Frequently Asked Questions
This is the page where we will try to answer the questions customers ask us most often. If you don't see an answer you're looking for, get in touch with us via email or phone and we will be happy to answer your question to the best of our abilities!
Cows and Milk
Do you offer raw milk for sale?
Yes! We offer raw milk for sale every day we are open. More information about what raw milk is can be found here.
Do you offer pasteurized milk for sale?
Yes! We pasteurize the milk on-farm. It is not homogenized.
What is pasteurization? Does it mean you took the cream out of the milk?
Pasteurization is the process of heat-treating milk to reduce bacteria. It is not the same thing as homogenization, which is where the milk is emulsified so the cream no longer separates out. None of our milk is homogenized (so the cream will still separate out).
Do you offer chocolate milk for sale?
Yes! We make the chocolate milk on-farm. It does not have any stabilizers or emulsifiers in it like carrageenan or xanthan, and it is not homogenized.
Where and when can I buy your milk?
Our milk is available on our farm during our store hours; check the Contact Us page for our most updated hours. Appointments to come to the farm to buy milk outside of these times are welcome, just give us a call at 724-397-0101 and we will set something up that works for you. We also offer our Rolling Acorn Delivery service in Punxsutawney and Brookville! More info about that here.
What is the difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk?
Raw milk is milk that has been taken from the cow and cooled with no heat treatments. Pasteurized milk is heat treated to kill any bacteria that may be present. In turn, this process can sometimes kill the good bacteria and enzymes present in milk that can aid in digestion and absorption. Our raw milk (along with our cows and our water) is regularly tested for bacteria and we are held to high sanitation standards in order to prevent the presence of any harmful bacteria as best we can.
What is the date on the top of your milk bottles?
This is our sell-by date- something we use to mark each batch as we are legally required to do by the state, and to help us keep our store's fridge organized. It is NOT the expiration date! You should expect to get at least 7-10 days out of your milk past the date on the cap; the colder your fridge is the longer it will last.
What are those little white things floating in my chocolate milk? Has it gone bad?
Nope! Those are small pieces of cream and this is actually a good sign- it means your fridge is cold, making it hard to reincorporate the cream into the milk. Keep shaking for another minute or so- they will eventually break up and shake back in like usual!
Are your cows raised on pasture?
Yes, they are. Pasture is available to our cows for at least six months out of the year. During this time, the cows are outside all the time except for the four hours when they are being milked. When winter arrives, we bring our cows into the barn to protect both our cows and the pasture. In order to maintain healthy pastures, we keep the cows off of the grass in this wetter season to prevent the destruction of delicate root systems. Keeping them inside also prevents injuries from falls on icy ground and frost bite damage to their udders. They are fed hay during the winter that is made from the same types of grasses on which they graze in the summer.
What are your cows fed?
In the warmer months, the cows' diet consists of free choice access to grass pasture and minimal grain to supplement their vitamin and mineral needs. When the weather begins to change, we supplement the cows' pasture access with hay grown and baled on our farm. The cows come inside for the winter and their diet then consists of 85% hay and 15% grain made by us from crops grown on our farm. There are no pesticides used on the crops we feed our cows (hay, corn, and oats). Our cows are not fed soy or any animal by-products.
What kinds of cows are in your herd?
Our herd consists of Jerseys (the brown cows), Holsteins (the black and white cows), and Jersey-Holstein crosses (the nearly all black cows). Many of our Jersey cows are likely A2A2, which means that their milk carries a certain protein that has the potential to make the milk easier to digest. This is helpful for people who may be sensitive to dairy products. In addition, having a herd that is mostly Jerseys means our milk has a high cream content, making it great to use for ice cream, cheese, and butter.
Do you bring other cows into your herd?
No. We have what is called a closed herd. This helps to prevent the spread of disease and allows us to better manage our cows. We bring new genetics into the herd through artificial insemination. Any milk sold on our farm comes only from our own cows!
How often do you milk your cows?
We milk our herd twice a day 365 days a year. Each cow gets at least two months off from milking each year, sometimes longer depending on the situation. Unfortunately, the herd as a whole doesn't recognize holidays like Christmas and they aren't able to give us time off for vacations. This is part of what makes having so many people in our family willing to work on the farm great! We can rotate shifts while still making sure that the cows are milked, fed, and comfortable.
Is your dairy certified organic?
