by Ann E. Duckett. Photos from Shatyburne Farm Creamery
Stewardship of land and animals has been a cornerstone of the Hostetler family dairy business for centuries. Today’s focus on regenerative farming at Shtayburne Farm and Shtayburne Farm Creamery means conserving and replenishing the environment for future generations to enjoy.
“We’ve been dairy farming since the early 1700’s, first in Switzerland and then after our ancestors emigrated to southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Lorin Hostetler, who co-owns and co-manages the “old fashioned working dairy farm” and cheesemaking business with his dad Mark and brother Lance. “My parents both were raised on dairy farms as were my five siblings and me, moving to this farm in 2004… I’ve never completely left. I’ve always had a role. I felt cheesemaking was a great way to stay on the farm with my family and raise my own here, too.”
Located in one of the most picturesque spots in the Finger Lakes, the farm sits high on a hill offering breathtaking views of the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. When considering a name for the farm, Lorin turned to his family’s roots of Pennsylvania Dutch arriving at a translation of the town’s name in which they live – Rock Stream – hence Shtayburne.
270 acres are used for farming, while 100 acres of dedicated woodland are being improved. “I strive to keep everything in balance by implementing practices that help minimize chemical and fertilizer use, reduce erosion, and control invasive vines and shrubs. We have 75 to 80 dairy cows and use most of the milk to make our cheese, and we grow corn, hay, soybeans, wheat and sorghum; some of which goes to market,” said Lorin.
In 2010, after several months of learning the art of cheesemaking Lorin was pleased with the variety of handcrafted farmstead cheeses he’d produced, though feels “you’re always perfecting your craft”. The creamery and Cheese Shop opened that November. “Our focus was to have a retail location on the farm – to make the cheese and have folks come to visit. Seeing the farm and where the cheese is made is fun and educational,” noted Lorin. “The company has grown to include fresh ice cream, waffle cones, milkshakes and we offer cheese or ice cream flights. We really encourage folks to come to spend time with us, relax and enjoy the view.”
Offering 24 different flavors of curds, creamy Jacks and sharp Cheddar cheeses there’s much to consider sampling if you opt for a cheese flight. Each style of cheese is available in plain, herbed or savory flavors (too numerous to list consider Tomato Basil or Buffalo Wing for your fresh curd enjoyment). The creamy mild nature of Jack lends itself deliciously to the addition of blueberries or cranberries (I love them both for spring and summer cheese plates). Last, do not overlook the horseradish, smoked or three-year-aged cheddars. My new favorite is their well-aged cheddar for its milky aroma, sweet creaminess, and hints of crystalline crunch.
Shatyburne Farm Creamery cheeses can be found in markets from Buffalo to Rochester to Syracuse, and in northern Pennsylvania. 2909 Chase Rd., Rock Stream, NY, 14876. Shop hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For general information, to place an order, or schedule a tour (available by appointment only) call 315-270-2249.
Ann Duckett is a writer, cheese educator and recovering cheesemonger. She delights in helping others find their cheese bliss through classes, events, and sharing stories of whey, wheels and wedges. Find out more at Little Blue Catering and Events.