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Posted 5/21/2017 6:21am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

It's the time of year that farmers have to scramble. There is so much to do, so little time. We are not exempt from this world wide leap of faith that every farmer must try to navigate. The natural world knows it. When to sprout, when to use all that stored energy to fill out leaves and flower. Most of the natural world is not starting all over again from a blank slate. Farmers have to wipe the slate clean every year, and then know when to plow, when to plant, what to plant, where it should be planted. All this wisdom of the wild world, we must synthesize and use in our farm planning and spring work. The better we are at using this wisdom of the wild world, the better off we are going to be in our farming endeavors. This is partly why I enjoy dairying here at Cranberry Creek Farm. The grass already knows when to come up, the cows are bursting with milk when most of annual agriculture's fruits are still months away. There is no plowing or planting that needs done on an established pasture. 

So come on out and enjoy spring with a tall glass of cold raw milk or drinkable yogurt from our farm store. It's open on the honor system, self serve, 7 days a week. The first 10 customers who purchase any dairy product will recieve a book titled The Untold Story of Milk, by Ronald F. Schmid. The milk is from our neighbors at Gross Family Dairy. It is raw milk, A2A2, from pastured Guernsey cows. Our cheese, yogurt, and eggs are available in the store as well. And that's the news from Cranberry Creek Farm. Thanks to everyone who stops by our store and supports our farm.

 

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 12/9/2016 7:23am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

It's a snowy morning here in the Poconos. On days like this it's a hunters duty to be up at 4:30, dressed and out the door with a rifle over the shoulder shortly after a quick cup of coffee. Today is the second to last day of deer season in Pennsylvania. To me deer season is one of the last opportunities to connect with my wild side. I get to be out in the woods, using my long lost abilities to be a hunter-gatherer. It's what humans have done for most of our existence on planet earth as a means to secure food for every living person up until about 10,000 years ago. Some would argue that we made a mistake as a species to go from hunting and gathering to Agriculture. I don't know about that but I do know from experience that hunting is a lot more fun than milking cows or weeding onions. Fortunately for me Pennsylvania does have many extended seasons to hunt all kinds of game. If someone were so willing, they could probably eat something every day that was hunted, fished, or trapped in season. 

I am sad to say that our store is closed for the season. Last week was the last week, the store will not be open tomorrow. We are a seasonal dairy, which means we do not milk through the winter. We try to time it so they calve in the spring as they would naturally to raise calves in the most abundant time of year. 

We will still be at the Monroe Farmers Market selling cheese. Come and see us there!

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 10/21/2016 7:42am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

On October 1st Mary-Jean and I tied the knot on the farm. The day started out like a normal day with having to get ready for the farmers market. Nick went down to market and I stayed to help with wedding set up. I then went to slip into my wedding suit, new black carhartts, fancy white shirt, new vasque kicks, and thin striped suspenders. I worked the farm store from 1-3 in my elegant casual suit and was happy to see some of our customers on our special day. The ceremony was to start at 4 and I was naturally starting to get nervous. I don't function well when I know a lot of people are watching me. Luckily for me my neighborhood pals showed up with a little bit of dutch courage. I walked down to our chapel in the hemlocks, overlooking an open forest with bubbling creek below. An enormous stone wall and colonial era wagon trail above, in a circle of old growth hemlock, with a wall of white washed windows behind us, with 100 people watching, I was married Native American style to my soul mate in the most perfect ceremony in the most perfect place. The rest of the night was filled with good food and fun. At one point late in the night I found myself running through a tunnel of sparklers with my bride while everyone cheered us on. I had harvested a hog earlier in the week for use that night. The roasted ham and the ribs that our caterer helped butcher and cook were to live for. Whatever seasonings he used were just so it would bring out the flavor of the place. 

Thats the news from Cranberry Creek Farm. Come and find us on Saturdays from 1-5 in our farm store, or in town at the monroe market from 8-12 on the same day. 

