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What We Do and Why

What is Five Acre Farms?

Five Acre Farms brings the best-tasting local food to grocery stores, restaurants and food shops. We find outstanding farmers using sustainable practices, pay them fairly and tell their stories. Focused on dairy, our products are milk, half & half, heavy cream, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, cage free eggs, apple juice, apple sauce and seasonal apple cider. Everything is sourced and produced within 275 miles.

How do you define local?

They way we look at it, local is about more than just distance. Local means knowing where our food comes from and what practices and processes were used along the way. It means paying farmers fairly to support their responsible farming and business practices. Local means growing the region’s economy and actively participating in the community. It means restoring the connection between farmer and consumer. We call this being Positively Local.

What is your company's mission?

Five Acre Farms was founded to make the best local food more broadly available and to keep farmers farming. We are committed to:

  • Keeping farmers farming. We pay our farmers fairly – and directly – a price that’s above the market rate and reflects what it costs them to make high-quality food, hire and treat people properly, take care of their animals and protect the environment.
  • Improving access to local. We bring the best local food to grocery stores and price our products so as many people as possible can buy local.
  • Connecting you and your farmer. When you buy Five Acre Farms, you know exactly where your food comes from and can be sure that the farmers who made it adhere to sustainable practices. We vet them so you don’t have to.
  • Promoting local economies. We create jobs across the region by partnering with local farmers and processors and doing business with local vendors.
  • Improving the environment. Our farmers have higher standards when it comes to our founding principles of protecting groundwater, replenishing soils and conserving energy.
  • Preserving farmland. Through our work with farmers, we are supporting more than 5,000 acres of farmland in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

What distance do you consider local?

Some people say 50 miles. Others say 500. According to the federal food safety law, local food is produced within 275 miles of where it is sold. We think that makes sense for the Northeast, though to us, mileage is just one aspect of local. So much goes into growing, processing and distributing food that it’s more realistic to think of it as a regional effort rather than one that goes on only within the borders of your own state.

Are your products organic?

No. Our focus is on local — bringing food of superior quality, freshness and taste to grocery stores, priced so as many people as possible can buy local, and supporting outstanding farmers in the region using sustainable practices. (We’re big supporters of organic food and are proud that two of us – Dan and Pat – are organic farmers in their time away from Five Acre Farms.)

What's your position on food safety?

We are committed to bringing delicious, high-quality local food to consumers. An important part of being Positively Local is knowing where our food comes from and what practices and processes were used along the way. Ensuring that our products are made according to the highest safety standards is central to that commitment.

Why the name Five Acre Farms?

Founder and CEO Dan Horan first had the idea for Five Acre Farms more than 20 years ago and refined the concept over time. At one time, he thought the company would own or franchise a number of five-acre farms along the East Coast and work closely with farmers to market the food they produced. What’s significant about five is that you can produce a huge amount of food and operate a viable business on just five acres of land. In refining his business plan, Dan concluded that Five Acre Farms could make local food available to more consumers, and in doing so support more farmers, by partnering with, rather than owning, farms.

Buying Positively Local®

Which grocery stores carry your products?

Five Acre Farms products are now in more than 150 retail stores in the New York metropolitan area, including ShopRite, Fairway, Zabar’s, Union Market, D’Agostino, Mrs. Green’s Natural MarketKing’s, Gourmet Garage and Morton Williams. Because we work with independent distributors to supply our products to stores, it’s tough for us to know exactly which stores carry our products at any given time. Check out the store locator on our website for the most up-to-date information about where to find our products.

Where else can I find Five Acre Farms?

Besides grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and other food service businesses in our region are discovering Five Acre Farms. Some of the latest examples: our dairy products are now used at David Cheng’s Momofuku Milk Bar, Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho (birthplace of the Cronut) and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events, which uses our milk to make its own in-house ricotta.

How do I get my neighborhood grocery store to stock your products?

Ask the store manager. In our experience, grocery stores appreciate and respond quickly to this kind of input.

Do you sell your products at farmers markets?

Most farmers markets are just for farmers, and we wouldn’t want to interfere with that. We love farmers markets and strongly support farmers selling their products directly.

Our Positively Local Network

Who are your participating farmers?

