinner season with “Fiesta Cinco de Mayo”.

Dinner is on Friday May 6, a day late for the holiday, but never mind. And this early in the season it might still be a bit nippy; we’re not worried ‘bout that, either. I am just so looking forward to her pork pozole, a warm stew for a spring night – and to kicking back in front of a roaring fire after dinner. Can you think of a better way to spend an evening with friends? Neither can I.

Join us here.

Wow, tricky spring this year, huh?

In these frosty-for-April temps we had a photographer friend, Albert Yee, out to take some cheese glamour shots. He’s done some incredible work with other farmer friends over the years, and I hadn’t seen him in some time, so it was nice to catch up while I played photo assistant with stacks of wheels and wedges.

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We are working on cheese portrait cards that highlight the profile of our major cheeses with specific pairings to accompany each. These will be great for our wholesale clients to use in the cases or to educate staff. We’ll share more as this project develops.
We just attended Philly Farm Fest and it was, as always, a blast! Thanks to all who joined us this for the Curd Convention and came out to support our local farms and artisanal makers.
Next on the horizon is Raw Milk Cheese day. Mark your calendars fro April 16th, this  Saturday! Celebrate with us by noshing a caramel sweet-n-savory hunk of Summer 2014 Havilah, or any of our delicious raw milk cheeses. The farm will be full of fun, as we give you a chance to meet the folks we work with, offering mouth-watering local food pairings from Subarashii Kudamono and Le Bon Magot. Tastings from 11am until 4pm.
Subarashii Kudamono will favor us with Asian Pear spread, dried asian pears, and a surprise taste. Our friends from Le Bon Magot will bring tastes of their three condiment/accompaniments and a homemade bread pudding using one of the products. As ever, we will supply the delectible raw milk cheeses.
I will be leading a cheesemaker’s farm tour at 3:30 on the 16th to celebrate the occasion, if any of you are in the area.
But down to business:
Full Nettle Jack: Spicy oregano and lemon notes shining through from the nettles. Spring and summer wheels 2015. Raw milk. To celebrate spring, Nettle Jack is on sale this month!
Buttercup Brie: Limited availability – I can’t wait to stop using that phrase. This batch is from 3/9/16. Hope is in sight friends. The cows were just turned out on spring rye pasture and we resume milking 2x a day next week. Pasteurized milk.
Herdsman: Nice wheels from November with creamy farmhouse flavor. A few from Sept/October that have a really nice piquant quality. Raw milk.
Havilah:   August and Sept 2014 batches. Caramel, grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut, lasting, unfolding flavors. These are some really wonderful batches. Raw milk.
Lawrenceville Jack:  Our usual creamy grass-fed, mac-n-cheese buddy. Fall batches, well balanced
Happy eating! See you here on the farm for Raw Milk Cheese Day!

What is Spring Without Philly Farm and Food Fest?

If you have never been, you have been missing out! The Fest brings together the Delaware Valley’s best food artisans, from cheesemakers to bread bakers to coffee roasters, and the gamut in between.

This year, The Fest’s fifth, is the biggest, and, we think, best it has ever been. Some of the exciting exhibits and programs running on Sunday are (link to details):

Book Signing
Coffee Collective
CSA Pop-up Shop

Curd Competition

The Curd Competion is a cheese festival within a food festival, complete with a cheese bar! Our own Paul Lawler will be cheese-tending.

Grain Exhibit
Kids’ Corral
Local Libations Lounge
PF3 Kitchen


We love fest for two reasons. First, who would not like a food festival that brings together the best and brightest in the region? Second, every year we see this community and the people who love it get bigger and bigger. Which makes what we do both meaningful and fulfilling.

Farming is not an easy job. Making quality, handcrafted food is not a simple process. Developing a thriving small business is grueling. Knowing that what you do is appreciated makes the trials worthwhile, and makes the successes that much sweeter.

Come be a part of your local food movement!

Sunday, April 10th from 11am until 4pm. VIP Industry preview from 10am until 11am.

Get your tickets right here.


Napa Valley Dreaming!

Greetings gang,

Great to be back after my sojourn in the sun! This cheesemaker got up to many dairy adventures while in Marin and Sonoma counties last week. At one point, meeting holsteins by the ocean, water buffalo, acrobatic baby goats, and tiny vocal lambs – all in one day. 
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Ramini Mozzarella above. 
Nothing like taking some deep breaths and being inspired by dairy and wine country (whom I think us cheesemakers have a lot to learn from). I’m so grateful for the team back here on the farm who could make it happen. Pictured below is my old pal Emily Gunther (of Zone 7) pitching in, and Vince flipping some Toma they made together. Teamwork indeed.
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What is in the case?
Brie: Young batches of regular size and mini wheels too. With limited availability per the usual winter milk supply.
Herdsman: Wheels from October and early November. Nice wheels with creamy farmhouse flavor. Baskets return (some with ash through the middle) for those that prefer those! Raw Milk.
Havilah:  Wonderful August and Sept 2014 batches. Grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut and fudge, with a really great texture. Raw Milk.
Lawrenceville Jack  Our usual creamy grass-fed, mac n cheese buddy. Summer wheels.
Toma: Notes of peanut, cream, grass, and a wonderful lasting funk. Smooth, semi-soft, buttery texture with a lovely mixed rind. Raw Milk. Aged about 90 days.
Full Nettle Jack: Spicy oregano and lemon notes shining through from the nettles. Spring and summer wheels. Raw Milk
Trilby: It’s Baaack! Our local whiskey soused friend is currently available in .50 and 1 lb rounds. Like Toma, if Toma was blended with a fat knob of butter, snuck in the candy store on the way from school, and ate a fistful of pop rocks. Pasteurized.
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But wait, that’s not all! (with apologies to Ron Popeil).

Check out these awesome upcoming events we are a part of:
Philly Chef Conference : right now!
The Brewer’s Plate : March 13th
Curd Convention at Philly Farm Fest: April 10th
Looking forward to your business! 
Happy eating,

Our Farm-to-Table Community

Author and Chef, Rachel Weston

Author and Chef, Rachel Weston

Being a part of the community has always been a big part of what defines Cherry Grove Farm. As the farm grows and expands its meat, cheese, and class offerings, we’re also expanding our reach into the community, teaming up with some very skilled, passionate locals.

Rachel Weston is one such local. A talented writer and culinarian, Rachel is the voice behind “The Gutsy Gourmet,” a column for The Star-Ledger, celebrating the people and places that make New Jersey’s food culture so vibrant. Her cookbook, “Jersey Fresh”, was released in May of this year. The collection of recipes and tips for cooking over fifty types of seasonal New Jersey produce is a testament to Rachel’s knowledge of the multitude of thriving farms, CSAs, and local farmers markets that pepper the Garden State.

We’re excited that Rachel is bringing some of that flavor to Cherry Grove Farm with two upcoming interactive farm dinners: Farm Fiesta, on August 29th, and Moroccan Feast, on September 26th. Both BYO dinners will feature demonstrations by Rachel, and hands-on cooking activities, all-in-all a night of friends, family, and food.

To reserve a seat for our Mexican “Farm Fiesta”, click here.
Tickets for the Moroccan Feast can be purchased here.

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