By: Aitan Mizrahi, ADAMAH Dairy Manager
This piece comes from the diary manager at the ADAMAH farm, which is part of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. The dairy farm raises goats and makes kosher, sustainable cheese and yogurt.
Life with the goats has been busy and fun. ADAMAH Dairy is a collective project of the ADAMAH, Jewish Environmental Fellowship. ADAMAH is a three-month leadership training program for Jewish young adults in their 20s that integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building and contemplative spiritual practice. As the dairy manager, I have the honor of holding many of the pieces surrounding the dairy operation here at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. My first introduction to this lifestyle was as an ADAMAH Fellow in 2004. Since then I have learned herd maintenance and cheese-making.
Around Pesach, in the springtime, our milking does (female goats) gave birth to a grand total of seventeen kids. Since then we have been watching the development of the kids and starting our kosher, organic, artisanal dairy production. While the mothers have been providing enough milk to produce, on average 30-40 pounds of cheese and 10 gallons of yogurt a week, the new kids are still bouncing around the barnyard. All of our products are being sold either through our CSA, which drops off at the Tuv Ha’Aretz Hazon CSA in White Plains, or at local farm stands and markets. Our small batches of cheeses allow for attention to detail. Our Falls Village Feta is a creamy and tangy cheese that is subtly salted, making space for the fresh clean flavors of Falls Village flora to unfold on your palette. Our Holy Chevre is a rich, gently tart, fresh spreadable cheese that is great to share with friends.
As a young Jewish farmer (and goat herder!), I am able to use this opportunity to blend the traditions of our ancestors with contemporary food and sustainability issues. The time I spend roaming with the goats through the woods of Connecticut remind me of the days of old when the Israelites roamed the land of Israel with their herds. With the current demand for local, fresh, healthy food, ADAMAH Dairy is filling a need for hand-crafted, kosher cheeses and yogurt. Come visit us, walk with the goats and taste our tasty treats. We look forward to sharing our tasty dairy products or a tour of the farm with you anytime you are in the area.
To learn more about ADAMAH and their projects visit: http://www.isabellafreedman.org/adamah