No, we are not certified organic. However, we work to manage our cows and our farm in the most sustainable ways possible. We do not feed our cows anything that has been treated with pesticides, any animal by-products, or anything soy-based. We are always researching the best ways to care for our animals and produce our milk, and we are always working to eliminate practices that harm the environment.
Are your cows given antibiotics?
We do not use antibiotics for sickness prevention or feed antibiotics through our grain. In rare instances, we will give a cow antibiotics to help her combat an infection and prevent further pain, illness, or death. We drain the milk of any cow that is given antibiotics so it is never put into the main bulk tank or sold for human consumption. We view the appropriate, occasional use of antibiotics as being a necessary part of humanely caring for our cows.
Does your milk contain antibiotics?
No, our milk never contains antibiotics. If we treat a cow with antibiotics, we dump her milk rather than putting it into the bulk tank. We never sell milk for human consumption that contains antibiotics.
Does your milk contain soy?
No. Our cows are not fed any soy products.
Do you give your cows growth hormones like rBGH?
No, we do not give our cows any form of growth hormones. This helps our cows stay healthy and happy longer and allows us to produce our milk in the most natural way possible.
How much milk does a cow produce in a day?
On average, our cows produce about fifty pounds, or about five and a half gallons, per day. This can fluctuate based on the weather, the individual cow, and the food they are eating.
How long do cows live?
This can vary greatly depending on the individual cow and circumstances, but the oldest cow in our herd right now is thirteen years old and we've had cows as old as sixteen or so. Often, cows in larger commercial herds live much shorter lives, with the average being around five years.
I've seen pictures of calves on your farm without their mothers. What do you do when calves are born and why?
When calves are born on our farm, mothers are allowed to clean their calves and give them their first milk. We then separate them so we can offer the best care to the mother and the calf. They are still within sight and smell of each other, and the calf will continue to be fed its mothers milk in order to retain as many of the important first nutrients as possible. Over the past several decades of dairy farming, cows in the industry have been selected for traits like larger udders and higher milk production. Even though we do not select for these traits in our own breeding endeavors, they still exist within our herd. These traits make nursing dangerous for both the mother and the calf. Cows' udders can become infected or permanently and painfully damaged by calves who are still trying to nurse in ways that the cows are no longer built to handle. In addition, the higher milk production of the mother is often too much for the calf to drink. They will continue to drink to the point that they are sick, and this may even result in death. We instead raise calves in herds with other calves of similar ages where they are allowed to socialize and play 24/7.
When are your baked goods available? Do you bake every day?
Baked goods are available at our farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 6pm. Occasionally, we will also take bread to the Indiana Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 to 12, along with our regular milk and produce. Unfortunately, we cannot bake every day because that would prevent us from getting the regular farm work done!
What kinds of baked goods do you have?
Our monthly menu can be found here. It is also available in our store as a paper copy, and on our Facebook page. On a typical day, we usually have bread, cinnamon rolls, and cookies. We try to offer as much variety as possible and switch up other offerings, including pies, cheesecakes, muffins, gobs, and more. If you want to know if we make a certain kind of thing, just ask! Also, if something isn't on the menu for a certain day, it can still be pre-ordered. Pre-orders are encouraged for all of our items if you want to be guaranteed what you are looking for! Cinnamon rolls and bread sell out especially quickly on Saturday mornings, as do our gobs and muffins when we offer them.
Are your baked goods gluten free, sugar free, allergen free, etc.?
At this time, we occasionally offer gluten free recipes, but they are still made in a kitchen containing flour. We do not offer sugar free recipes. None of our products can be considered allergen free; any food prepared on the farm could contain, or come into contact with, milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans.
Do you use any pesticides or herbicides on your produce?
We avoid using chemical pesticides or herbicides when growing our produce. We work to use the most natural methods available, and we will only use chemical sprays as a last resort to prevent total crop loss.
Is your produce organic?
No, our produce is not certified organic. However, we strive to use the most natural methods possible when growing our produce. We use natural weed and pest control as our first line of defense, and only use inorganic methods as an absolute last resort. If we are selling produce that has been in contact with any type of inorganic spray or powder, we will make that clear to anyone interested in purchasing them. If you ever have a question about how our produce has been grown, don't hesitate to ask!
Where can I buy your produce?
Our produce is seasonally available at our farm store. We will also be offering a limited share program this coming season for any interested customers. For more information about this, send us an email or keep an eye on the website!
What are your chickens fed?
Our chickens are fed Kalmbach's Natural Layer Feed, with additional oyster shell supplements as needed.They also have continuous day time access to pasture where they eat grass, bugs, and more.