Our fast-growing network of farmers includes Battenkill Valley Creamery (Salem, NY), Mountain Dairy Creamery (Storrs, CT), Maple Meadow Farm (Salisbury, VT), McMurry’s Sunset Farm (Argyle, NY), Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook, NY), Clark Brothers Orchards (Ashfield, MA), Dressel Farms (New Paltz, NY), Sunrise Orchards (Cornwall, VT), Migliorelli Farm (Tivoli, NY) and Champlain Orchards (Shoreham, VT).

How do you find your participating farmers?

We travel around the Northeast, meeting with farmers in person and introducing ourselves, Five Acre Farms, our concept and how we work. Once we identify a prospective partner, we make a number of farm visits and learn about all of the farming practices and processes. We take our time to make sure that we have the shared vision and goals needed for a successful partnership. If you’re a farmer interested in working with us, email us at info@fiveacrefarms.com.

Which processors do you work with?

We believe in local processing as well as local sourcing. Our milks and creams are produced and bottled on site at Battenkill Valley Creamery (Salem, NY) and Mountain Dairy Creamery (Storrs, CT). Our buttermilk, yogurt and kefir are made at Sunrise Family Farms (Norwich, NY). Our cider is made from apples grown, pressed and bottled at Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook, NY) as well as from apples grown at Clark Brothers Orchards (Ashfield, MA) and pressed and bottled at New England Apple Products Co. (Leominster, MA). We bottle our apple juice at Wayne County Foods (Irvington, NJ), and our apple sauce is made at Vermont Village Cannery (Barre, VT).

Who are your distributors?

We currently work with six distributors: McMahon’s Farm, Swede Farms, The Chefs’ WarehouseFischer Foods, Midhattan and Cream-O-Land.

What other local vendors and suppliers do you use?

We help to create jobs across the region not only by partnering with local farmers and processors but also by doing business with local vendors. In packaging our products, we work with Vanguard Direct (New York, NY), M&F Stringing (Mount Vernon, NY), Greenbush Tape and Labels (Albany, NY), Creative Labels of Vermont (Winooski, VT), Rocheleau Blow Molding Systems (Fitchburg, MA), Andler Packaging Group (Everett, MA), Burch Bottle & Packaging (Waterford, NY), DWS Printing (Deer Park, NY) and Pratt Industries (New Windsor, NY). In transportation, our current partners are JILCO Equipment Leasing Co. (Cranbury, NJ) and Leroy Holding Company, Inc. (Albany, NY).

Local Milks and Creams

Where does your milk and cream come from?

Our dairy farmers are Don and Seth McEachron, fourth- and fifth-generation farmers and proprietors of Battenkill Valley Creamery in Salem, New York, and Jim Stearns, a sixth-generation farmer who oversees Mountain Dairy Creamery in Storrs, Connecticut.

Is your milk organic?

We don’t have an organic line, but we wholeheartedly support organic farmers. Our milk is Grade A, pasteurized and homogenized, and doesn’t contain any added hormones or antibiotics. Our farmers’ cows are not treated with rBST or preventive antibiotics.

What’s the difference between your milk and organic milk?

The biggest difference between our milk and any other milk is that it’s fresher and tastes better. Our milk is nutritionally the same as organic, but ours is pasteurized and has a 17-day shelf life, while organic milk is usually ultra-pasteurized and has a 60-day shelf life. In terms of animal treatment, when our farmers have a sick cow, they remove the cow from the herd, treat her with antibiotics, and return her to the herd once she’s healthy and her system is free of any trace of antibiotics. Organic farmers do not have this option and must remove the cow from the herd completely. As far as farming practices go, organic farmers can feed their cows certified organic feed only.

What do consumers say about your milk?

We’re proud of the enthusiastic response to the great taste of our milk. Just a few examples:

  • “It’s simply the best tasting milk!”
  • “This milk tastes like…home.”
  • “This is truly the only milk I will ever drink…ever.”
  • “I want to tell you how surprised I was at the incredible flavor of your milk! What a difference between this and other milk.”
  • “Your whole milk has a super-rich creaminess that my kids and I love.”
  • “I grew up with cows in my backyard, and this milk is the best I’ve had since then!”
  • “This is the most delicious skim milk I’ve EVER had!”

Isn't all milk local?

