Introducing Klein Farms & Creamery
by Lucy M. Gilbert
Spring is springing, and the dairy cows at Klein Farms Dairy & Creamery in Easton, PA, are busy getting their exercise, eating right, and producing quality raw milk.
The Klein dairy farm has been in the family for 77 years, and has experienced waves of expansions and cutbacks over the years. Today it is run by third- generation farmers Layne and Beth Klein.
In 2004, after obtaining a raw milk permit and a milk processing license from the state of Pennsylvania, the Kleins opened a retail store on the farm property.
The store sells fresh brown eggs (organic, free range), along with beef from their farm-raised steer. They also offer fresh yogurt and the popular, drinkable smoogurt, flavored and sweetened with local maple syrup and honey.
And, of course, there is wholesome raw milk. According to Layne, many customers have mentioned the nutritional benefits they've experienced with raw milk, including reducing the risks of hay fever and the clearing of eczema. (For more information on raw milk, visit realmilk.com.)
But, according to Layne, it was Beth’s “crafty nature," that led the dairy on an exciting journey into the world of raw milk cheeses.
Available in the store is an ongoing selection of Gouda, Colby Jack, cheddar, blue, aged Parmesan, and mozzarella. Layne’s favorite is the mozzarella pepperoni — log sliced for snacking. The Klein's use a liquid vegetable-based rennet in their cheese-making process, meaning the cheese are suitable for vegetarians.
Meet the Klein Cows
The Klein family encourages visitors to tour the farm and meet the 160 animals on their property, including 63 milking cows. Most of the cows are registered Holsteins, preferred for producing more milk with less butterfat. Jerseys and Brown Swiss breeds also make up the Klein herd.
In the remarkably clean barn are 50-foot by 6-foot wide stalls cushioned with rubber mats and wood shavings. All the cow manure, mixed with pulverized lime, is recycled back into the fields for the growing of hay and corn.
The cows require 30 gallons of water a day (and up to 40 gallons during the summer). Plus, each cow eats more than 100 pounds of food per day. Their food consists of 75 percent alfalfa and grass hay, whole-plant corn silage, 25 percent grain corn that is close to being completely GMO, and purchased and recycled barley and hops from the Samuel Adams brewery. Along with the addition of probiotics to aid their digestion, vitamins and minerals, the cows’ diets, exercise, and overall health are monitored by a nutritionist.
Cows also like it cool — their normal body temperature is 101 degrees. Because of this, the Klein Dairy cows are put out to pasture early in the morning and enjoy the entire evening outdoors in the spring, summer, and fall.
As Doylestown Food Co-op evolves into a physical store, we look forward to offering products from Klein Farms Dairy & Creamery.