In the swing of spring, there is no better activity than to visit the rolling hills and green meadows of rural New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. With flowers blooming and cows out to pasture, visiting a dairy farm can be quite the bucolic experience.
Though Wisconsin is often credited as the dairy state of America, New England has a rich, agrarian past that, at one time, relied heavily on dairy production. Today there are still hundreds of dairies, both big and small, throughout New England as well as in the rich farmlands of New York and New Jersey.
The list below includes ten great dairy farms near NYC.
Arethusa Farm & Dairy
556 South Plains Road,
Litchfield, CT 06759
Located in historic Litchfield, Connecticut, Arethusa Farm & Dairy makes delicious milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. Arethusa has a large herd of Jersey and Holstein cows. Their farm tours are open to the public every Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30pm.
Their retail store, located nearby at 822 Bantam Road in Bantam, CT, is open seven days a week Sunday through Thursday from 10:00am to 7:00pm and Friday to Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm.
The owners of the farm, George Malkemus and Anthony Yuragaitis, who are also president and vice president, respectively, of Manolo Blahnik (North and South America) have recently opened a farm-to-table restaurant, Arethusa al Tavolo. Spearheaded by Chef Dan Magill, who once trained under Daniel Boulud, Arethusa al Tavolo uses many of the farm’s fresh products to create a wholesome dining experience. The restaurant has garnered praise from food critics and diners alike. The New York Times gave a wonderful reviewwith a Very Good rating – not an easy feat to achieve!
Thorncrest Farm and Creamery
280 Town Hill Road
Goshen, CT 06756
Husband-and-wife team, Clint and Kimberly, work together on their farm. He tends to their herd, while Kimberly crafts delicious Milk House Chocolates from the fresh milk and cream they get from their cows.
Thorncrest Farm and Creamery offers a variety of interesting activities. From cheese and butter-making courses to farm tours, you can easily spend a full day up at Thorncrest indulging in the beauty and simplicity of the farm life. One can also visit their woodworking shop, The Open Talon, where Clint sells his beautiful, handcrafted wooden items.
Winter hours for their retail store are from Friday to Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Their summer hours, which run from May 31st to November 1st, are Thursday from 12:00 to 5:00pm, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00pm and Sunday from 10:00 to 4:00pm.
The picturesque, family-run Miranda Vineyard is located just down the street. Make sure you stop by for a wine tasting and watch the sun set over Mohawk Mountain at the end of your day.
337 Parmelee Hill Road
Durham, CT 06422
Set in the beautiful rolling hills of Durham, Connecticut, family-run Deerfield Farm has a herd of about 40 Jersey cows. Their retail store, which is open daily from 9am to 6pm, offers fresh milk, yogurt, soft cheese and eggs, as well as their own humanely raised veal. They welcome visitors to tour the barn.
Valley Shepherd Creamery
50 Fairmount Road
Long Valley, NJ 07853
With over 500 sheep, 100 goats and 50 cows, Valley Shepherd Creamery specializes in cheeses made in a traditional European style. They host a variety of events throughout the year from farm tours to cheese and wine tastings. Their cheese-making courses are a popular, hands-on learning experience.
The Creamery offers shearing tours throughout April and lambing tours every Saturday and Sunday from the beginning of May to June 1st. Their Fall Harvest Tour are offered from early September through mid November and focus on the cheese aging process. All of their tours are an enjoyable way to explore and learn about the complexities of dairy farming and cheese-making
Valley Shepherd Creamery products are available in multiple locations. Their on-site store, the Sheep Shoppe, is open Thursday to Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. They also have a retail store located at 211 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY.
Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse
369 Stamets Road
Milford, NJ 08848
Owned by Jonathan and Nina White, Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse specializes in 100% grass-fed raw milk cheeses and wood-fired breads. Located in the heart of Hunterdon County, their simple, rustic farm is home to about sixty mixed breed cows. From Roasted Duckfat Ciabatta to their cave-ripened cheddar, Bobolink offers a yummy selection of food products. Their on-site store is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (closed Tuesdays) from 12:00 to 6:00pm and Saturday to Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Guided farm tours are every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm, weather permitting. Reservations are recommended. Bobolink also offers cheese-making, bread-making and charcuterie classes throughout the summer. Be sure to book ahead for these! Consider combining a trip to Bobolink with a visit to the historic, award-winning Alba Vineyard, located just ten miles away.
