Saturday, April 20, 2013

How to Feed Your Cheese Addiction

Here it updated list of places where you can find our Morning Glory and get your cheese fix!  We're thrilled at the positive response to our cheese - THANK YOU!  We welcome suggestions if you'd like to see our cheese on a store shelf or restaurant menu near you!

Orchard Fresh (Orchard Park)
NaturTyme (Syracuse)
Syracuse Real Food Co-op
The Little Bleu Cheese Shop (Rochester)
Mooseberry Cafe (Perinton)
Lori's Natural Foods (Henrietta)
Ithaca Coffee Company
Neighborhood Pride (Ithaca)
Jerry Dell Farm Store (Freeville)
Good to Go Market (Trumansburg)
Trumansburg Shurfine
Brookton's Market (Brooktondale)
Fox Run Winery (Penn Yan)
Keuka Spring Vineyards (Penn Yan)
Ravines Wine Cellars (Geneva)
Three Brothers Winery (Geneva)
Americana Winery (Covert)
Bellwether Hard Cider (Covert)
Lively Run Goat Dairy (Interlaken)
Knapp Winery (Romulus)
Hector Wine Company
Kirton's Farm Market (Hector)
Hazlitt's 1869 Winery (Hector)
Standing Stone Vineyards (Valois)
Good Groceries (Watkins Glen)
Rolling Hills Farm Market (Burdett)
Sunset View Creamery (Odessa)

Seneca Falls Farmers Market,
East Side Farmers Market (Perinton)
Highland Farmers Market (Rochester)
Ithaca Farmers Market
On-farm store coming soon!!
We are proud to have our cheese served at Red Newt Bistro, Veraison's Restaurant at Glenora, Vineyard Restaurant at Knapp Winery, & Suzanne, among others!

Friday, December 21, 2012

What To Do, What To Do?

Our Morning Glory cheese is a soft, spreadable, cows' milk cheese, which is a little different than your typical slice & eat artisan cheese.  We occasionally hear the question: what do you do with it?  Our answer: just about anything you can think of! Satisfied customers keep giving us new ideas, and we love hearing how you've enjoyed our cheese!

The obvious option: spread it!  On crackers, your morning bagel, or a scrumptiously fresh loaf of bread (from Wide Awake Bakery, if you are local!).  For your spreading pleasure, let the cheese come to room temperature first. For a variation, try slathering the chive flavor on steaming fresh sweet corn when it's in season, or let it melt over your favorite cooked vegetables.  Potatoes were made for our cheese - whether you put a dollop on your baked, or swirl it in to mashed, they'll be great friends!

Don't limit yourself to the spread!  Morning Glory also sweetens nicely, with your choice of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.  Pair it with fresh fruit and enjoy, or warm it on the grill or under a broiler first.  Try stirring in caramel sauce and a sprinkle of brown sugar, then slice up a handful of crisp apples. Voila, the perfect snack!

To warm up, try melting Morning Glory in a toasty grilled cheese, or use it in place of ricotta in any Italian dish.  Add a little heat, and you will soon have stringy, gooey, goodness!  Substitute it in place of cream cheese in your holiday baking for a rich, creamy flavor - our custom-made cheese cakes are heavenly!

Enjoy our Morning Glory however you'd like, and then please let us know! Here is a unique, frozen salad that is a family tradition!

Pink Artic Freeze

1-7oz pkg Morning Glory original 
2 Tbsp mayo
2 Tbsp sugar
1-1 lb can whole cranberry sauce
1 C crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 C walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 C heavy cream, whipped

Beat cheese, mayo, & sugar til smooth. Stir in cranberry sauce, pineapple, & walnuts. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into a salad mold or a 11"x7" baking pan. Freeze until firm, or overnight. Allow to soften slightly before unmolding & serving.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Story of the Glory

Have you tried our cheese yet?  That’s right – we are now turning our cows’ milk into delicious cheese!  Our first product is “Morning Glory,” a soft, fresh, pasteurized cheese available plain or seasoned with chives!  “Morning Glory” spreads beautifully on a bagel or warm bread, has a mild tang that complements sweet, fresh fruits, and melts smoothly over pasta or in an omelet.  The chive variety is addictive – spread it on crackers, or eat it straight out of the tub!  We love to slather it on farm-fresh sweet corn for an unbeatable treat!

Our cows get the credit for our great tasting cheese, so it seemed only appropriate that they be honored in its name.  “Morning Glory” is named for one of our original Brown Swiss herd members, officially named Eldalechris Even M Glory, but known as Glory for short.  Sarah picked her out as a 4H project at a month old, in 1995, and she resided in Catskill until 2003 when she made the trip out to our new herd.

