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Posted 4/2/2014 11:31am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter

 

Dear Cranberry Creek Farm Friends,


The Cranberry Creek Farm Store will be open this Saturday from 10-4! Please stop by and see what we have available. Stocked in the store will be all local and eco farmed parsnips, sweet potatoes, onions, white potatoes, apples, as well as some cheeses from Cherry Grove and Valley Sheperd! We also have a great selection of Stryker Farm pork products. Of our own offerings will be a limited amount of raw milk, aged cheeses, and our delicious drinkable yogurt. There is also a bountiful amount of our organically fed eggs! We hope to see you all there on Saturday. Proceeds from this first opening day will be going towards replacing our high tunnel that collapsed under the snow this winter. We were hoping to have greens coming out of it by now. We will do our best to get it up and running again ASAP! 

We are committed to providing our community with safe and healthy food from our farm and other local farms with similar farming practices. Please stop by on Saturday and share in the bounty with us!

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

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

Posted 12/20/2013 9:12am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter




Hello Friends!


It is only December and I am scouring the seed catalogs and envisioning gardens of glory for this next growing season. We are going to pack the store full of fresh produce and goat milk products for you all! We hope to have extra early tomatoes and greens coming out of the high tunnel asap. We have decided to not organize the csa for this year but to rather open the store one day a week on Saturdays for shopping. It has been a few years since we have grown produce on a larger scale and we think it would be wise to brush up on our gardening skills for a season before going full blast into a commitment like a csa. We hope that you will visit us on Saturdays and share with us our harvest! I will be sending these newsletters to remind you of what we will have each week.


We are heading out to Colorado next week to pick up some outstanding registered alpine dairy goats. We will have available kids out of these does that would be great backyard milkers or 4H projects. We will also be training pack goats if anyone is interested. These does are out of Mamm-Key, Puckett's, and Lazy Lady Farm Alpines. These are some of the best milking animals in the country and we would love to find good homes for them when there are extra animals. We can't keep all of them all the time. 


Don't forget to visit Mary-Jean at the Easton Winter Farmers Market tomorrow and every saturday through the winter. We will have lots of great cheeses available as well as goat sausages, roasts, and cubed steak. She is also selling some of her wonderful handmade crafts. 

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

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

Posted 11/25/2013 9:20am by Jeffrey Henry.

Cranberry Creek Farm Newsletter



Dear Friends,

 

It is an early winter blizzard outside and I am nice and cozy here by the woodstove. Everett is napping in his crib which leaves me a few minutes to get my thoughts to you before he wakes. In our ever expanding thoughts on ways to make this farm more self sufficient and viable we have come back to the idea of gathering a good group of members for a CSA. We want to keep progressing with our dairy and cheesemaking operation as well as get back to our roots with the Community Supported farm concept. We feel that adding a dairy component to the normal vegetable share option would be a very nice complement to a weekly package. We have been researching different models of Community Supported Agriculture and we like the full diet concept which allows the member full access to most farm products throughout the year in an amount only restricted by how much he/she feels they need each week. Members would be encouraged to take extra for preserving. We know that we will have at least 1 acre of produce, which we feel can support about 25 members. There will be plenty of goat and cow milk, cheese, and eggs. Broiler chickens, pork, and other meats can be ordered as additions to the share. Please realize that this is all preliminary planning and it all depends on whether or not we have enough interested members to make it worthwhile. If there is enough members to share the cost of covering the yearly budget for the farm then it would be our pleasure to be your community farmers. 


Please respond to this email if you are interested. It by no means signs you up or ensures you a membership but it will let us know you are interested so that we can keep nurturing this idea. Hopefully it will grow into something wonderful. 


Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Cranberry Creek Farm

112 Henry's Crossing Rd

Cresco, PA 18326

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

Posted 6/12/2013 8:31pm by Jeffrey Henry.

 


CHEESEMAKERS JOURNAL

Things have been busy, busy, busy!

