About Us

Cherry Grove Farm is a diversified, sustainable dairy farm and creamery situated on 480 acres of woodland, wetland and pasture in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, making award-winning farmstead cheeses from our grass-fed raw cows’ milk. Our cheeses are made in small batches and aged on the farm, with attention paid to the craft of artisanal cheesemaking. Each piece reflects the distinct flavors, aromas and seasonal variations of our unique terroir. Developed from classic European recipes, our cheeses are American originals.

As part of our sustainable ecosystem, we also raise a small number of heritage breed pigs, chickens and beef cattle, producing grass- and whey-fed meats, raised without hormones, antibiotics or steroids.

By raising a variety of animals we use our resources more efficiently, creating a farm that is sustainable not only in production, but also as a business. With this ethos comes a commitment to the long term health of our land. We believe in building from the soil up, working every day to ensure that our organically certified pastures are nourished and thriving. If we take care of the land, the land will sustain us.

Our commitment as a farm is to be transparent, to educate and engage with our community, reconnecting our neighbors to the land and one of the sources of their food.

THE DAIRY HERD

Our dairy cows are a mixed group of Jersey, Milking Short Horn, Friesian, Red Ayreshire and Dutch Belted cows. Once blended together, the diversity of fat and protein in these milks allow us to explore a range of cheese styles, a distinctly American approach to cheese making.

We practice intensive rotational grazing, moving the animals daily to keep the pasture healthy; giving the land time to rest and rejuvenate to ensure the best possible forage for each season. The cows’ milk reflects the changing grasses and pasture plants season by season, and you can taste these seasonal shifts in our cheese varietals.

A SUSTAINABLE WHEY

As a sustainable farm, we must use our resources efficiently, reusing and recycling as much as possible. Cheesemaking produces a large amount of whey. We feed that protein-rich liquid to our Berkshire and Duroc-cross pigs, who spend their days foraging in the woods and pastures. When in excess, whey can also be spread on the fields, adding minerals back into the soil. With more pasture than our 120-head dairy herd needs, we graze a small number of beef cattle to help crop the fields as well.

We keep a flock of mixed heritage breed laying hens who live in mobile coops, pecking and scratching through the grass, spreading organic matter as they follow the cattle from pasture to pasture. Our mix of Americauna, Wyandotte, Australorp, and Delaware hens give us a rainbow of colors in each carton of pasture-raised eggs.

GOOD NEIGHBORS

With more than enough land to go around, we lease farmland to two organic vegetable CSAs. Both Cherry Grove Organic Farm and Z Food Farm share our vision of healthy food grown locally and sustainably. For us, seeing small scale agriculture flourish once again is rewarding. Making the effort to preserve farmland and see it help support a new generation of farmers is fulfilling.

Cherry Grove Farm has been in the Hamill family since 1902.  In keeping with the family’s historic commitment to conservation, the farm is managed in cooperation with mother nature. Much of the land has been left as wetland and woodland, offering natural habitat for native plants, songbirds, wild turkey, deer, fox and other native creatures.

Our Mission

Our commitment as a farm is to be transparent, to educate and engage with our community, reconnecting our neighbors to the land and the source of their food.

As cheesemakers, we strive to produce high quality, handcrafted farmstead cheeses.

As people, we are steadfast in our charge to treat our animals ethically, and reconnect the public to their food and to the land. If we take care of the land, the land will sustain us.

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Our History

In 1987, three brothers inherited 400+ acres of undeveloped farm land in the Lawrenceville/Princeton area. Their ancestors had farmed the area before the revolutionary war, and this particular parcel had been in the family since 1902.

Originally, the land at Cherry Grove was farmed for row crops and then, at some point, converted into a traditional dairy farm where black and white Holstein cows were fed on a mixture of grain and hay. Over the years, the dairy operation was leased to various farmers and the land suffered under more and more intensive conventional farming techniques.

Land preservation and locally grown food are family passions, so the Hamill brothers put their heads together and decided to create something special — something that would give back to their community while keeping the land healthy and undeveloped for generations to come. The Hamills, with their children, planned to regenerate the land by embracing sustainable farming, using old fashioned, pastoral techniques as a guide. The focus would be artisanal farmstead cheese and everything done on the farm would support the making of a quality, handcrafted product.

Today, at Cherry Grove Farm, our grass-based, sustainable style treads lightly on the land, prizing quality over quantity. The farm grazes roughly 120 cows (a mix of Jersey, Friesian, Milking Short Horn, Red Ayreshire, Dutch Belted, and Swedish Reds) on 240 acres of certified organic pasture. The cows are milked twice a day, and their milk flows into our creamery to produce award-winning farmstead cheeses.


Proud Member of the Good Food Merchants Guild Since 2012

 

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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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