Dig into all the cheesy details about local producer, Cherry Grove Farm, who is featured in this month’s Culinary Pioneer!
Owned by the Hamill family since 1902, Cherry Grove Farm is located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and spans across 480 acres of woodland, wetland, and pastures. The Hamill brothers, having taken over their ancestors’ farming area in 1987, began their journey in converting the land from a farm for row crops to a traditional dairy farm. Following the family passion for land preservation and locally grown food, the brothers created a community and lifestyle that not only develop the land and keep it healthy, but also allow them to give back to the community. Thus, the sustainable nature of Cherry Grove Farm was established. Here, the producers and cheesemakers pride themselves in making award winning cheeses from grass-fed cow’s milk. The boutique artisanal feel of the farm ensures that their cheeses are aged in small batches and perfected to the highest quality possible.
Photo Credit: allieatfood.com
The producers and cheesemakers make up a team of five, dedicated and passionate about healthy, fresh farming. Producers, JJ Dabs, Andrew Insua and Ashley Shaloo ensure the proper care and management of all of the animals on the farm. Additionally, the cheesemakers, Paul and Jamie specialize in creating the exceptional and award-winning cheeses produced at Cherry Grove. The wide variety of cows, such as Jersey, Milking Short Horn, Friesian, Red Ayrshire and Dutch Belted used in making their cheeses allows them to explore and expand on creating a wide spectrum of different cheeses and styles. The farm grazes roughly 120 cows, who are milked twice a day to produce their award-winning fresh “farmstead cheeses”. Cherry Grove is completely grass-based and Certified Organic every year. Practicing an approach labeled rotational grazing allows for fresh pasture that is both sustainable and fresh. In addition to their grass-fed cows, Cherry Grove also raises pigs, lambs, chickens and beef cattle, creating a completely self-sufficient and sustainable farm.
Havilah, the farm’s longest aged cheese offers a mouthful of rich flavor, complemented by notes of pineapple, citrus, and caramel. This is a hard, Italian style mountain cheese with an earthy black rind, and it is the star of all raw milk cheeses. Aged perfectly and sold at about 15-18 months, this is definitely a must-have on any cheese plate, with crisps, or grated over a fresh plate of pasta!