Putting systems in place to slowly make things more efficent and have better records for all our milk and cheese processes. Let me tell you, recordkeeping is one of the unsung heroes of cheesemaking. Detailed make records that track variables in acidity in the make, and later, what goes on in the mold progression and flavor development in the cheese cave are key. If a cheese comes out astoundingly amazing one week, or turns into an entirely different cheese upon tasting, then I can know why only if I tracked things religously. This is entirely going to be a season of honing in for this farm, but it would be seasons if we didn't pay attention to every step of the cheesemake process.

The other big change in the makeroom: the pleasure of the company of two interns. Kris Glover and Aaron DiMunno have dropped everything for 6 months to come work with Jeff & MJ in the parlor and learn cheesemaking with me. Aaron is a former big-time animator, more recently NYC cab driver and comes to us with sheep farming experience in Australia under his belt. Kris was recently in Vermont at The Egg Farm, a small diverse homstead farm learning the ways of the land with goats, chickens, and pigs and picking up the rural skills of jamming and pickling. She is also about to graduate this weekend with her Master's based on a study of the viability of urban farms - congrats Kris!

Kris and Aaron have already provided vital assistance in the cheeseroom and farm end. I really appreciate Aaron's go-to positivity and indefatigable spirit in the makeroom. And it gives me pleasure to see that Kris clearly loves working with the goats and has a confidence when handling them. I look forward to seeing both of them develop as cheesemakers. Lookout for content, directly from them, in the next newsletter.

One last note: I'm very excited to let you dear readers in on a little secret, shhh, our raw milk tomme-style is almost ready and it has a name: Monomonock! It's the name of a local inn that burnt decades ago, and I also appreciate the muppet ring to it. The first batch comes from the first spring milk, with means from hay milk, and it tastes gloriously of porch herb pot stuffed with oregano, thyme, and lemon balm. Look for it at markets in the next couple weeks and have a taste.

 


A RECIPE SUGGESTION FOR JUNE

I feel a little like a goat eating salads nonstop with all that ruffage, but hey as I like to say, summer is salad season. And right now is the time to buy your local strawberries too. Strawberries are great in many sweet ways, but vary it up by playing their sweetness off peppery greens in a summer salad. Toss your favorite mix of greens from your local farmer, preferably including mesclun or some arugula, all about. Add in some spring peas shorn of their little string ends if you like. Toss a handful of toasted, or not, walnuts or almonds, in with your veggie. Add in your strawberrues now: no need to fuss chopping too much if you've bought the real stuff and not Driscolls. Just break off the greens, and slice in half the larger ones and heap them in as it pleases. Toss it all about with a cup in which you've beat two squirts of lemon and 1/4 cup of oil and a goodly portion fresh plain chevre. ENJOY! And savor that taste of summer. Unlike say, squash, we've got a limited window for the true local ruby gems, so eat them in droves while you can.

 

MARKETPLACE

Hey Locals! We know it's hard to find great coffee in the Poconos. That's why we sourced some bags of excellent beans from our friend Joe Cesa in Philly. He roasts small batches of Fair Trade Organic certified beans to make the perfect cup. The first of many products that will be trickling in our Farm Store, and yet another reason to stop by. Learn more here : http://www.phillyfairtrade.com/

And back to fruit, did you know there is a Strawberry Festival this weekend at Easton? All the Easton Farmers' Market vendors will be featuring this sweet, floral beauty of summer in one way or another. Great strawberries are available from our neighbor's Beechwood Orchard, that I might add, are delightful paired simply with our fresh chevre or bloomy rind. Add a bottle of Prosecco and comfy blanket and you have yourself a June picnic in my book.

We will have more little discs and pyramids of buttery bloomy rinded cheeses (think camembert) coming your way this weekend. Judging by your response from the first batches, and our own happiness making them, their will be a lot more to come. I'll end this newsletter with their names this weekend, with echoes an immortal cinematic classic, that I'll let you recall. They are called "Exhale. And Be Excellent to Each Other." 

 



 

Jeff, Mary-Jean and Paul


Posted 3/25/2013 12:11pm by Jeffrey Henry.

 

Dear Friends,


Morning chores are done and I get to kick off my boots, sit by the fire and write to you for awhile to let you know what is going on here at Cranberry Creek Farm. The first exciting thing I would like to let all of you know is that we have a baby on the way. Its a boy and he is due to come into our lives in just a few weeks! We are overjoyed and can't wait to meet him. Mary-Jean has been busy making a wonderful nursery for him and has made a very impressive stack of cloth diapers to use. We received many great gifts at the baby shower and we think we have everything that we could possibly need. 


We have another new addition to the farm this year. His name is Paul Lawler and he is our full time cheesemaker extroardinaire. He has been here the past couple days cleaning, taking inventory, helping with this year's first batch, and moving his things into the farmhouse. He plans on continuing and perfecting our tomme, gouda, and chevre cheeses as well as developing some new cheeses like a washed rind tallegio, and a leaf wrapped bloomy rind cheese. We have also been planning a project involving a special bleu cheese to be aged in a spring house here on the farm. Paul has been working with cheese as a cheesemonger in retail cheese shops as well as completing a cheesemaking apprenticeship with Keswick Creamery, and most recently working as a cheesemaker at Cricket Creek Farm in Massachusetts. We can't wait to see what he brings out of the cheese cave here at Cranberry Creek!


We are now planning on dropping the organic certification. We feel that we can produce a better product without it because it is much easier to find higher quality feed stuffs that are not certified organic. It was also cost prohibitive being that all organic hay and grains are typically twice the price of conventional feeds, and we use a lot of feed. We can now buy our feeds locally as much as possible. We are still committed to buying only non-gmo feeds. Genetically modified organisms are crops that have been genetically altered to develop certain traits that can be beneficial in industrial farming models like being able to withstand high doses of herbicides and pesticides. We do not agree with that because that type of farming is not good for the land, and the food produced by it is not good for us. We still plan on never using antibiotics, and everything that we grow here on the farm is always organically managed. 


Our farm store will be open soon and we plan on stocking it full of wonderful things this year. Some of the things we are planning on having available for purchase (besides our products) are some other local cheeses from Calkins Creamery, some lacto-fermented products like kim chee and sauerkraut, fire cider, apples, meats, cheesemaking kits, heirloom garden seeds, non-gmo chicken feed and bulk goat manure compost to name a few. Please spread the word and stop by whenever you can to see what is new here at Cranberry Creek!


Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

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

Posted 11/27/2012 8:31am by Jeffrey Henry.

Dear Friends of Cranberry Creek Farm,


It is a beautiful snowy morning here at the farm. The goats are nice and cozy on their bed pack which is already 2 feet deep. The chicks are in the greenhouse where it is always warm. The pigs are nestled in their steamy nest. Our 2 highland calves are still in the field grazing through the snow to get to the green grass underneath. The calves refuse to go back inside and would rather be outside no matter what the weather is like. These Highland cows have been bred over centuries to be hardy and adaptable to some of the most rugged conditions. Well we felt like we have a little bit of that rugged kind of terrain here and decided to give it a try. We could not live without cows (and beef) anymore. The calves have been easy and enjoyable to watch so far...


Our cheese barn is closed for the season. The goats have been dried up now for about a month and they seem to be enjoying a break from milking. They will be having kids starting in mid February when we are expecting about 120 kids! We are planning on saving all of the doe kids for milkers, and we will raise all of the buck kids for chevon and cabrito. We are hiring right now for a cheesemaking position so if you know of any aspiring fromagers please let us know. It has come to the point where it is beyond myself and Mary-Jean to do everything in the barn ourselves. We still like to be farmers and not just cheesemakers, and marketing takes up a lot of time that should be spent taking care of the cheese. 


We are in the beginning stage of planning another Community Supported Agriculture program here at the farm. This time it would be a year round csa with vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, pork, beef, goat, flour, and maple syrup. Please let us know if you would be interested in that and if you would like to help in the planning and organizing of such an endeavor. It might still be a couple years off but it is never too early to start planning! 


