New to the OU: Hawthorne Valley Farms: Puts the “Culture” Back in Agriculture

Hawthorne Valley Farm is one of the first farms in the US to produce and market certified organic and Biodynamic® yogurt. The company wants as many people as possible to enjoy the yogurt. You included!

Made from milk of grass-fed cows, fresh from the farm and Plain, Maple and Honey whole milk yogurts are now certified OU Kosher!

Attaining OU Kosher certification demonstrates Hawthorne Valley Farm’s commitment to producing high- integrity food for everyone, in a way that honors the earth, animals and people that we rely on for our daily diet. We are delighted to work with the Orthodox Union as we introduce Hawthorne Valley to new people every day.”

In addition, Hawthorne Valley Farm, which is Demeter certified Biodynamic®, USDA certified Organic, and Animal Welfare Approved, is part of Hawthorne Valley Association, a 501c3 organization with a diverse set of initiatives and enterprises working together towards the renewal of society and culture through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts.

Hawthorne Valley is currently farming nearly 800 acres of certified Biodynamic and organic farmland. Its cows produce nutritious milk that is then processed on-site into bottled raw milk, yogurt, and variety of soft and hard cheeses. The farmers grow approximately 15 acres of vegetables, much of which goes directly to 320 families via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Hawthorne Valley represents one of the first CSAs in the US and, in the mid-1970s, was one of the founding farms at the Greenmarkets in New York City, where the company continues to maintain a vibrant presence.

Fresh Vegetables and Probiotic Beverages Too!

Along with its dairy output and vegetables, the farm also grows grain, much of which is milled and baked in Hawthorne Valley’s certified organic bakery. Rounding out the artisanal food production enterprises is Hawthorne Valley’s Kraut Cellar, producing a variety of lacto-fermented vegetables including sauerkraut, kimchee, and a line of probiotic beverages.

In addition to the Greenmarkets and other regional retail outlets, all of Hawthorne Valley’s products are available at the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, an on-farm 4,500 square foot organic and natural foods grocery store. The Farm Store carries a large variety of products from regional farms and artisanal food and craft producers as part of its mission to support a regenerative and resilient local economy.

Hawthorne Valley also serves as a learning community, as well as an action laboratory, with a number of educational, research and artistic initiatives, such as The Farmscape Ecology Program, which conducts agro-ecological research in a participatory way, inviting and encouraging interest in the local ecology, thereby fostering a compassionate understanding of nature and love for the land that we all share.

The company’s Place Based Learning Center (PBLC) offers on-farm experiential learning for children and adults. Since 1972, urban-area school children have come with their classes for week-long immersions of hands-on learning on the farm. Over 600 children per year participate in this residential program, including summer camps. The PBLC also offers a variety of day programming particularly geared towards reaching children in traditionally underserved communities.

With support from the USDA, the PBLC conducts a series of farmer training programs, including Farm Beginnings® in collaboration with Grow NYC, Bard Prison Initiative, Heroic Food, and others. These collaborations serve urban farmers, formerly incarcerated individuals, and returning veterans. The Institute for Mindful Agriculture (IMA) explores a new narrative that connects the sacred in agriculture to a moral economy. IMA is also leading a collaborative initiative with support from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to address food access and food justice in Columbia County.

Additionally, Hawthorne Valley offers formal education through Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, an independent day school educating children from early childhood through Grade 12. The holistic, age-appropriate curriculum inspires students and encourages a love of learning. The Alkion Center for Adult Education offers teacher training for Waldorf Education as well as artistic learning opportunities. Free Columbia and Walking the Dog Theater focus especially on the creative process with the goal of providing cultural enrichment through the visual and performing arts. The Center for Social Research explores social and economic forms, and Adonis Press publishes a variety of books, including The Nature of the Place by Farmscape Ecology Program’s Conrad Vispo, Ph.D.

This is just a thumbnail sketch of Hawthorne Valley’s nearly 200 co-workers’ healthful productivity – facilitating the company’s noble mission to put the “culture” back in agriculture, as it connects the community to the land and to each other through hands-on learning – while providing vital, nutritious food to the region. Powerful reasons to enjoy a wholesome cup of Hawthorne Valley Biodynamic® yogurt today!

Learn more about Hawthorne Valley at: