Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Day in Chester County

Yesterday, I attended a board meeting for the Pennsylvania Farmstead & Artisan Cheese Alliance in Chester County at fellow board member, Susan Miller's Farm. She and her husband, Ken own Birchrun Hills Farm where they milk a purebred herd of Holstein cows. A few years ago, Sue began making cheese from their milk at an unused cheesemaking facility a few miles from their farm at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, an intentional farming community for adults with developmental disabilities.
Many years ago, Camphill Village purchases cheesemaking equipment from Europe, including a large copper cheese vat. The creamery had set idle for years before Sue approached them about renting the facility. However, she soon found how impractical and difficult it was to work with the copper kettle, so she has moved to a stainless steel cheese vat. A batch of Birchrun Hill Blue on the draining table behind the vat.From the cheesemaking room, the wheels are removed from their molds and transferred to the cheese cellar. Who ever built this facility had the forethought to build in a dumb waiter between the make-room and just outside the cellar door. Once in the cellar, the cheeses are ages for a minimum of 60 days since they are all produced with raw milk. This year, Sue expiremented with pressing aromatic hops flowers on to the tops of cheese wheels.
When sufficiently aged, the cheeses are packaged and sold at farmers markets (Phoenixville, Anselma and Head House), at well-known cheese shops such as DiBruno Brothers and to local chefs & restaurants.
In addition to the Birchrun Hills Blue, the Millers also make an Highland Alpine, a sharp nutty cheese and a tomme they call Fat Cat that has a delicious earthy tang with a pear-like finish.

2 comments:

  1. OK, who cut the cheese?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sandy for the "hand" shot.

    ReplyDelete