farm store

A Sweet Sale!

Our Whey-fed Sweet Italian Sausage (loose and links) will be on sale in our Farm Store for only $6.99/lb! The sale will run from July 17th through August 18th. Grab some when you come by for a grilled cheese with Chef Carmine, or when you stop by to pick up some of the delicious grass-fed beef we just got in from the butcher.

 

 

Not sure what to do with our Sweet Italian Sausage? Here is a fun suggestion from Sam our Cheesemaker:

 

Sausage Pretzel Bites

 

1½ cups warm (110 to 115°F) water

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast

22 oz. all-purpose flour (approximately 4 ½ cups)

2 oz. unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil, for pan

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Pretzel salt

1 lb CGF Sweet Italian Sausage

¼ to ½ lb. of your favorite CGF Cheese cut into 1 x 1 x ½ inch cubes

 

Combine water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of the bowl (approximately 4 to 5 minutes). Remove dough from the bowl, clean bowl, and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and sit it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, thaw and sauté whole linked Sweet Italian Sausage in pan for 6 to 8 minutes, turning when needed until brown. Remove from pan and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Slice into ¾ inch pieces (6 to 8 slices per link) and save for filling.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper, lightly brush with vegetable oil, and set aside.

Take pretzel dough and pinch off a piece the size of a ping pong ball, flatten with hands until it is ¼-inch thick. Next, place a piece of sausage and a slice of cheese in the middle of the flattened dough, then wrap dough over the top using a dab of water to seal contents inside. Repeat until all sausage is used.

Bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. Place the pretzel bites in boiling water, 6 to 8 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water using a large slotted spoon. Return bites to the half-sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel bite with beaten egg yolk and water mixture, and sprinkle pretzel salt over top. Bake until dark golden-brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving, possibly alongside the sweet and spicy 3 Monkeys Mustard.

 

Where’s the Beef?

It’s coming! We will be getting all cuts of beef in, including the steaks and ground beef you have all been patiently awaiting. Monday, July 9th, we will be picking up a cow from our butcher, Bringhurst Meats, located in Berlin, NJ. Bringhurst is the last family owned butcher in New Jersey, so they approach their job like it is a work of art instead of a (dis)assembly line.  We have to reserve dates far in advance at Bringhurst, because the animals we send are allowed to walk in on their own accord instead of being poked and prodded. This makes the process much less stressful for the animals and affords them the respect they deserve for providing us with nourishment.

 

 

While we no longer raise meat cattle at our farm, we still source our beef locally from River Bend Farm in Far Hills, NJ. River Bend provides us with registered Angus beef, which of of superior quality and tenderness. The cattle is also raised on pasture, which affords them a diet of primarily fresh grasses. To top it off, River Bend does not use any hormones, antibiotics, or steroids, and you can taste the difference!

 

In other news on our farm, our Garlic Peppercorn Jack is almost gone for the season! We are on the last wheel of this flavorful play on charcuterie, so be sure to stop by the store to grab a slice before it’s all gone! Don’t worry—even though this Jack is hitting the road, it will be back again next fall.

 

 

We are making way for our summertime flavor: Full Nettle Jack! It will be ready for purchase mid-July. We found a more local source for stinging nettles this year, too! Instead of having them shipped from Europe, North Slope Farm will be our new provider. North Slope is an organic farm located in Lambertville, NJ. We are grateful for the opportunity to support our neighbors and lower our carbon footprint!

 

Summer Store Hours!

 

Our Farm Store is gearing up for the summer! We are extending our hours and stocking our shelves!

 


Starting Monday, July 2nd, we will be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (we are still closed Wednesdays) so you can pick something up for dinner on your way home from work. Saturdays and Sundays we are opening from 10 am to 5 pm so you can get an early start on your weekend!

 

 

We source products from a plethora of local businesses, and they are all great compliments to our meats and cheeses! Grill up a delicious rack of ribs tossed in the award-winning sweet and spicy
3 Monkeys Mustard
(Lawrenceville NJ) or make a baked mac’n’cheese with our Herdsman and hand-packed pasta from Severino Pasta (Westmont, NJ)!

 

 

Whey-fed pork chops and applesauce from Solebury Orchards (New Hope, PA) would be an amazing local take on a timeless dish. All of our cheeses also go great on crackers from the Village Bakery (Lawrenceville, NJ) topped with sweet or savory preserves from Muirhead (Ringoes, NJ) and
Jersey Jam’s & Jellies
(Perrineville, NJ)!

 


We have many other wonderful local products, so come on by and check it out!

