Dave and Sue Evans and their family are among the most dedicated and impassioned farmers I have had the pleasure to meet. Their herd of 70 cows, processing plant, and home are all located in Norwich, NY about 60 miles from Syracuse. They produce some of the most incredible dairy products I've ever tasted including milk, yogurt, creme fraiche, sour milk, half and half as well as maple products. They are also certified organic. My ideal breakfast is some of their Double Maple flavored yogurt (with that luscious cream on top) topped with Mountain Rise granola (produced in Naples, NY) and fresh fruit. Indeed, that will be a mainstay for me during our Eat Local challenge in August.
I spent a couple of hours of yesterday's rainy afternoon with Sue and other members of her family learning about Evan's Farmhouse Creamery and their take on eating locally and sustainably. As children wandered in and out of the small farm store and other farmers stopped by to pick up milk--that's Tom Warren of Stone and Thistle Farm after he loaded up his truck with milk and other goods--Sue and I spoke about how to get the word out about how easy healthy eating can be and the need to keep organic foods affordable. To that end, the Evans' farm store carries many other goods--at great prices, mind you--like cheeses, granola, flour, cherries, sugar, and eggs. By the time I left, my cooler was filled with enough staples to last me the month.
Tom Warren of Stone and Thistle Bringing home the goods
On my way out, Dave took me to the processing plant to see how they produce their milk. Being a city girl (albeit with memories of the milk man delivering to our apartment) I was fairly clueless about how milk is produced. I knew the basics but had never seen it. The Evans process milk and yogurt on alternating days in small batches. Milk can go from the cow to the cooler in just several hours and they process about 1,600 gallons each time. Currently, they are working on expanding their cooler facilities and hope to begin making their own cheese in the near future.
I didn't get to see the cows this trip but plan to return with some of my youth group kids so that they can learn more about where their food comes from. Dave and Sue conduct farm tours by appointment and are incredibly generous with their time. Evan's Farmhouse Creamery products can be found at area markets like the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, Greenstar Co-op in Ithaca, Nature Thyme in Syracuse and direct from the farm.
Evan's Farmhouse Creamery, 5037 State Highway 23, Norwich, NY 13815, 607-334-5339