This has been a week of firsts! My first Berkshire Organics basket and now my first trip to Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, MA. Oh sure – I’ve eaten their delicious cheese plenty of times, but I had never had the pleasure of visiting the place where all the magic happens.
Cricket Creek is a wonderful family farm and one of the oldest in the region. It is owned by the Sabot family and run by the very dedicated and hard-working Topher Sabot and Suzy Konecky and a small team of interns. I had the opportunity to go to the farm Saturday for a special event we held in their event space above the farm store for Barrington Stage Company. Cricket Creek sponsored our staged reading of Dancing Lessons at MCLA, and held a private cheese tasting at the farm beforehand. Jude Sabot, Suzy, and Jen (who is married to Topher), were the perfect hosts and our guests thoroughly enjoyed the evening – especially the cheese!
They sell their own grass-fed beef and whey-fed pork from animals that are well cared-for and humanely raised.
As I was browsing around the store, I noticed through a set of windows in the store that the cows were coming in to be milked! I’ve never seen a cow being milked (at least not that I can recall…), especially growing up in the suburbs of Durham, North Carolina. I saw Topher inside and asked if I could come inside the milking area and get a closer look. Topher kindly invited me in. What beautiful, gentle animals these cows are – and so big! The first cows to be milked were Brown Swiss, which Topher tells me are much larger than their Jersey cows, which would be in the third wave of milking. I was amazed at how quiet and docile the cows were during milking. I was particularly fond of Rosie, who was at the end of the row, standing closest to me.
I was a little tentative to get too close (did I mention I was not a farm girl??).
But with a face like this, how could you not want to give her head a little rub?
It was such a pleasure to see this small part of the farm, and I can’t wait to come back again in the summer and get a full tour. I’d especially love to talk to Suzy (the cheese-maker) about how she makes the cheese and perhaps even get to see her in action.
If you’re local to the Berkshires, you can sign up for a CSA share and have raw milk, cheese, bread, beef and more from the farm every week. And if you’re in the Berkshires, Boston or NYC, you can find their cheese here.
Cricket Creek is growing and expanding. At the beginning of the month, they launched a KickStarter campaign and have made half their goal already. They are undertaking a two-pronged project: renovating their old Stone Barn to be used as a community space, and investing in solar power. These two projects will help lead to a financially successful and more sustainable farm and allow Cricket Creek to continue to fulfill their mission: To produce nourishing food that honors our animals, respects the land, and feeds our community, and to exemplify a sustainable model for small-farm viability. There are many levels at which you can contribute and each level includes great perks, such as fresh cheeses, framed prints from the farm, Cricket Creek t-shirts, and much more.
For more information on the KickStarter campaign, click here. To learn more about the farm, click here. Not in the Berkshires? I would encourage you to find and support the local farms and farmers in your own community.