Glory never quite made it to stardom in the show ring. She was born in November, which made her one of the smaller animals in her class.  Her conformation was not particularly beautiful, as she only classified 80 points. Although Brown Swiss are known for their excellent feet and legs, Glory was not blessed with the best set of wheels to get around on.  In fact, she needed to see the hoof trimmer every time he came, just to keep her moving comfortably. Glory produced a good amount of milk, but she never broke any production records. 
Glory "supervises" cow-mattress installation when we farmed in Trumansburg.

So what made Glory so special?  She was a cow that never gave up!  She kept going, and going, and going, despite the challenges that life threw at her.  Adapting to 3 different farms, Glory was always the leader of the pack.  She calved 9 times, with 6 of those calves being heifers that helped to grow our herd.  Those daughters have added another 9 female offspring to our herd, with each generation improving on the last. 
Welcome to the world!

Our cheese label features Glory and her last heifer calf, Glorianna, a few minutes after her birth.  It represents the optimism that each new beginning brings: a new day, a new calf, or cheese making being a new direction for our dairy.  We draw upon her stamina and will to survive as we begin our new venture.  We lost Glory at 13 ½ years old, but her legacy lives on in her cow family and also in “her” cheese.  Bring her story home to your table today!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Are We?

Cows…it’s basically all about the cows around here.  Well, we do try occasionally to have a life away from the cows, but most days they succeed in occupying the bulk of our time and energy. Their comfort and health is our top priority; they are our four-legged family.  There are typically 125 of them here, of one age or another.  They are either black and white (Holstein) or brown (Brown Swiss) or some combination of the two, which might range from nearly black to chocolate to orange.
We started farming in 2003 with a small group of Brown Swiss and purchased a group of Holsteins.  We love the Swiss for their higher protein milk, great feet & legs, ruggedness, low somatic cell count (this means they produce higher quality milk), and docile personalities (generally speaking).  Wanting a herd with more Brown Swiss, we’ve been crossbreeding our Holstein cows with Brown Swiss bulls, and continuing to breed these animals back to Brown Swiss.  Today, only half of our herd is Holstein, and the other half is at least 50% Swiss, which is really exciting to us!
A Coverall (hoop) barn houses our cows and our milking parlor.  It’s not your typical big red barn, but it has big advantages.  Light shines through the fabric cover, so it’s very pleasant and we have little need for artificial lighting.  We open the sides completely for at least 8 months of the year, which makes the “barn” more like a giant shade with fresh air moving through it all the time.  The cows have custom-sized stalls bedded deep with sand and are free to roam around; to eat, drink, sleep and socialize as they choose.  Our dry cows have a separate pen – they’re not thirsty cows, that is how we refer to cows when they’re on vacation from milking for the last two months of their pregnancy.  The younger “teenage” animals who have not yet calved, or heifers, are housed in groups by size.  Our animals eat pasture and feed that we purchase from other local farms, which means that we can spend our time focused on the cows themselves. 
Last year, we adopted a new system for raising our baby calves.  They are housed in groups and have milk available 24 hours a day, so they can eat whenever they are hungry.  The calves are growing really well in this set-up and stay super healthy!
We use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, which is rarely.  We have a lot invested (emotionally & financially) in our cows, and we want to give them the best medical care available, if they need it.  Balanced diets, vaccines, fresh air & water are our preventive health strategies.  If a cow is treated with antibiotics, her milk is of course discarded until the antibiotics have cleared her system.  Every tank of milk is tested for antibiotics before processing. We do not use rBST, although there really is no difference between the milk from cows that are supplemented and those that aren't. (That will be a topic for another day).   

We have raised our entire herd from birth, with the exception of one cow that is 17 yrs. old that we purchased when we started our herd.  It is not uncommon for our cows to live 7-10 years, which is well above the industry average. To me, this is the best evidence that our cows are well cared for.
Teenage heifers on spring pasture

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here Goes...Something!

Welcome to the very first Vanillen Dairy blog posting!  It is much easier to jot down notes and ideas on paper towels while milking than to sit at the keyboard and translate them into a coherent message, but here goes....

We are on a mission.  We're not sure exactly what route it will lead us on, but we are enthusiastically embracing the challenge to bring our milk, in some deliciously edible form, directly to you!  Please stay tuned to this blog for more info explaining who we are, what is important to us as dairy farmers, and why it should matter to you - the eater!

But....first we need your help!  Please take our survey and tell us about what decadent dairy products you are most interested in, and how we can best get them to you.  Find the survey at .  Your comments and suggestions have been great and are most welcome! Please share this link with anyone and everyone you know!

This is My-T-Fine Buttercup, who was the matriarch of our herd until she passed away recently.  Perhaps "diva" would be a better description!