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 8/26/2016 8:34am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

 

Our society as a whole, and ourselves individually are in the midst of a crisis. It is what appears to be, and what is generally accepted as a environmental crisis. We have created lives for ourselves that are generally at odds in every aspect with the natural world. We have come to view nature as a resource of raw materials to be mined instead of a holy place to mimick and sympathize with. As our technology has advanced we have lost more and more of our knowledge, skill, gratitude and respect of the resources and the taking of them. We have overlooked and oversimplified nature and the craft of keeping house, and have given the job of mining raw materials to provide food clothing and shelter to larger and larger corporations who take from nature brutally and irresponsibly. This designation of corporations to do our work should take a great deal of the blame for our environmental crisis. Lets find our knowledge, gratitude, skill and respect of food, clothing and shelter. It is easy to start with food by drinking milk from the only slightly technologically advanced, organically fed and managed dairy cows in Monroe County. We are trying to reach a small and hopefully attainable goal of selling about 50 gallons each week. If you or anyone you know would enjoy real jersey cow milk from a local farm please find us on Saturdays. We will have milk at the Monroe Farmers Market from 8-12 as well as our Cranberry Creek Farm Store from 1-5. 


Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

This newsletter is written with inspiration from Wendell Berry's essay The Idea of a Local Economy.

Posted 7/8/2016 8:10am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

It is officially summer and the heat is not disappointing. I had the most amazing swim in the creek 2 nights ago. I had just closed the chickens, the cows were content in the pasture laying down chewing their cud, our daughter was asleep in her crib, Everett and Mom getting ready for bed. I had made a nice looking pair of 20 lb Asiago style cheeses that day with Nick. My pre-wedding diet was underway, and I was feeling happy about my soon to be fit self. So I treated myself to a lone skinny dip in the swimming hole below the bridge. It was almost dark, no one could know that I was down there as they drove past, headlights and eyes on the road. The moonlight shining through the leaves and branches and reflecting off the water was what made it surely divine. It was a reminder of earth and nature. We get so caught up in our human material world. Our houses, our work, cars, phones, computers and everything that distracts us every day from what is really more important. Our earth and our task of becoming good stewards is what really matters, and is what will ensure our children have a place to live. I am guilty of partaking in our carbon emitting throw away society just like everyone else. But I urge you, rebel! Go and find your place on earth, and get to know it. It will reward you more than your smart phone ever could.

So this week we have milk, eggs, cheese, pork and finally GARLIC! The farm store is open from 1-5 on Saturday.

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 5/27/2016 7:25am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

Some things take so long to accomplish that by the time it is there you hardly recognize what it was that you were going for in the first place. Well I am just starting to get a good reality check on what we started to pursue last september and now finally received yesterday. We now have a PA Department of Agriculture issued permit to sell Raw Milk! I will be bottling a lot of gallon jugs today and I hope that everyone who has been asking for this will come and get it. The milk is from our 5 cows, 4 jerseys and 1 holstein jersey normande norwegian red cross. They are on pasture every day and are fed a small amount of organic grain at milking. I placed an order yesterday for a organic non soy ration that we will switch to next week. 

The gardens are looking nice. I don't have as much of a doomed perspective on the back field since we cultivated the other day. We did a number on the couch grass, and it looks like we are winning. I am starting to put wood chips down in the pathways because I think this will help to curb the spread of couch grass from bed to bed. We have spring onions, baby carrots, head lettuce, and mesclun mix this week. 

I bought 50 more egg layers yesterday. They are just starting to lay beautiful little pullet eggs. we will have more eggs in the weeks to come. We might have a few less eggs for a little while before the new chickens start laying good. I parked the egg-mobile up in the top pasture and the very next morning there was a decapitated barred rock inside the fence. It looks like even before I closed the door for the night some as yet unknown varmint came in and had a chicken dinner. Tonight we will set some havahart traps and hopefully catch this unwelcome intruder. It seems like sometimes all we are doing by having chickens is setting up the equivalent of a KFC for all forest creatures to enjoy a free meal. It isn't easy keeping pastured egg layers in a place surrounded by wilderness. I hope to develop a system that keeps all chickens and wildlife safe and able to live side by side while still having our chickens on grass. It may require drones and coop mounted motion sensor operated water balloon throwers.

Come see us tomorrow at the farm store from 1-5. It will be a celebration of raw milk!

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 5/14/2016 5:14am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

It's been a couple weeks now since my last note. We planted 6 different types of winter squash yesterday which was perfectly watered in by the rain. Our head lettuce is booming, we will have 4 different types at the farm store today. Soon to be available are snap and snow peas, as well as spring onions. We have our potatoes in the ground now. Last week Nick and I planted 5 150 ft rows. We will have adirondack blue, katahdin, french fingerling, and peanut fingerling potatoes. 

It has been a challenge to get the cows across the street to pasture. Some of our best grass requires a crossing over Henry's Crossing Rd with 5 cows and 3 calves. Most of the time they go right across, but 2 days ago they wanted to take a walk down the road. I was able to run down through the field to get around them before they could hit the corner and head for Stroudsburg. My cream top yogurt skills are increasing according to the tasting crew. It may in part be due to the wonderful spring pasture they are on. We will have fresh yogurt in plain and maple today. 