No. Milk isn’t just milk, and it’s not all local. Milk sold in stores in the Northeast, for example, can come from as far away as the Midwest and further, and the quality varies widely. When you buy Five Acre Farms milk, you know that you’re buying the highest-quality, freshest and best-tasting milk. But we don’t stop there. We tell you right on the container exactly which farmers made the food inside so you always know your source, right down to the batch. You know that only sustainable farming practices and processes were used along the way. You know that your milk doesn’t contain any artificial or added hormones or antibiotics. In a sense, through Five Acre Farms, you know your farmers personally.

Why is your milk so inexpensive?

We’re trying very hard to make a high-quality, local product accessible to many people.

 

Why is your milk so expensive?

We like the way our products are priced. When you take a look at the prices out there, we’re about in the middle. You just can’t find higher-quality dairy for the price.

What do your cows eat?

When a cow produces milk, her nutritional and energy needs greatly increase. Our cows eat high-quality fresh pasture grasses, including alfalfa and clover, along with corn silage and grain. Their diet is supplemented with minerals, vitamins and molasses.

What is life like for your cows?

We know that happy, healthy cows produce the best milk. Our farmers’ cows live in free-stall barns, where each cow has her own soft bed. In the summer, our farmers use fans and sprinklers to keep their cows cool and comfortable, and special window blinds keep the barn warm and cozy when it’s cold outside. The barns are cleaned every six hours so the cows can always find a clean, dry place to ruminate and meditate. Our cows see a nutritionist to ensure that they eat a balanced diet promoting health and high energy. They get health checks every two weeks to keep them fit and stress free and regular pedicures for healthy hooves. They are milked three times a day to promote udder health.

Do your farmers give their cows antibiotics or growth hormones?

No. Our farmers never use preventive antibiotics or added growth hormones.

What is rBST?

rBST stands for recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic form of a cow’s natural growth hormone that is manufactured using genetically-engineered bacteria that have the cow gene spliced into their DNA. Cows injected with this hormone will produce as much as 15% more milk than a cow that is allowed to produce milk at her natural level.

Are your dairy products pasteurized?

Yes. Pasteurization is the process of heating our milk, creams, buttermilk, yogurt and kefir to make them safe from harmful bacteria and increase their longevity. We use high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization.

Are your dairy products homogenized?

Yes. All of our dairy products are homogenized, a process of breaking down the fat droplets in milk so they stay integrated rather than separating as cream. This is just a physical process; nothing is added.

How much sugar is in your milk?

All the sugar in our milk occurs naturally. An 8-oz. serving of any variety of our milk contains 12 grams of sugar.

How do you reduce the fat in the milk?

Our skim, low fat (1%) and reduced-fat (2%) milks are made by removing fat with centrifugal force and then adding back the right amount of butterfat. This is the standard process used to achieve different fat levels in milk.

Do you add vitamins to your milk?

Yes. We are required by law to add vitamins A and D to all of our skim, low fat (1%), and reduced-fat (2%) milk. You lose both vitamins A and D when you reduce fat in fluid milk.

How long can I use your dairy products after the "sell by" date?

We can’t recommend consuming any of our dairy products past the sell-by date. We guarantee their freshness up to the sell-by date as long as they have remained unopened. Once opened, dairy products taste freshest within about five days.

What is the best way to store your dairy products?

All of our dairy items should be stored between 33˚F and 40˚F to preserve their freshness. That range is typical for a standard household refrigerator.

Can I freeze your milk?

Our milk is so fresh and creamy that you won’t want to freeze it! Freezing milk may change the taste, texture and consistency.

How is your milk and cream packaged?

We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment and are always researching ways to improve our practices.

Our gallon and half gallon jugs of milk and our pint containers of heavy cream and half and half are made of recyclable High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2). The #2 plastic packaging is widely accepted in most communities where recycling programs are offered.

Our quart milk cartons are made from recyclable opaque paperboard. The process used to whiten the paperboard is chlorine-free and results in no harmful residues, including dioxins. Our milk cartons do not contain harmful chemicals and are printed using food-safe water-based inks. Visit recyclecartons.com to learn about carton recycling in your area.

Why don’t you use only cartons or glass containers instead of plastic?

We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment and are always exploring ways to improve our practices. We’ve found that there’s no perfect solution when choosing between plastic and cartons, with each alternative having pros and cons. For example, cartons tend to leak and though made of paper are recycled only about 40% of the time. Plastic containers have a significantly higher overall recycling rate (96%) than cartons and are available in gallons sizes. Glass, while attractive and 100% recyclable, is breakable and much heavier than plastic, making it about 30% less energy-efficient to transport.

