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With your support BHF can raise a cheese cave on our farm! Help us outfit our new cheese making facility and aging rooms.
235 backers pledged $33,507 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$33,507

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Let’s raise a cheese cave at Birchrun Hills Farm!

Hello cheese lover, thanks for checking out our Kickstarter Campaign!  We’re the Millers, a family-run dairy in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. We’d love your support in order to build a cheese-making facility (a.k.a. “a cave”) on our farm, home to 80+ well-loved Holsteins.

Over the next month, we hope to raise at least $25k in order to purchase a curd vat, shelving (to ripen cheese), and a cooling system for our new aging facility. We’ve been making cheese in a small off-site rental facility for the last seven years; we’ve outgrown our facility and do not have the space needed to keep up with the growing demand for our cheeses from chefs, farmers’ market customers, and shops around the country. In order to grow our business, we need to build a structure where we can make cheese from our milk every day.

We make a variety of handmade, raw-milk cheeses, including Birchrun Blue, Red Cat, Fat Cat, and Equinox.

Check out our rewards – and taste our cheeses!

Fork Dinner on the Farm - photo courtesy Madame Fromage
Fork Dinner on the Farm - photo courtesy Madame Fromage

Our Story

We’ve been farming for over 25 years – we are Sue, Ken, and sons Randy and Jesse. For us, it’s always been about the cows – farming the land to feed them, striving to give them the best possible life, and milking them morning and evening has always been our passion. Sharing the beauty of farming with our customers has always been our mission.

Grazing girls; Oracle and Brie
Grazing girls; Oracle and Brie

About 10 years ago, the economic uncertainty of running a small farm sent us into a tailspin, and we realized we had to add value to our milk in order to survive. I (Sue) literally woke up one morning and decided that I had to make cheese. It made perfect sense. We produced beautiful high-quality milk with the ideal fat and protein components for cheesemaking. By studying with nationally renowned cheesemaker Peter Dixon (of Dairy Foods Consulting and Parish Hill Creamery in Westminster, VT), we were able to develop a series of artisan cheeses that captured the terroir of our 100-year-old farm in historic Chester County.

Our first customer was Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia’s most established cheese shop, and from there we’ve grown our business to include some of the area’s finest restaurants, including Talula’s Table, White Dog Café, Fork, High St., Southwark, Nectar, and Tired Hands Brewing Co. We love our community, from our farmers’ market customers to the many families and groups who have visited our farm over the years to learn more about what we do.

Next year, our college-age sons will both have graduated from Cornell University-- and they plan to return home and join the family business. As they grow our herd, we’d love to make more cheese and become a sustainable multi-generational operation.

Thanks for reading our story and considering a gift. We believe in producing high-quality raw-milk cheese, and we really value your belief in us.

Our Goals

We have secured financing to build the structure for our cheese-making facility, and we plan to break ground this year. Here’s what we need to outfit our cave in order to actually make cheese:

The holidays are around the corner – please consider including us on your wish list. Or, gift one of our rewards to a cheese lover in your life – the chance to name a calf, a selection of our cheeses, a brick in our cave, or even a meal with our family.

We love giving to our community, and your gift will help us keep on giving.

Happy holidays from all of us,

Sue, Ken, Randy, Jesse, and the cows

photo very generously donated: AlbertYee.com
photo very generously donated: AlbertYee.com

Mike Geno's Birchrun Blue painting - Now a Limited Edition Poster!

Limited Edition Birchrun Blue Poster by Philadelphia Fine Artist Mike Geno. Receive a hand-numbered and signed poster of the original Birchrun Blue painting created especially for the Raise The Cave campaign. More thanks to Mike Geno! www.mikegeno.com

The Birchrun Hills Farm Hat!

Video Credit 

Our sincerest appreciation to an incredibly talented group of Saint Joseph's University students who brought our family, farm and cause to life in their video. I have received many compliments which I pass on to you - thank you so much to the Beautiful Social Group : : Lauren Campbell '14, Michael Chmielewski '15, Cara McGlew '15, Kelly O'Connell '15, Jessica Rutkowski '15

Risks and challenges

When this project is funded all rewards will be delivered in a timely manner and we'll continue to update you on our progress. Our cheese production will continue in our rented facility; giving us the ability to fulfill all cheese rewards.

If we're over-funded...Hooray and Thank you! This is a large project and there will be many opportunities to utilize your donation to further outfit the cave. For example, the expense of the cooling systems for the caves represents a fraction of their cost. Additionally, new cheese development will require new cheese forms that can cost up to $200 each.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Many thanks from all of us at BHF, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on our Facebook and Twitter.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Handwritten thank you card including a selection of three of our favorite BHF Cheesy recipe cards and pairing suggestions, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter.

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    25 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    BHF logo embroidered on a mesh baseball hat, a handwritten thank you card, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter.

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    9 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Name a calf & receive a picture of the sweet calf you name. One of the best parts of farming is caring for the newborn calves and giving each their individual name. We have about 40 heifers (female calves) born each year, there aren't many, so sign up fast. As the calves are born, we'll notify you of your calf to be named. You'll also receive a handwritten thank you card, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Reward no longer available 40 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Limited Edition Birchrun Blue Poster by Philadelphia Fine Artist Mike Geno. Receive a hand-numbered and signed poster of the original Birchrun Blue painting created especially for the Raise The Cave campaign.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 21 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Recycled Cotton Market Bag! This will quickly become your favorite bag for carrying everything including the great memories of supporting a farm, a family and a cheese cave!

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BHF Trifecta! Raise a Cave t-shirt, embroidered mesh baseball hat, a selection of three of our favorite cheesy recipe cards, a handwritten thank you card, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter.

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    8 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A Taste of Birchrun Hills Farm. A selection of our four signature cheeses, Birchrun Blue, Fat Cat, Equinox, and Red Cat. You will also receive a handwritten thank you card, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter.

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    17 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    A Taste of Birchrun Hills Farm. A selection of our four signature cheeses, Birchrun Blue, Fat Cat, Equinox, and Red Cat. You will also receive a handwritten thank you card, recognition on our website, and a heartfelt thank you on Facebook and Twitter This option is available be picked up at BHF or a designated Farmer's Market.

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    29 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Recycled Cotton Market Bag! This will quickly become your favorite bag for carrying everything including the great memories of supporting a farm, a family and a cheese cave! A selection of three of our favorite BHF Cheesy recipe cards and pairing suggestions and a nice wedge of cheese of your choice with a spreader!

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    2 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    A Taste of Birchrun Hills Farm & Cheeseboard. A selection of our four signature cheeses, Birchrun Blue, Fat Cat, Equinox, and Red Cat and a BHF cheese board with spreader.

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    3 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 175 or more About US$ 175

    A Taste of Birchrun Hills Farm & Cheeseboard. A selection of our four signature cheeses, Birchrun Blue, Fat Cat, Equinox, and Red Cat and a BHF cheese board with spreader. This option is available to be picked up at BHF or a designated Farmer's Market.

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    5 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    On the Farm Dinner. Join our family for a Harvest Dinner featuring the best of BHF. We'll serve up a memorable meal and celebrate our Cave Raising together!

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    Limited 17 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Brick & Mortar. A personalized brick will be built into our new facility. We'll smile each time we pass by your brick and recognize that your support helped make our dream possible.

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    6 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 325 or more About US$ 325

    City Mouse Cheese Subscription. Receive a monthly selection of three cheeses, approximately one and one quarter (11/4) pounds of Birchrun cheese love for each of the twelve pick-ups. Picked up at BHF or a designated farmer's market.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Cheese Maker for a Day! Join BHF cheese maker, Sue Miller for a glorious day of curd. Learn how to make Birchrun Blue or Fat Cat. Stay for lunch, leave with a full heart and a wedge of your favorite cheese.

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 650 or more About US$ 650

    Country Mouse Cheese Subscription. Receive a selection of three BHF cheeses (approximately 1 1/4 lbs. each pick-up) twice a month for 12 months. January through December 2015. Picked up at BHF or a designated farmer's market.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    Guided Cheese Tasting for you and 8 of your cheese loving friends in your home. Cheesemaker, Sue Miller will lead a fun evening filled with local cheese and locally produced beverages and stories to go along! Approx. 1 1/2 hour event. Must be within 40 miles of Philadelphia. Scheduling will begin in March.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Birchrun Blue Original Painting 10" X 10" Oil on Panel by Mike Geno a Philadelphia based artist. Mike, Artist of the Foodies, has been featured in the NY Times, Culture Magazine and at the James Beard House. We'll also send a very nice wedge of Birchrun Blue.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    What's in a Name! Design and name a cheese. We'll work with you to design a new cheese that you will have the exclusive right to name. If you think naming a calf is awesome (and we do), this option might be for you!

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Cave Naming Right! You'll have the opportunity to name one of our three caves. The caves are sacred territory and where the magical art of aging cheese happens.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Run Birchrun Hills Farm for the Day! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a farmer and cheese maker? Go in with three of your friends and all four of you can spend the day with us beginning at the crack of dawn to milk our cows and make our cheese. You'll be with us every step of the day!

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Funding period

- (31 days)