There’s No Writing Off Cheddar As a Classic American Cheese

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Cheddar is one of those flexible and versatile cheeses that lend themselves to great comfort food. While it plays second fiddle to mozzarella in pizzas (and usually only found in the four-cheese variety), it has since grown chummy with classic American dishes like baked potatoes, bacon, cheeseburgers, and even cheese fries.

This cheese variety also boasts variety: mild cheddars or Colby are aged between three to six months and are usually staples of sandwiches and other quick cheese fixes. More mature cheddars are a bit harder and usually tangier and could even pull a smoky flavor. Meanwhile, the vintage cheddars are for the hardened cheese lovers looking for that distinct bite.

Founded by Geoffrey Morrell, PA Bowen Farmstead in Maryland offers four main artisanal cheeses. One of these is Chesapeake cheddar, a prize-winning artisan cheese at the 2013 American Cheese Society Competition held in Wisconsin.

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This take on the cheddar significantly lifts from the beloved classic. Its distinction lies in the strong hints of pecan melding well with a buttery background. Its artisanal quality derives mostly from the patience that went into its creation, which was the work of a traditional hand mill and an aging process of a minimum of six months.

The aging environments are closely monitored, the storage humidity levels strictly controlled. The wheels are then processed into clothbound finished products, giving a rustic feel to this unassuming yet beloved grocery isle item.

Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell are the owners of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is dedicated to raising grass-based livestock and producing artisan cheese. The Morells, who are also co-founders of the Weston A. Price Foundation, purchased the 95-acre Maryland property in 2009. At the farm, Geoffrey has put in 2 miles of road and four bridges to streamline farm operations. For more on the farm’s products, especially its artisanal cheeses, visit this website.

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Agricultural Trends To Watch In 2018

In an increasingly more connected, internet-driven world, farmers and producers are becoming keener on the need for transparency: from organic farming and alternative options to the humane treatment of animals. Hereunder are top trends that should shape agriculture this coming year.

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First is the coming back to the importance of global trade. NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement has been put in question lately, and many in the U.S. Midwest are fighting to retain it. Farmers understand that many markets and trading partners, plus a huge chunk of the labor force will disappear without it. Turning away from a global perspective will cause the cost of food to skyrocket.

On the technology innovation side, expect the fitting of health sensors on animals and crops more in 2018. Fitbits for poultry and livestock will become a more common aspect of farm management. Drones will likewise become the norm for better monitoring of the health of herds and plants.

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As more and more young people and millennials return to the farms with their internet-savvy perspectives, the speed of change in the industry will increase. According to the USDA’s Census of Agriculture, the average age of U.S. farmers has grown by nearly eight years from 50.5 years to 58.3 years during the past 30 years. But this is about to change as the iPod generation moves into the farmlands, carrying alternative farming perspectives.

Geoffrey Morell co-owns the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a company specializing in the provision of high-quality meat and dairy products. For related reads, visit this blog.

A Quick Guide To Shopping For Healthy Aged Cheese

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New research highlights the benefits of aged cheeses – such as cheddar, brie, and parmesan – in helping boost life expectancy and preventing conditions such as liver cancer. A Texas A&M University study, for instance, found that these cheeses contain a compound called spermidine, which stops damaged liver cells from replicating.

But how should one go about shopping for aged cheese? According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it is best to opt for whole raw cheese made with milk from grass-fed animals, using animal rennet or non-GMO vegetable rennet. If the cheese is smoked, it should be done naturally – many important and artisan cheeses are of this kind.

As other good options, there’s whole raw cheese made with milk from animals not grass-fed, as well as whole milk cheese made from heated or pasteurized milk (preferably from grass-fed animals). Note, however, that some cheeses labeled “raw” are made from milk that has undergone heating. Some are heated to just below the pasteurizing point, which prompts the foundation to list them under “Good” instead of the “Best” category.

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Now, what should be avoided? Steer clear of low-fat and processed cheese, cheese slices, cheese spreads and other cheese-like substances, imitation cheese coming from stuff such as soy and almonds, cheese made from homogenized milk, and smoked cheese made with smoke flavoring or liquid smoke.

Keep these tips in mind when buying the next batch of gouda, gruyere, swiss, and some mozzarella.

Geoffrey Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researches for better meat and dairy products. Today, he is part owner of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a company specializing in the provision of high-quality meat and dairy products. For similar reads, click here.

Essential tips for starting your own farm

The new millennium has seen a resurgence in the homesteading movement, and whether you are a full-time farmer or an interested hobbyist, running your own small farm is a great way to provide food and do your part in taking care of the environment, among other things.

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The first step is to test the soil. Before you can even start plowing, study first the kind of soil the farm has and check it for things like texture and fertility. Being familiar with the soil type will allow for better improvement plans and future amendments to ensure that the farm grows healthy crops and good grass for the livestock.

