Hawthorne Valley Farm Store is literally an on-farm store! Don’t mistake us for a farm stand, though, our full-line organic/natural foods and grocery store carries products from many local farms, artisans and producers, as well as our complete line of products made on Hawthorne Valley’s 900-acre Biodynamic® farm. This includes our raw milk, raw milk cheeses, and yogurt, all of which are made from the milk provided by our 65 grass-fed dairy cows. We also have an on-site organic bakery that uses flour milled from Biodynamic grains grown on our farm, and an off site fermentation enterprise.
Our store (518.672.7500 x 2) is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Click for directions.
Our raw milk is sold at our on-farm, organic/natural foods and grocery store in Columbia County, so come see us to get some we recommend calling 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. Our milk is Demeter-certified Biodynamic® and must adhere to very strict standards to maintain that certification. Additionally, dairies in New York State are inspected once a month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Markets. Learn more here.
Raw Milk Cheese
We currently make three types of raw milk hard cheese: Cheddar, Gouda, and Alpine. We make several varieties of Alpine which are always available in our Farm Store, while the Gouda and Cheddar are available on a more limited basis. Our hard cheeses are all aged more than 60 days. Some heating of the milk is required in order to produce the cheese, but the temperatures used are below those that cause pasteurization. We sell our cheeses at the farm store as well as our green market locations.
We currently make four flavors of yogurt – Plain, Maple, Honey, and Coffee. The Plain, Maple, and Honey flavors are available in small single serving cup sizes (6 oz.), and large 32 oz. cups, at our farm store as our green market locations. The Coffee flavor currently is only available in the 6 oz. size.
Our Dairy Herd
At the heart of the farm is our herd of 65 grass-fed dairy cows, providing the pulse, rhythm and the basis for the fertility of the farming operations. The cows furnish all of the milk for our Biodynamic® creamery. All of the cows are mixed-breed — a mix of mostly Brown Swiss, with a little Jersey, Guernsey and Devon mixed in. In a sense, our cows have developed into a farm-specific breed of their own, born from our selection for cows that thrive on our home-grown forages, have good legs for walking out to pasture, and — perhaps most important of all with as many visitors as we have at the farm — cows with a gentle disposition.
As far as milk quality is concerned, we appreciate the higher fat and protein content through the Brown Swiss, Jersey and Guernsey influence — ideal for making our cheeses and yogurts, and all the better for a nice cream line on our raw milk. Recently we introduced a Normande bull into our herd to continue to improve our cheese quality, as well as improve the meat quality of the animals. We are striving to raise truly dual-purpose cows that can thrive on 100% pasture and grass forage, producing the highest quality milk and meat.