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Mount Crawford, VA
Mt. Crawford Creamery is a family-owned and operated dairy farm in Rockingham County, VA. We partner with Mt Crawford Creamery to connect you to all-natural, minimally processed milk products with no preservatives. “Quality over quantity” is at the core of Mt. Crawford's philosophy, and they believe in producing all-natural milk that can be enjoyed by the Shenandoah Valley community by their happy, healthy cows. Their milk and butter are often available in our Dairy Bags and everyone looks forward to their highly-sought-after eggnog during the holiday season.
The creamery lies between Mount Crawford and Bridgewater on Route 257. The farm covers about 70 acres, with around 30 acres devoted to grazeland for their herd of Holstein and Holstein-Jersey cows. Mt. Crawford gives their animals ample access to grass pasture and supplements their diets with hay, corn, soybean, and grains grown on the farm. The cows are never given any growth hormones, and they are only administered antibiotics if they are ill. Milk produced while an animal is on antibiotics is discarded.
Mt. Crawford Creamery has been recognized for its conservation efforts, which included fencing off the North River to keep animals out of the waterway. In addition to sustainably producing feed for their animals, they also practice crop rotation for healthy and productive soil and employ strip cropping on steep slopes to prevent runoff and soil erosion. Mt. Crawford also packages their products in plastic bottles that are easy to recycle and cost-effective, so that they can offer their milk, cream, and eggnog to as many people as possible.
Depending on the season, Mt. Crawford Creamery milks from 65 to 80 cows. The entire milk production process takes place on the farm, from milking the cows twice a day to bottling it on-site. Mt. Crawford’s milk is non-homogenized, which means that the cream in the milk rises to the top. This is due to large fat molecules that have a tendency to stick together, forming a smooth, thick layer on top of the milk. During homogenization, milk is filtered through a membrane at high pressure to reduce the size of the fat molecules so that they stay suspended and don’t separate. However, some people prefer the taste of non-homogenized milk, and Mt. Crawford Creamery strives to offer their milk in the most natural state possible, without homogenization.
'CREAM ON TOP'
Although this might be unfamiliar to people who are accustomed to homogenized milk, the cream contains vitamins that are lost if it is removed. That’s why Virginia requires all milk that is not whole milk (2%, nonfat) to have vitamins A and D added. But it’s important to note that homogenization is a practice done for textural consistency, not for health reasons.
While it is not homogenized, Mt. Crawford milk is pasteurized. By law in Virginia, all commercially sold milk must be pasteurized and not sold raw. Pasteurization is a heating process that kills any harmful bacteria that may exist in the milk. At Mt. Crawford Creamery, they heat their products at just the right temperature for effective pasteurization while preserving their flavor and nutrients.
Shake or stir the bottle well before each use to enjoy Mt. Crawford Creamery’s fresh, creamy milk - or enjoy the added goodness that rises to the top of the bottle. Eat it on baked goods, or put it in your coffee, morning smoothie, or even Thai iced tea. Cream on top indicates real, pure, wholesome milk - the way nature and Mt. Crawford Creamery intend it to be!
While the farm is not currently open for public tours, their Creamery Store is open, where you can find their fresh dairy products and offerings from other local farmers and artisans.