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Artisanal Cheese

Produced by Monica Rogozinski

March 2011

A round of dairy farmer Sue Miller's Birchrun cheese is more than a tasty snack. It is a living thing, which she cultures to a savory ripeness before it is ready for slicing and sharing at the dinner table. Cheese is a recent addition to the Millers' family run farm, Birchrun Hills, in Chester County. Sue turned to cheese making out of necessity, responding to the strain of rising costs in the fluctuating economic climate. According to Sue, artisanal cheeses were a way of honoring the cows, which are the "backbone of the business," while also supporting the financial health of the farm. This month, Friday Arts is invited inside the farm to watch the development of Birchrun cheese, from its milky beginnings to its maturity as a unique local delicacy.

Meet the Farmers:

Jesse Miller
Produced by Monica Rogozinski, Edited by Emily Hauze
Most pigs don't live on dairy farms, and most high school student don't raise pigs. But Jesse Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm defies both of these statistics. Jesse explains the logic and serendipity of his business raising pigs on his family's dairy farm.

Ken Miller
Produced by Monica Rogozinski, Edited by Emily Hauze
Ken Miller wasn't raised on a farm, but was born with the heart of a farmer. He shares his insights into the changing world of farming over the past decades, the hardships and joys of running a small dairy farm, and the savvy choices that he and his family have made to survive the economic recession.

Randy Miller
Produced by Monica Rogozinski, Edited by Emily Hauze
Veal, though prized for its taste, is often taboo among gourmets due to the circumstances in which calves are raised an slaughtered. Randy Miller, an agricultural student at Cornell University and farmer at Birchrun Hills, proves that it is possible to raise veal calves with care and allow diners to enjoy veal with a clean conscience.