OUR STORY-CONNECTING SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES TO SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS
Yellow Springs Farm Native Plant Nursery and Artisanal Goat Cheese Dairy, founded by Catherine and Al Renzi, is located in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. The farm and nursery consists of an historic farmhouse, dairy barn, a springhouse with pond on 8 acres of land. Orginally a dairy farm 150 years ago, we purchased the farm in 2001 protecting it from future development with a conservation easement. Our focus on conservation landscaping comes from the knowledge that preservation of our environment, including waterways and woodlands in both our residential and rural areas is necessary to insure the future health of our planet and ourselves. Re-establishing native habitats with native plants and environmentally sensitive methods is a way to “conserve our landscapes” for the benefit of our water, air and environment. In past centuries, much of our Yellow Springs Farm was pasture for cow grazing. When the dairy farm business was closed decades ago, no work was done to reestablish the native species that were present prior to the dairy farm. Over the past half-century or so, nature took its course, and many alien species invaded. Some invasive plants, such as Autumn Olive and Norway Maples, were introduced by people who did not understand the long-term impact of their plant selections.
The Native Plant Difference
We wished to change this landscape, but were limited by the lack of native plants available for sale. Our native plant propagation , sales, and landscape service offerings was born from our need and passion for land conservation If you tour the property , you will see display areas that we have created, including a meadow, a rain garden, a wetland garden, pond and woodland area. We are restoring and enhancing all with native plants. We use these demonstration areas for client tours as well as for our ongoing scientific research studies on native plants and their interaction in our environment. We hope Yellow Springs Farm will contribute to the science as well as the art of environmental education and conservation landscaping.
Nubian Dairy Goats make Great Cheeses
Yellow Springs Farm proudly offers both fresh and aged Artisanal Goat Cheeses. The most important part of our cheeses is the exceptionally good milk our goats produce. We breed and raise Nubian goats, with occasional genetic crosses, carefully selected for their naturally nutrient rich milk. Our herd browses pasture, cleans up invasive plant species in the woodland, and basks in the sun. Our goats also eat local hay, and organic grains. Al and Catherine Renzi make Yellow Springs Farm cheeses using age-old processes borrowed from both French and Italian traditions. Our original interpretation of these recipes, and inclusion of farm-raised herbs, nuts, and honey make many unique Yellow Springs Farm Goat Cheeses. Each small batch is handmade, and never includes preservatives or anything artificial. We offer both fresh, pasteurized milk cheeses, and exclusive raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or more. We love to select palette-pleasing trends to pair with local, fresh foods. There is always a new cheese to try. Please check out our Goat Cheese Tasting Notes so that you can enjoy all the good flavors of Yellow Springs Farm.
Awards and Honors
Chester County Day tour site—2002 and 2006 Land Conservation Award from French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust—2003 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Distinguished Garden—2008 American Cheese Society Winner Marinated Goat Cheese Category - 2010 1st place - Nutcracker™ 2nd place - Red Leaf™. Fieldstone 2011 2nd Place Winner American Cheese Society.