Local Kefir

What is Five Acre Farms Local Kefir?

Kefir, originally created more than 2,000 years ago in the Caucasus Mountains of Eastern Europe, is a cultured milk drink that tastes like yogurt and has the consistency of a smoothie. We make our kefir from the best local milk.

What’s the difference between your kefir and your yogurt?

While both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk drinks similar in taste and texture, kefir is drinkable while yogurt has a thicker consistency. Our kefir contains 12 live cultures, and our yogurt is made with two.

Where does the milk for your kefir come from?

In making our kefir, Sunrise Family Farms sources fresh, creamy milk from 10 local dairy farms. We look forward to introducing you to these newest members of the Five Acre Farms family. Stay tuned!

Where is your kefir made?

Each batch of Five Acre Farms Local Kefir is made at Sunrise Family Farms in Norwich, New York.

How is it made?

Dave Evans, Charlie Reinshagen and Sandy Grant of Sunrise Family Farms believe the secret to making the best kefir is using pure ingredients and keeping it simple. To make each batch, we start with the best local whole milk and leave it alone. We don’t take anything out and add nothing but carefully selected live, active cultures and, in the case of the maple variety, pure, local maple syrup from Walling’s Maple Syrup in South New Berlin, New York. We never add any artificial sweeteners, powdered milk or anything else that’s not necessary.

What cultures do you add to make your kefir?

Kefir is loaded with healthful probiotics. The combination of added cultures in ours are L. lactis ssp. lactis, L. lactis ssp. cremoris, L. lactis ssp. lactis biovar diacetylactis, L. mesenteroides, L. pseudomesenteroides, L. acidophilus, B. longum, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, L. fermentum, L. lactis and B. lactis.

What do probiotics do for me?

Research has shown that probiotic cultures may strengthen immunity and help improve digestive health by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and encouraging the proliferation of beneficial organisms. You can learn more about the benefits of probiotics here.

How is your kefir packaged?

We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment, and we’re always exploring ways to improve what we do. Our kefir containers are made of recyclable High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2). The #2 plastic packaging is widely accepted in most communities where recycling programs are offered.

Local Buttermilk

What is Five Acre Farms Local Buttermilk?

Our buttermilk is an unsalted cultured milk drink made by adding four live and active cultures to the best local whole milk.

Where does the milk for your buttermilk come from?

To make our buttermilk, Sunrise Family Farms sources fresh, creamy milk from 10 local dairy farms. We look forward to introducing you to these newest members of the Five Acre Farms family. Stay tuned!

Who makes your buttermilk?

Each batch of Five Acre Farms Local Buttermilk is made at Sunrise Family Farms in Norwich, New York.

How is it made?

We add four live and active cultures to fresh, creamy whole milk. During the culturing process, some of the milk sugar lactose changes to lactic acid, making the milk more acidic, which gives the buttermilk its characteristic tart flavor. Milk proteins (primarily casein) are not soluble under acidic conditions and precipitate, making buttermilk thicker than regular milk.

Which cultures do you add to make your buttermilk?

We add four live and active cultures: lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis and leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris.

 

What are the best ways to use buttermilk?

Our buttermilk, naturally loaded with calcium, riboflavin, potassium and vitamin B12, is a healthy choice to drink straight, and it’s excellent for baking and cooking. Try it as a tangy base for soups, salad dressings and marinades and as a coating before frying or baking poultry and fish. Check out some of our favorite recipes using local buttermilk on Food52.

How is your buttermilk packaged?

We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment, and we’re always exploring ways to improve what we do. Our buttermilk containers are made of recyclable High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2). The #2 plastic packaging is widely accepted in most communities where recycling programs are offered.

Local Yogurt

Where does the milk for your yogurt come from?

To make our yogurt, Sunrise Family Farms sources fresh, creamy milk from 10 local dairy farms. We look forward to introducing you to these newest members of the Five Acre Farms family. Stay tuned!

What types and flavors of yogurt do you offer?

We make two types of local yogurt – regular and Greek – in plain and maple.

What cultures do you add to make your yogurt?

We add two live and active cultures: lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles.

Where does the maple syrup for your maple yogurt come from?

To make our maple yogurt, we mix in pure local maple syrup from Walling’s Maple Syrup in South New Berlin, New York. We never use any artificial sweeteners, powdered milk or anything else that’s not necessary.