Do you raise your chickens on pasture? What about during the winter?
Yes, our chickens are raised on pasture year-round. They have constant access to pasture even in the winter.
How do you care for your chickens?
Our chickens are raised on pasture and have access to a large coup. We do not use practices like wing clipping, beak clipping, spur cutting, or comb clipping. They live in a group setting with plenty of access to grass, fresh air, natural light, and fresh water.
Where can I buy your eggs?
Our eggs are available for purchase at our farm store. For the most updated hours, please visit the Contact Us page or scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Do you offer beef for sale?
Yes! We allow pre-order for larger quantities for a reduced price, and we have ground beef available in our store year-round. Currently, we have loose ground beef as well as preformed quarter-pound patties. The meat comes from our cows. They are primarily pasture-raised, and are never given growth hormones, steroids, soy, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
Do you sell meat chickens?
Yes! We work with a reputable local farmer (from Indiana, PA) to source pasture-raised chickens. They are never given hormones, steroids, antibiotics, or soy. You will taste the difference! Chicken is generally available in the store from June through October. Contact us for info on pre-ordering in bulk!
Do you sell pork?
Yes! We sell pork from our own pigs raised on a family member's farm. They are never given hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. We generally have sausage, roasts, bacon, and chops.
Do you sell any other meats?
At this time, we only offer ground beef, chicken, and pork. For cuts of beef and lamb, we highly recommend Mahoning Creek Farm in Smicksburg, PA. Click here to check out their website. For turkey, we highly recommend Pounds Turkey Farm in Leechburg. Check out their website here. We do not currently know where to find duck.
How are your farming practices sustainable? How do you take care of the environment, land, and water on your farm?
Sustainability is something we are constantly working to include in our farming practices. We use rotational grazing for our cow pastures, which is where we promote regrowth in eaten down pastures by moving the herd to a new section of pasture. This helps prevent run-off and soil erosion by keeping root systems intact, and it evenly distributes manure thus fertilizing the grass and preventing water pollution. We rotate our crops to maintain the best soil nutrient composition and to avoid over-farming one area with any particular crop. We use grass waterways in any low-lying areas within and around our fields to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion. We are also in the process of implementing a new wastewater management system and we are also looking into options for recycling our agricultural plastic waste.
How do you grow your crops?
We grow three large crops on the farm (aside from our vegetable garden): hay, corn, and oats. Our crops are rotated through our fields to avoid the depletion of nutrients in the soil from one crop. This rotation allows for the restoration of important nutrients to the soil from a new type of crop. We also use the manure from our cattle to fertilize our fields, resulting in healthier soil and less harmful waste. In addition, we leave the majority of the corn stalks in our fields after harvest to aid in the prevention of soil erosion.
Why do you ask customers to buy their milk bottles from you instead of bringing their own?
We have two main reasons for this: sanitation and consistency. Our refillable glass bottles are easily sanitized and we have the proper systems in place to do this effectively. We may not be able to properly sanitize a different type of container (especially those that are plastic) and this may in turn negatively affect your experience with our milk. Consistency is also important to us- our bottles are standard sizes, allowing us to price them fairly and know that our customers are all getting the same amount of milk per container. We also take our commitment to the environment very seriously and encourage our customers to use glass rather than plastic as it is reusable and has less negative environmental impact.
Do you offer delivery services or drop-point options?
Yes, we now offer our Rolling Acorn Delivery service! Customers can order ahead of time through our website (or by phone or email), and then we meet up with everyone at a certain spot (right now, Punxsutawney or Brookville) on a certain day and time to distribute orders. More info about that here.
We may eventually offer door-to-door home delivery, but that is not a service we can provide at this time.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept cash and debit/credit cards at our farm store.
Do you have gift cards available?
Yes! We have both regular and digital gift cards. Digital cards can be purchased here. Regular gift cards can be bought at the shop and loaded with any amount.
Does your farm hold any certifications?
No, we are not certified under any program or organization.
We are, however, fully permitted by the state of Pennsylvania to sell raw milk and process various dairy products on-farm.
Do you ever have events on your farm?
Yes! We are planning to host an open house/farm day at least once per season. Sign up for our newsletter or like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on what things are happening at the farm.
Are you planning to offer anything new in the coming season(s)?
Yes! We are hoping to offer various dairy products and fresh cut flowers, among other things. Sign up for our email newsletter at the bottom of this page to get updates!