I'm not going to lie - even if all you did at Valley Shepherd Creamery was spend some time in their fantastic gift shop, it would be time well spent. But, needless to say, you'd be missing out if you didn't do more.
Valley Shepherd Creamery, located in Long Valley, NJ, uses European traditional methods to produce many of their cheeses. According to the owners,
Our goal was to create a self sustaining sheep dairy that would be geared to educate everyone in the process of sheep management and cheese making. At the same time, we wanted to make delicious cheeses that follows the old style European methods and thus the Valley Shepherd Creamery concept was born.
They've got a variety of cow's milk and sheep's milk cheeses and when we did a tour about a year ago there, we got to taste lots of them. The tour we did included a talk about the farm, a tour of the cheese making area and a tractor ride across their land over to the cheese cave. We got to sample many varieties of cheese - none of which was rejected. It's a great destination whether you're by yourself or have the family in tow.
There are great animals to observe, including my favorites....alpacas.
There are lots of places and ways to enjoy the taste of Valley Shepherd:
- If you're not in NJ or don't want to make the trek, never fear, you can get a Valley Shepherd cheeses at Melt Kraft in Brooklyn, NY, 101 Macdougal Street in NYC or Reading Terminal in Philadelphia.
- Interested in a Tour? Check out their tour menu here.
- Want to take a cheese-making class? You get to age your wheel of cheese there for retrieval 90 days after the class. Pretty neat. Check out their schedule here.
- If you like a little wine with your cheese, check out their wine & cheese events here.
- If you're in Philly - check out events here.
Know before you go:
I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).
I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)
This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.
In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself.
With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix DMC-ZS15 compact camera.)
I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.
Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!