What are the health benefits of eating yogurt?

Research has shown that the probiotic cultures in yogurt may strengthen immunity and help improve digestive health by deterring the growth of harmful bacteria and encouraging the proliferation of beneficial organisms. You can learn more about the benefits of probiotics here.

What’s the difference between your regular and Greek yogurt?

To make Greek yogurt, we strain our regular yogurt to remove liquid whey and lactose, creating a thicker-textured yogurt. Our Greek yogurt has more protein and saturated fat and less sodium and carbohydrates than regular yogurt.

What’s the difference between yogurt and kefir?

While both yogurt and kefir are cultured milk drinks similar in taste and texture, kefir is drinkable while yogurt has a thicker consistency. Our kefir contains 12 live cultures, and our yogurt is made with two.

How is your yogurt packaged?

We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment and are always looking into how to improve our practices. Our yogurt containers are made of recyclable Polypropylene (PP #5).

Local Cage Free Eggs

Where do your eggs come from?

Our eggs come from Maple Meadow Farm in Salisbury, Vermont and McMurry’s Sunset Farm in Argyle, New York.

What types of hens do your farmers raise, and how many are in the flock?

The Devoids have about 5,0000 Rhode Island Reds in their cage free flock, and the McMurrys have 6,000 Red Stars.

How do you treat your hens?

Our hens are cage free. They live in climate-controlled barns, have access to feed and water at all times and are checked on several times during the day and night. The Devoids and McMurrys themselves and their staff spend a lot of time in their barns, interacting with the hens and monitoring their behavior. They check on the feed, water and lighting. They make sure that the hens are alert, bright-eyed and calm, have smooth feathers and are laying consistently – the primary signs of happy, healthy hens. The happier the hens, the more – and better – eggs they produce. (In fact, stressed hens tend to lay eggs with lower-quality shells.)

Are your eggs certified organic?

No. Our focus is on local – superior quality, freshness and taste, caring for hens properly and supporting outstanding farmers using sustainable practices.

What does the term “cage free” really mean?

Cage free hens have free run of a well-ventilated barn and unlimited access to food and water.

Why don’t your hens get to roam around outside?

Migrating Canada geese like to lay over in the areas around our egg farms. Because these visitors and other types of wild birds can be carriers of disease, it wouldn’t be safe for our hens to live outdoors.

What do you feed your hens?

Our hens are fed high-quality feed composed of corn and soybeans. They snack on crushed oyster shells for extra calcium, which helps strengthen the eggshell, and their diet is supplemented with trace minerals including iron and salt.

Do your hens take hormones or antibiotics?

No. Our hens are never given hormones or antibiotics.

How long does it take for your eggs to go from farm to grocery store?

Our eggs are gathered to order so we can provide the freshest eggs out there.

What do egg lovers say about your eggs?

  • “I’ve never had a fresher egg.”
  • “These eggs make the fluffiest scrambled eggs!”
  • “One of the first things I noticed about these eggs is how healthy the shells are—hard and thick.”

How can you tell if an egg is fresh?

Fresh eggs likes ours have cloudy whites, high yolk domes and intact chalazae that center the yolks. A fresh egg also sinks in a bowl of water.

How do you clean your eggs?

As the eggs enter the processing room, they’re rolled gently onto a conveyer belt and through a washer (think mini car wash) where they’re bathed in a food-grade washing solution.

What types of food safety measures do you take?

Safe handling produces a safe egg. Our eggs are washed and sorted carefully and screened for cracks and imperfections using an ultrasonic detector. Our egg farmers use safe handling practices, strictly enforce sanitation rules and pass regular state and federal inspections with flying colors. Their barns are bio-secure with limited access to ensure that no unwanted bacteria or disease enters the hens’ living area.

Where do your hens come from?

The hens at Maple Meadow Farm are hatched at Westwind Farms in Interlaken, New York, and the hens at McMurry’s Sunset Farm come from Moyer’s Chicks in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

Why are your eggs brown? Why are some eggs brown while others are white?

Our eggs are brown because they’re laid by Rhode Island Reds, which are reddish-brown in color. White hens lay white eggs. It’s as simple as that.

What’s the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?

The only difference is in the shell. Brown eggs generally have a slightly thicker shell. (The thickness of the shell also relates to the hen’s age and how long she’s been laying. As hens age, their eggs become larger and eventually the shells get thinner.)