We have 6 hogs going to Zeiler Caruth Meats tomorrow. We still have shares available in 1/4, 1/2 or whole. You can specify what cuts and sausages you would like if you get back to us before tomorrow. If not we will still have shares available which will include bacon, ham, chops, sausage, roasts, hocks, organ meats, fresh jowl, and ribs. Sausage includes breakfast, hot italian and sweet italian. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to stock up on whey fed forest raised pork!


Your neighborhood organic farmers,


Jeff & Mary-Jean

Posted 6/18/2012 9:14am by Jeffrey Henry.

Good Morning Friends,

This week we brought home lots of great stuff for the farm store! There is lots of great looking kale, swiss chard, collards, salad mix, rhubarb, shelled peas, scapes, beets, fennel, turnips, arugula, squash, green beans, celery, cherries, blueberries, and raspberries. The fruits and berries this week are from Beechwood Orchard, and the veggies are from a few farms including Down to Earth, Tom Culton Rare Varietals, Weavers Way, and Blooming Glen. We also have delicious canned sockeye salmon from Otolith Sustainable Seafood. Over the weekend we had fresh snap peas from our own garden in the store. We hope some of you were able to try them as they were delicious! There will probably be another harvest of peas in the store for next weekend. 


We hope you are enjoying this bounty of great food as much as we are! Despite the distance from which this produce has come, we still feel that it is to be considered somewhat sustainable. The reason for this is that it has not travelled any extra miles just to get here. The farms where the food is from are going to the markets either way, and we are going to the markets no matter what because that is how we make a living. So if we bring produce from Philly to the Poconos as a result of this, we haven't wasted any extra energy getting it here. So eat this food knowing that you are contributing to a more sustainable planet! And I hope you were able to follow me through this explanation!


Your Neighborhood Farmers,


Jeffrey & Mary-Jean


PS. Please welcome back Pete to the farm! He is working with us for the summer learning to make cheese and take care of the goats. For those of you who do not know Pete he is our great friend who has spent much time here working as a vegetable grower and now as a herdsperson and cheese affineur.

Posted 6/4/2012 10:36am by Jeffrey Henry.

Dear Friends of Cranberry Creek Farm,

We have our weekly harvest in the store! This week we have head lettuce and beets from Down to Earth Harvest, garlic from Savoie Organic Farm, and beets, radish, and spring onions from Blooming Glen! All are wonderful farms who grow great produce. We also have our very own Caramel sauce made with goat milk and organic sugar along with our eggs, cheese, and milk. Stop by and take a look! Please give me a call if you have any questions at 609-923-0308.

Respectfully,


Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Posted 5/28/2012 6:37am by Jeffrey Henry.

Dear Friends of Cranberry Creek,

Much has changed here at Cranberry Creek Farm since our market gardening days. We have a fairly large dairy goat herd, a cheese processing facility, and little to no time to be in the gardens like we used to. We have planted a modest 3/4 acre plot and plan on having a few organic vegetable items throughout the season, but nothing like we had in years past in terms of produce. That being said we have now and will continue to have wonderful organic produce in our farm store from some of the better Philadelphia area farms that we are so lucky to have at the Headhouse Farmers Market. Those farms will include Weavers Way Farms and Blooming Glen Farm. Please look them up and read about them because they are both wonderful farms that grow great organic produce. The Headhouse Farmers Market that we do is on Sundays, so our store will be stocked with produce and ready for business on Mondays. This week we have swiss chard, beets, kohlrabi, gr. onions, kale, head lettuce, turnips, bagged baby kale, arugula, salad mix, and spicy salad mix. Our store is on the honor system, everything is priced, and there is change in the jar. There is also the usual milk, cheese, and eggs in the fridge. If there is any questions please call me on my cell phone @609-923-0308. We will be in the barn making cheese if you need us! 