Now that you’re ready for planting, get a good PTO-driven tiller for your tractor. This tiller is great for a small to moderate acreage of about two to three acres. If this sounds too daunting, then consider getting an experienced person or farm staff to do the plowing, disking, and harrowing.

Finally, if your planned farm will likewise have animals, installing fences is important. Fences will protect your plants from the animals as well as keep them safe from predators. While there are many fence types, both electric and non-electric, your choice depends upon what animals you are raising. If they are, say, cows, then electric wires might be good to keep them within the pasture area. Goats, on the other hand, require higher fences to prevent them from jumping over.

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Geoffrey Morell, through his farm P.A. Bowen Farmstead, provides consumers with high-quality farm products such as livestock and artisan cheese. He also offers tours and classes of his farm. For more information, visit this website .

Sustainable agriculture: An interesting trend

The concept of being sustainable isn’t new-age. In fact, the belief that certain processes and structures have a quality of sustainability, meaning that they can sustain themselves with minimal outside help, has been around for quite some time. However, it is only recently that researchers have found that sustainability may also have huge benefits for the environment.

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In agriculture, sustainability is an intriguing trend since it not only affects the environment, but it also has a say in the economics of farming businesses. It should be noted though, that a sustainable farm still shares the same responsibilities of a normal farm, to both the community it serves and the hands that it employs.

Sustainable agriculture involves keeping the soil in tip-top shape and managing the water more efficiently while minimizing pollution in the air and water. Farmers practicing sustainable agriculture are also urged to promote biodiversity in their farms, which is key to developing its very own ecosystem.

The development of sustainable agriculture can be witnessed through ever-improving practices of crop rotation, intercropping, minimization of tillage and plowing, minimization of the use of pesticides and antibiotics, and introducing agroforestry.

All these contribute to the improvement not just of the farming industry, but nationwide agriculture and environmental protection as well. Who knows what new sustainable agriculture practices will be developed in the future. And who knows the heights it can achieve.

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Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.

Sustaining Managed Grazing In Small Farms

Farms should thrive in the natural mutualism offered by the existing ecosystem. Even if owners exercise relative control in some management aspects of the farm, and technologies are employed up to a certain point, the interventions and disruptions must seamlessly coincide with the elemental patterns of biomass in any given area. Allowing this organic interconnectedness to prosper will bring about benefits to farmers and their customers.

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One crucial facet of farming is raising livestock, and a major concern that comes with it is pasturage. An efficient way of getting the most out of one’s acreage is through managed grazing. Pasture management can dramatically increase livestock productivity and health. There might not necessarily be a big difference between rotational grazing in big farms and small ones. Since this type of management requires infrastructure like water lines and whatnot, larger farms would probably invest more money on these facilities per acre.

For smaller farms, more portable and movable structures can be used because those can be more economical in the end. One must simply determine what type or kind is needed for particular animals. Pastured poultry can benefit from portable coops and tractors that should be moved to various areas of the land to evenly distribute their fertile manure throughout the area. An electric fence can be used to oversee the movement of larger animals like cows.

Small-scale rotational grazing will also present a number of considerations like the size of paddocks, which naturally depends on the size of one’s herd or the frequency of animal movement. Daily would certainly be the ideal frequency. Nutrition can be maintained at this rate, and the distribution of the manure for the consistent supply of fertilizer to the land would be sustained.

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Geoffrey Morell offers raw milk cheeses, beef and veal, chicken and eggs, seasonal turkey, and more through his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead. All of the farm animals are fed through rotational grazing because healthier animals promote better nutrition for the community. For more updates on better farming methods, visit this website.

More Dangers Of Slash-And-Burn Agriculture

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The farming method known as slash-and-burn involves the cutting of trees and other plants and leaving them on the ground until they’ve dried up. The area is then set on fire, and farmers plant crops on the left-behind soil.

Environmental conservationists understand that this traditional agricultural technique destroys the land and its ecosystem, depleting the soil of nutrients and making the area useless for a period of up to 20 years. And farmers just leave to pursue the same method in unburned places, replicating the same unhealthy practice and ruining the environment even further.

While soil quality is improved by ash and fire in the immediate aftermath of slash-and-burn, this is but a temporary boost. The soil is deprived of essential moisture, and the natural interaction between flora and fauna is halted. In fact, one other crucial repercussion of the method is that it leads directly to the destruction of plant and wildlife species. Many animals in tropical rainforests have lost their habitat and sources of food due to massive slash-and-burn practices. Tigers, elephants, and various insects and birds that are native to these rainforests are now critically endangered.

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Lastly, without plant life to provide oxygen and filter the air pollution, local inhabitants are plagued by sicknesses. Villages and communities proximate to areas where slash-and-burn agriculture has been done suffer from respiratory illnesses caused by smoke from the blazing fires, which can travel for miles.

Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.