 

OOH-LAY-LA!

We are excited to announce the release of our newest cheese: Layla! Unlike any other cheese at Cherry Grove Farm, Layla is made in a Neufchâtel style. You may have seen the word “Neufchâtel” in the cream cheese section of your local grocery store and thought, “That’s a pretty fancy name for low-fat cream cheese.” You were correct. Authentic Neufchâtel is actually a bloomy rinded lactic cheese that is the cow’s milk version of the ever-popular goat’s milk Chèvre. Neufchâtel is credited as being Normandy’s first cheese, dating back to the sixth century. It was around even before Camembert and brie. Layla is also the first cheese that our Cheesemaker, Sam, developed to gain his rite of passage from Assistant Cheesemaker to Head Cheesemaker.

In keeping with the theme of “firsts,” Layla is also the namesake of Cherry Grove’s first dairy cow! When Kelly first started this farm, Layla was the first cow that provided him with milk. Consequently, Sam thought it would be appropriate to dedicate his first solo cheese venture to Kelly, his mentor, by honoring Layla’s memory.

 

One of the most interesting qualities of Layla is its mutability. Layla matures 2 to 8 weeks from its “born on date.” Due to such a short aging process, the milk must be gently pasteurized. During the first 3 weeks after its born on date, Layla has a mild and creamy flavor profile, with a flaky texture that melts in your mouth similar to a young Chèvre. Around week 4, the cheese starts to ripen and an age line appears. From there on out, Layla slowly transforms from a mild-mannered young lady into a sharp, salty, mushroomy masterpiece.

Pairing Ideas:

Pair young Layla with champagne, lighter white wines, session beers, or a Belgian Witte. Pair Layla at 4 weeks with Riesling, Pinot Noir, or a Pilsner. Pair Layla at 8 weeks with Cabernet, Syrah, or a good strong IPA. Layla is also delicious with seasonal fruit, especially blueberries and concord grapes.

 

Jersey Strong

Jersery cows relaxing in the pasture

This week, if you drove by Cherry Grove on Route 206 you would have gotten quite an eyeful: lean with long, thin legs…big, brown eyes with thick lashes…who are these gorgeous gals hanging out on the farm?

 

Our dairy herd spent most of the week in the front pastures of the farm.  Looking out at them got me to wondering, “does everyone know how great these cows are?”  Whether you’re a community member who likes to see the cows nodding their heads at you when you’re stuck in 206 traffic or a frequent visitor to the farm, there’s probably some information about our cows that you don’t know.

 

Here at Cherry Grove Farm, the cows in our dairy herd are predominantly Jersey Cattle.  The Jersey here references Jersey, England, where in 1786 the States of Jersey began a ban on importing any cows to the island of Jersey to protect and promote the growth of a pure Jersey breed.  That Jersey breed has now become one of the most coveted dairy breeds in the world.

 

Jersey cows are often called the “Queen of Breeds” and “naturally produce the highest quality milk for human consumption,” according to Chaney’s Dairy Barn and the American Jersey Cattle Association.  More than being delicious and creamy milk (perfect for both drinking and making cheese), Jersey milk is one of the most nutritious cow’s milks available.  Jersey milk is 5.5% milk fat, 3.9% protein and 15% milk solids, which makes for ultra creamy milk.  For a comparison, Holstein cows’ milk is 3.5% fat, 3.1% protein and 12.2% solids.

 

The high protein level in Jersey milk is a big help for Sam, our cheese maker.  Protein is made up of amino acids, and those acids allow us coagulate the milk and make curds.*  The high levels of milk fat and solids in Jersey milk help make those curds extra rich and velvety.

 

At this point in the spring season, our herd is enjoying sweet grass and the last of the early spring buttercups that inspire our creamy Buttercup Brie.  If you want to try the result of their grassy gluttony, stop by to try our Buttercup Brie or fresh cheddar cheese curds– both are young, mild cheeses that aptly exhibit the high quality of Jersey milk.   You can pick up any of our cheese at the Farm Store, which is open Thursday through Monday, from 11am to 5pm.

 

And to see the beauty of the cows, you’re more than welcome to come visit the herd and their playful calves at the farm.  We have a daily public milking at 3pm, which all are welcome to attend.  In the farm’s Milking Parlour you’ll see Farm Manager Kelly Harding demonstrate how we milk our cow, process the milk and transfer into our cheese room.

 

 

* Coming soon: if you’re intrigued by this process and want more information, we’ll also be posting about how milk is transformed into cheese!


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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