Your neighborhood Farmers,

Jeffrey & Mary-Jean

Posted 7/18/2011 9:59am by Jeffrey Henry.
Dear Friends of Cranberry Creek,
We did it! We finally have our Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued permit to bottle and sell raw milk. This means that we are amongst the few dairies in the state that have milk that meets some of the most stringent standards in the world for cleanliness. Here are a few facts about raw goat milk:
  • Goat's milk is less allergic - It does not contain the complex protein that stimulate allergic reactions to cow's milk.)
  • Goat's milk does not suppress the immune system.
  • Goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk (An old statistic showed that goat's milk will digest in a baby's stomach in twenty minutes, whereas pasturized cow's milk takes eight hours.  The difference is in the structure of the milk.)
  • Goat's milk has more buffering capacity than over the counter antacids. (The USDA and Prairie View A&M University in Texas have confirmed that goat's milk has more acid-buffering capacity than cow's milk, soy infant formula, and nonprescription antacid drugs.)
  • Goat's milk alkalinizes the digestive system.  It actually contains an alkaline ash, and it does not produce acid in the intestinal system.  Goat's milk helps to increase the pH of the blood stream because it is the dairy product highest in the amino acid L-glutamine.  L-glutamine is an alkalinizing amino acid, often recommended by nutritionists.
  • Goat's milk contains twice the healthful medium-chain fatty acids, such as capric and caprylic acids, which are highly antimicrobial. (They actually killed the bacteria used to test for the presence of antibiotics in cow's milk!)
  • Goat's milk does not product mucus; it does not stimulate a defense response from the human immune system.
  • Goat's milk is a rich source of the trace mineral selenium, a necessary nutrient, however, for its immune modulation and antioxidant properties.
  • Easier digestion allows the lactose to pass through the intestines more rapidly, not giving it time to ferment or cause an osmotic imbalance.
  • Goat's milk also contains 7% less lactose than cow milk.
  • Additionally, most lactose intolerant people have found that they can tolerate goat's milk and goat milk products.
  • Goat's milk has long been used and recommended as an aid in the treatment of ulcers due to its more effective acid buffering capacity.
  • Children on goat's milk have been observed to sleep through the night and remain more satisfied between meals.
  • Natural milk contains many bioactive components, which serve to retard the growth of harmful organisms, and to protect the health of the person consuming them. Goat's milk contains the same important bioactive components as mother's milk.
  • 72% of the world drinks goats milk, the rest drink sheep, cow, horse, llama, yak, water buffalo, etc.
I could cut and paste all day with exerpts that explain why raw goat milk is a great food, but I will tell you why I think our milk is better than most any other milk you could find. Our goats live free without fences on 100 acres of forest. Goats have evolved to eat browse, which means they eat forest foods just like our white tailed deer. They browse on shrub and tree leaves, buds, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. Every single goat dairy I have ever seen in PA or anywhere in the country treats their goats just like cows, with fences containing them in mostly worn out overgrazed pastures. Our goats go on walks every day to enjoy the over abundance of shrubby browse that has sprung up in the past couple years because of the loss of much of our upper forest canopy due to the gypsy moth invasion. They get all that they need from these foray's into the woods, and all that highly nutritious mineral and vitamin rich browse transfers right into the milk that we drink. Isn't it great to be able to drink the forest in such a delicious format? 

We also have a few vegetable items that will be available in our farm store including garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans. We also have a very happy looking apple harvest coming up, and we are considering investing in a cider press to take advantage of all the apples that we will have. 

Please stop by the farm store anytime. It is open dawn til dusk, seven days a week. Just help yourself and get your change from the coffee can in the fridge. In the store now are eggs, pork, fresh goat cheese, garlic, and raw goat milk. 
You can also find us at the Shawnee Inn market on tuesday evenings, in Mt. Pocono on sundays at the municipal building, Blairstown Farmers Market on saturdays, and Easton Farmers Market on saturdays. You can also get our products and other great stuff through the Foodshed Alliance buying club, there are distribution points in East Stroudsburg, and Shawnee.

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We miss having farm club pick up days, but unfortunately we haven't had enough time to grow enough produce to make it worthwhile for you to come out. We will however have some really amazing tomatoes, potatoes, beans and garlic to go along with our goat products that will always be available in the store.
Your neighborhood goat herders,
Jeff & Mary-Jean