Why are brown eggs more expensive than white eggs?

Brown hens are larger, more robust hens. They eat much more grain and take up more space. By comparison, white hens are petite and eat less. As a result, it costs more to produce a brown egg than a white egg.

How long can I keep your eggs in the refrigerator?

Our eggs – among the freshest available – keep in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks from the time they are laid. It’s important to check the expiration date.

What happens to your hens at the end of their lives?

Typically, our hens are finished laying eggs for us when they’re about 58 weeks old. At this stage, most hens have stopped laying eggs, and those that do lay eggs produce lower-quality shells. The hens are then sold at live markets in New York and Boston.

What happens to the male chicks?

Maple Meadow Farm and McMurry’s Sunset Farm don’t hatch and raise male chicks.

Local Apple Juice

Where do you get the apples for your juice?

We put the grower’s name on every bottle of our apple juice. We bought the apples for our first juice run directly from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, New York. The apples for our second and third runs of juice came from Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall, Vermont, and our latest batch was made from apples grown at Dressel Farms in New Paltz, New York.

Where is your juice produced and bottled?

We believe in local processing as well as local sourcing. Our first four runs of apple juice were made to our specifications at Wayne County Foods, a beverage packaging facility in Irvington, New Jersey.

Is your juice organic?

No. The need to keep disease and pests at bay in the humidity of the Northeast makes it very difficult to grow organic apples successfully in this region. While we embrace the principles of organic farming, the apples that go into our juice are not certified organic. Our growers care for their trees year-round using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, the leading approach to managing pests while minimizing environmental impacts.

What varieties of apples do you use in your juice?

We use a combination of the best varieties available–and ones that our growers have found produce the most flavorful, high-quality juice. These include Macintosh, Rome, Empire, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and Macoun.

Does your juice contain any additives or preservatives?

No. It’s also important to know that we also don’t add any enzymes to break down the fruit in the process of making our juice. Many major brands use enzymes as a processing aide to break down the fiber and nutrients that can clog their filtering equipment.

What do consumers say about your apple juice?

“Five Acre Farms apple juice is out of this world.”

“This really tastes like the whole apple.”

“There’s nothing out there like it. If you look at the ingredients, there’s just one thing: local apples.”

“It’s just too good! I want more!”

If you don’t add sugar, why does one serving contain 25 grams of sugar?

Those are the natural sugars that come straight from the apples.

Is your juice pasteurized?

Yes. Our juice is hot-filled into airtight bottles, and then quickly cooled, to ensure a safe two-year shelf life.

Why is your juice so cloudy?

We put as much of the apple as possible in the bottle so what you see floating in our juice are small pieces of the fruit. Because we don’t filter or strain our juice, it contains more of the apple’s natural nutritional benefits and tastes better. Cloudy is a good thing!

Your apple juice looks like cider. What’s the difference between your juice and your cider?

The main difference is that our juice is hot-filled into airtight bottles, and then quickly cooled, to ensure a safe two-year shelf life. Our cider, while pasteurized, is perishable and needs constant refrigeration. Cider lasts three weeks from when it was bottled.

How long does your juice last once the bottle is opened?

Our apple juice lasts about two weeks in the refrigerator after being opened. But it’s so tasty that the bottle will be empty well before then!

What’s wrong with concentrate?

Concentrate is useful because it makes certain foods easier to ship long distances, making them available in regions where people wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. But concentrate just isn’t necessary to make apple juice sold in the Northeast, where so many great-tasting apples are grown. Because we use 100% local apples and make our juice at a local processing facility, there’s no need for concentrate.

What sustainable farming practices do your growers use?

Samascott Orchards monitors their trees closely, minimizes the use of synthetic pesticides and uses a number of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. These include growing disease-resistant varieties to reduce the need for spraying and pruning frequently to ensure that their trees get plenty of sunlight to keep pests and disease at bay. When they turn over an orchard block, they use the old trees to heat their greenhouses, and they grow pumpkins or strawberries for several years to recondition the soil.

Sunrise Orchards follows the Eco-Apple protocol developed by Red Tomato and IPM to ward off pests and disease. They closely monitor their trees, precipitation and temperature, mow fallen leaves after harvest to chop up apple scab spores on dead leaves and prune all winter to encourage air flow, light ad healthy growth.