For those who cannot make the trek, Bobolink sells their bread and cheese in their online store.
Cherry Grove Farm
3200 Lawrenceville Road (Rt. 206 N.)
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Cherry Grove Farm is a historic and sustainable farm, located on 400-acres in the heart of Lawrenceville. Organically certified, the farmers believe in knowing where your food comes from. Specializing in cheese, Cherry Grove offers cheese-making courses, as well as tours of their farm. Read about the experience covered by the New York Times here.
At their farmstead store, open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm, they sell eight different kinds of homemade cheese, whey-fed pork, grass-fed lamb and pasture-raised eggs. If you can’t make the trip, Cherry Grove has an online store, where a variety of their products are available.
Halo Dairy Farm
970 Spruce Street
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Halo Farm was founded in 1975 and has become a community staple in Lawrenceville. They sell a variety of all natural dairy products at affordable prices, ranging from ice cream to fresh yogurt. With over 45 flavors, Halo Farm has a created a cult following, as one can see by all of the rave reviews on Yelp.
Though they are only a retail store and not a functioning dairy farm, you can combine your visit with Cherry Grove Farm, located just six miles away.
Halo Farm is open daily from 7:00am to 11:00pm. You can visit Halo Pub nearby in Princeton, NJ, for a quick lunch. Halo Fete, their ice cream patisserie, is located just down the street from the pub. Try one of their scrumptious ice cream pastries or bring an ice cream cake home for later!
281 Rocktown Lambertville Road
Lambertville, NJ 08530
Fulper Farms is a family-run operation that has been dedicated to high-quality farming since 1909. They embrace agritourism and encourage people to visit their farm. Not only do they offer farm tours, but they also have day events throughout the year, as well as hosting summer camps and birthday parties for young kids.
One can also purchase cheese and yogurt from their on-site store for pick-up at the farm. Their products are available at various farmer’s markets in the area.
310 Prospect Hill Road
Ancramdale, NY 12503
Though Ronnybrook Farm is a bit far from the city, making the trip up to Ancramdale is well worth it. Tours are offered for the dairy farm, but do require an appointment. For those of you who can’t make it out of the city, visit the Ronnybrook Milkbar located in Chelsea Market, at 75 Ninth Ave.
For the agri-curious out there, Ronnybrook Farm proposes a fully immersive farming experience. Hosted by Jazz Hotels, the week-long excursion includes living, working and enjoying the farm and everything it has to offer. From tending to the farm, the creamery or the grounds, this trip is a serious look at what it takes to run an operational dairy farm.
Hawthorne Valley Farm
327 County Route 21C
Ghent, NY 12075
Hawthorne Valley Farm is a 400-acre biodynamic farm, nestled in the hills of Columbia County, NY. Though Hawthorne Valley is not exclusively a dairy farm, their creamery produces a variety of cheeses, yogurt and even quark.
Hawthorne Valley products can be found in their on-site retail store and at other retailers in New England and the Tristate area. Their Farm Store is a far cry from the small shops you find at most farms. The Farm Store is a fully operational organic/natural foods and grocery store that serves the surrounding community.
They offer free farm tours to the public, as well as additional activities like making cheese and feeding small animals. Though Hawthorne Valley is two and a half hours from Manhattan, it is well worth the visit. Ideal for a weekend trip, there are many idyllic accommodations in the surrounding area, as well as unique dining experiences. For a truly locavore experience, dine at famed Fish & Game located 15 miles from the farm in Hudson, NY.
Ferris Acres Creamery
144 Sugar Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Ferris Acres Creamery is the last commercial dairy herd in Fairfield County. Founded in 1864 by William Baldwin David Ferris, the farm has been in the family for the past 150 years. Today, it is primarily a creamery that specializes in delicious ice cream. The store is open daily from 12:00 to 9:00pm, throughout the spring and summer.
Very close to the city, Ferris Acres is a quick trip to grab some delicious homemade ice cream and visit their beautiful Holsteins.
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