We planted a few perma crops in the past couple weeks. 30 hazelnuts, 25 sea buckthorn, and 25 hardy kiwi. I can't promise anything but maybe in 5 years we will have some interesting nuts, berries and fruits available. 

The farm store will be open from 1-5 today and every Saturday. Please follow Crancreekcreamery on instagram to see pictures of all this wonderful action. And that's the news for this hectic week of spring.

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 4/30/2016 7:07am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

It's a rainy morning which makes it a perfect time to get cozy in the barn and make some cheese. Every other day the cheese needs to be made, before the psychrotrophic or cold loving bacteria start to proliferate in the bulk tank. The longer you wait to make, the less likely you are to get a high quality and good tasting cheese. Before the advent of refrigeration cheese was made with the evening milking, left to sit overnight at room temperature to give the proper bacteria a head start, and then mixed with the morning milk. Cheese was and still is made in this way in many parts of the world. Natural starter cultures are used as well, which can be whey from the previous days make, milk left at 72 degrees to culture naturally, or kefir grains fed fresh milk every day. This year I have started using the kefir starter method and I am incredibly impressed with how my cheeses are coming along. I had been thinking for the past 5 years that there has to be a better way than purchasing the freeze dried factory made cultures. They were monocultural, expensive, and sometimes confusing as to how much to use. Well now I look no further than my jar of kefir to start my cheese, which already has all the bacteria, yeasts and molds that I need to make a world class native heirloom cultured cheese. It makes me excited to go to the cheese room every time.


The farm store is open today and every Saturday from 1-5. We will have head lettuce, leaf lettuce and nettles in the veggie section. Dairy has cheeses and yogurt available. The butcher shop has pork and lamb. There are still 3 half shares of pork available. They will be ready for pickup or local delivery by the end of the week. And that's it for this caffeinated spring morning newsletter. Hope to see you all at the farm store.

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 4/23/2016 7:35am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm 

 

The first garden prepared this year is now full. In this garden we planted snap and snow peas, red turnips, watermelon radish, spring onions, red cabbage, broccoli, cippolini onions, romaine heads, chicory, endive and carrots. Cheers to farmers Nick and Heather for helping to plant and spend much of a few days eradicating couch grass roots from the beds.

We made our first real planting of strawberries into a well prepared patch below the loafing barn. 800 plants went into 10 rows and are now getting watered in. They are already coming up and it looks like it will be a lasting addition to our market table not this year, but in the years to come. For the first season they say to pinch the flowers off. For someone so needing of instant gratification it is painful to think we have to wait a whole year before having the satisfaction of our own strawberries. I hope we all live to see the quarts of perfect berries lined up ready and waiting on that first harvest. 

We have 2 hogs that are going to the butcher on the 29 of this month. We have no room in the freezer so they are up for grabs. we can provide 1/4 or 1/2 shares. A half share would be about 90 lbs of pork. If you are interested please contact me asap so I can take your specs on how you would like your chops, bacons, hams, and sausages. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination as to how you would like your pork processed.

This week we have quarts of yogurt, mesclun mix, eggs, cheese and a variety of pork. We are also doing a plant sale with our overstocked veggie starts. The farm store will be open today from 1-5. 

 

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308

Posted 4/16/2016 6:54am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 


The break in harsh weather has brought upon us the busyness of spring. Yesterday we re-planted tomatoes in the high tunnel. The book said plant tomatoes in the high tunnel by April 1st. Mother nature said that's not going to work this year. We lost about 60 cherokee purple plants that we had started in February due to that last little bit of winter weather. The good news is that snap and snow peas are already 6 inches tall. We have planted red turnips, watermelon radish, peas, and spring onions outside. In the high tunnel we have beds of head lettuce, baby carrots, chicory, spinach, and tomatoes. All things to look forward to. For the farm store today we have extra heavy bags of mesclun mix from the greenhouse. 

Today is officially Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation day. I will be celebrating by cutting into a special wheel of swaledale that I made in the fall. Anyone that stops by the farm store today can taste it and help me decide if it is something that we should add to our new lineup of raw cow milk cheeses or not. I hope you are as excited as I am to try it. Raw milk cheese made in traditional ways from animals on pasture is certainly something to celebrate. See you at the store between 1-5.

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

570-595-7748 (cell)609-923-0308