I finally found time to tour CreamBrook Farm in Swoope. Kristen and Ben Biechler, founders of Creambrookfarm, are former Polyface apprentices and their farm is just over the hill from Polyface. Wise choice since they process their freedom ranger meat birds at Polyface. That’s an easy transit. This beautiful ”spring” fed farm is a perfect beginning for this young eager couple.
Kristen grew up on a small dairy farm in Northern Virginia and Ben had a dairy cow when he lived at Buxton several years ago.What I really appreciate about their farm is how passionate they feel about their 100% pasture raised Jersey Dairy Cows. That includes the commitment to milk them twice a day! Isn’t it wonderful when we can allow our income to come from doing what we love? And for the Biechler’s, milking their small dairy herd of four and then delivering this wonderful healthy product to appreciative customers is just the beginning of their dreams.
Yes, I said delivered! Imagine the luxury of coming home to find delicious raw milk waiting for you in your very own fridge. One less errand to race to, right? They are the only farmers in the area who provide this delivery service. With 43 current shares they intend to grow well over 100 shares.
Fortunately for them they are able to lease enough land to satisfy their yearning as new farmers. In less than a year they have discovered a number of new realizations. First, they realize they didn’t care for farrowing (birthing) pigs up the mountain a few miles from their home. Being unable to track predator interruptions and spending gas and money getting to that property was taxing for them. So they quickly fizzled out their pig set up, sold the piglets to Polyface and moved the remaining piglets to the barnyard next to their rustic farmhouse. This way, the piglets gain weight drinking all the extra raw milk from their dairy cows and are supplemented with grain and corn. Isn’t it wonderful they had the courage to give the idea of farrowing on the mountain a try? This is also why it’s important to start small!
In the future they will return to pigs but for now their focus remains clear. They want their income to begin flowing through their herd shares and poultry. When I visited they had 4 jersey milk cows with 2 more scheduled to arrive the following week.
Freedom Rangers are a beautiful delicious meat bird. They’re ready to process at 10 weeks instead of 8 weeks like cornish cross birds so there is a longer feed input than broilers. But there’s interest from chefs/restaurants for freedom rangers. The Biechler’s raise 1500 freedom rangers and since they’re in the Polyface loop they know who to hire to get the job done.
Polyface purchases the freedom rangers along with Kristen’s family farm, oldchurchcreamery.com in northern Virginia. Clearly, this eager young couple are off to a great start finding their marketing niche.
To learn more about this hardworking, soft spirited beautiful couple, you can visit creambrookfarm.com. In my short visit I learned so much about their commitment to farming, and I deeply appreciate their vision. They’re simply irresistible!