Susan MillerFarmer and Cheesemaker, Birchrun Hills Farm (Chester Springs, PA)
We started Birchrun Hills Farm in 1990 with 85 dairy cows on 54 acres. For the first decade and a half we made our living just as most dairy farmers do, by selling our milk on the commodity milk market. In 2006, we decided to add value to our milk by making farmstead cheese. Making farmstead cheese means the farmer is responsible for caring for the animals, milking the animals, making the cheese, caring for the cheese during the aging process, and marketing the cheese. This meant that, in addition to the rigorous day-to-day routine of running our farm, we now had to learn how to make the cheese and care for it during the aging process. We had very little time and money to market our new product because of the travel, time constraints, and extra costs of leaving the farm. This is where the relationship between Fair Food and Birchrun Hills Farm has been paramount to our growing success.
Fair Food's focus on connecting farmers and cheesemakers with consumers, chefs, and specialty shops in Philadelphia allowed us to refocus our energy where it needs to be - on our farm. By spending less time on direct sales and marketing, we can increase our overall production to accommodate the increase in demand. Ultimately, this leads to a more financially healthy farm whose sustainability encourages my son (and future generations!) to continue farming in the Delaware Valley.
Fair Food's networking expertise is an invaluable service to us as well as to all the farmers, cheesemakers, and food artisans in our region. Did you know that Fair Food offers their services at no cost to farmers and buyers?
Please join me in helping Fair Food bring locally produced food to the marketplace and promote a humane, sustainable agriculture system for the Greater Philadelphia region.
With your help we can ensure that local food producers always have fair access to the Philadelphia marketplace.