Hawthorne Valley Farm was one of the first dairies in the United States to be certified organic. Year round, we provide our cows with a natural, grass-based diet. During the growing season, the cows graze the pastures day and night, and in winter they eat a mix of stored forages harvested from the farm. This careful management and tending leads to happy cows, healthy soil, and delicious dairy products.
We currently make two flavors of yogurt – Plain and Maple Vanilla; aged, raw milk hard cheese including Cheddar, Raclette, and Alpine; various soft cheeses including Fern Hill and Mayhill; and raw milk, whey, and buttermilk. We only use milk from our own herd of 65 dairy cows here at the farm, ensuring the milk to be of the freshest and highest quality. All of our products are 100% certified USDA organic and Biodynamic®.
Is your cheese made with raw milk?
Our hard cheeses (which are all aged more than 60 days) are “raw milk” cheeses. Some heating of the milk is required in order to produce the cheese, but the temperatures used are below those that cause pasteurization. The law requires us to pasteurize milk for all dairy products that are not aged at least 60 days, so our fresh Fern Hill cheeses, Buttermilk, Yogurt, and Quark are all made with pasteurized milk.
Does your cheese have rennet?
Our cheese uses a vegetarian substitute in place of rennet. There is no animal rennet used in our cheese.
Can I purchase raw milk from you?
Our raw milk is sold at our on-farm, organic/nature foods and grocery store in Columbia County, so come see us to get some – we recommend calling our Farm Store first to make sure it’s available! It is illegal to sell raw milk off of the farm in New York State, so we are not able to sell it at any of our Green Market locations.
How come I can buy your raw milk cheese off the farm, but not your raw milk?
Raw milk cheeses are legal because if there were any harmful bacteria present in the milk, the aging process of the cheese would take care of them.
What is Quark?
A fresh, fermented, spreadable cheese made from our organic cow’s milk. Many people use it in place of sour cream, ricotta, or cottage cheese. It is similar to fromage blanc.
What is Fern Hill cheese?
Fern Hill (formerly Bianca) is a fresh, spreadable organic cheese patterned after a goat milk chevre, but made from organic cow’s milk. We make it every week on the farm – it gets packaged on Thursday or Friday and is generally good to eat for at least a week after the “sell by” date. It comes in many different flavors–please ask for samples!