Appleton Farms is the oldest and perhaps the largest working farm in Massachusetts. Established in 1638, the farm is now owned and protected by The Trustees of Reservations, the oldest land conservation group in the nation, part of nearly 25,000 acres protected by this non-profit organization in Massachusetts.
In 2012, Appleton Farms began making artisanal cheeses with their herd of forty grass-based Jersey cows and the team is now led by Kristian Holbrook. Kristian came from Doe Run Farm in Pennsylvania, where he raised sheep, goats, and cows, as well as making their cheese. He has a culinary background, and at Appleton Farms, he is focusing on the cheesemaking.
Does he miss being a Dairy Manager? “Nope,” he says. “No middle of the night calving and round the clock animal care. But I wouldn’t want to make cheese off the farm. I like being able to work closely with the dairy staff and being close to the animals.”
One of the gifts of Appleton Farms to Massachusetts is their commitment to teaching the public about dairying and cheese making.
Appleton Farms is producing pasteurized cows’ milk cheeses:
Broad Meadow – Aged 6 to 8 months, semi-hard with a rich yellow color that comes from the high-quality pasture Appleton’s Jersey cows graze on. This cheese is bright and slightly tangy upfront with a nutty finish. Cut it in cubes and throw it on top of salads.
Pinnacle – Pinnacle is a simple farmhouse cheese with smooth supple texture. It has notes of butter and grass. Much like Havarti, Pinnacle is great on sandwiches or with fruit and wine. Be on the lookout for flavored versions of this cheese as well.
Alpine – A rich and flavorful hard cheese aged 9 months. Perfect on a burger, but can stand alone on any cheese plate. This is the newest cheese in Appleton’s line. Watch over the season for subtle changes in this cheese as they hone the recipe. Cheese that ages over 9 months takes a long time to perfect, but we think you’ll enjoy each step along the way.
Sunset Hill – This cheese is really what Jersey Cows and their beautiful rich milk were put on earth for. Very similar to a Camembert or Brie, our Sunset Hill has a pure-white rind and soft, almost oozy interior. Smear this buttery cheese on a baguette or cracker and enjoy!
Appleton Farms is open for all kinds of visits! Just stop by any day of the week to see them in full swing, visit the dairy store, schedule a school group with the education department, or check out the farm on the weekends for “Meet the Cows” every Saturday afternoon.
Dairy Store Hours:
Monday – Friday, 11am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4pm
For more information and inquiries, please contact:
219 County Road
Ipswich, MA. 01938
Appleton Farms is a property of The Trustees of Reservations.