Sunday, July 4, 2010
Phoenixville, PA: Seven Stars Farm, David and Edie Griffiths and Mark Dunphy
The next stop with our farm guide extraordinaire Daryl was Seven Star Farm, one of the first biodynamic dairies in the country. Seven Star Dairy sits on 300-some acres of land owned and put into a land trust by the local Waldorf school, which emphasizes farming and other practical skill building. There is a CSA on the property, but we spoke with the farmers who founded and operated the Dairy, David and Edie. David was injured by a falling round bale of hay some years ago, and Mark came on full time to oversee the machinery and manage the Dairy.
David studied at the University of California and cited Alan Chadwick as an inspiration, whose work remains preserved and modeled at UC-Santa Cruz to this day. David spoke quietly in his home about the way that Seven Stars has developed and the importance of a biodynamic system, as it allows attention to the cycling of nutrients on and around the farms. Edie was a happy and energetic woman, obviously in tune with the entire operation of the farm.
About 10 years ago, Mark joined the team to take on some of the farm management; we interviewed him as we toured the farm. He was obviously proud of the cows, the barn, and the entire system that they have polished over the years. He seemed to enjoy the challenges of being a dairy with self-imposed limitations and guidelines that come with the biodynamic focus.
The farm produces delicious yogurt and quarts of cream from beautiful brown faced Jersey cows. The maple syrup for the maple flavored yogurt comes from Canada in 50 gallon drums at $2,500 per barrel. Seven Star Dairy is committed to quality at whatever cost and Trav and I can attest to the deliciousness of the maple yogurt; we were given a quart along with a quart of cream, and the yogurt was divine. Seven Stars also emphasizes education, and they partner with the Waldorf School to teach agriculture to all comers.
We made strawberry ice cream with the cream, hand cranked at the house of our friends the next day. It was also really really good. Of course.
Posted by Trav Williams at 3:24 PM