Dressel Farms’ IPM program includes using a trellis system so their trees get plenty of air and sunlight, taking soil tests to determine nutrient needs and installing drainage tile in low-lying areas. Their Global GAP Certification in food production ensures that all of their produce meets strict food safety regulations.

Local Apple Cider

Where does your apple cider come from?

Five Acre Farms cider is made from apples grown, pressed and bottled at Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook, NY) as well as from apples grown at Clark Brothers Orchards (Ashfield, MA) and pressed and bottled at New England Apple Products Co. (Leominster, MA)

Is your cider organic?

No. The need to keep disease and pests at bay in the climate of the Northeast makes it very difficult to grow organic apples successfully in this region. While we embrace the principles of organic farming, the apples that go into our cider are not certified organic. Our growers care for their trees year-round using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, the leading approach to managing pests while minimizing environmental impacts.

What sustainable farming practices do your growers use?

In caring for their trees, our growers follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines, the leading approach to managing pests while minimizing environmental impacts. This includes growing disease-resistant varieties to reduce the need for spraying and pruning frequently to ensure that their trees get plenty of sunlight to keep away pests and disease. When the Samascotts turn over an orchard block, they use the old trees to heat their greenhouses, and they grow pumpkins or strawberries for several years to recondition the soil. Clark Brothers Orchards was among the first farms to adopt IPM guidelines and is Eco Apple certified through Red Tomato. To help make their farm self-sustaining, they power half of it with solar energy.

What varieties of apples do you use in your cider?

The best apple cider is made with a blend of apple varieties. Macintosh, the traditional New England base for cider, is blended with up to 20 varieties including Honeycrisp, a new favorite. We hope you enjoy the flavors as they evolve with the mix of apple varieties and the progression of each season.

Does your cider contain any additives or preservatives?

No. The only ingredients in our cider are local apples, with absolutely nothing added. Potassium sorbate, an artificial preservative commonly used to extend the shelf life of cider, is not necessary so we don’t use it.

Does your cider contain any additives or preservatives?

No. The only ingredients in our cider are local apples, with absolutely nothing added. Potassium sorbate, an artificial preservative commonly used to extend the shelf life of cider, is not necessary so we don’t use it.

Is your cider pasteurized?

The Five Acre Farms cider made at Samascott Orchards is UV-treated, meaning that it passes by an ultraviolet light that kills harmful bacteria while preserving vitamins and flavor. This FDA-approved process is as safe as pasteurization. The cider made from apples grown at Clark Brothers Orchards and pressed and bottled at New England Apple Products Co. is heat pasteurized using a plate and frame heat exchanger.

What makes apple cider cloudy?

The sediment or pulp that can settle in the cider is natural and results from small pieces of apple skin and flesh that are allowed to pass through the filtration process during pressing. The sediment is nutritious and makes cider taste delicious!

How long does your cider last?

It depends on the time of year. Be sure to check the “best by” date stamped on each jug, and remember that we don’t add any preservatives so be sure to refrigerate the cider below 40 degrees.

What do consumers say about your cider?

“My favorite sign of fall? Seeing your cider back on the shelf in September!”

When is your cider available?

Our cider season runs from September to April.

Why do you use plastic jugs? Why not glass?

Our cider jugs are made of recyclable High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2). We’ve found that there’s no perfect solution when choosing between plastic and glass; each has pros and cons. For example, glass, while attractive and 100% recyclable, is breakable and much heavier than plastic, making it about 30% less energy-efficient to transport. Re-using the glass also requires soaps and energy to properly sterilize the bottles at high temperatures. We do our best to use packaging that has the smallest possible impact on the environment and are always researching ways to improve our practices.

Local Apple Sauce

Where do you get the apples for your sauce?

We put the grower’s name on every package of our apple sauce. The apples used to make our apple sauce in 4-packs came from Dressel Farms in New Paltz, New York. We bought the apples for our first batch of sauce from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, New York.

Where is your apple sauce made?

We believe in local processing as well as local sourcing. Our second batch of apple sauce, available in 4-packs, was made at Vermont Village Cannery in Barre, Vermont in small batches following our own recipe. Our first run of sauce was made at Farm to Table Co-Packers, a food packaging facility in Kingston, New York.

Is your apple sauce organic?

No. The need to keep disease and pests at bay in the climate of the Northeast makes it very difficult to grow organic apples successfully in this region. While we embrace the principles of organic farming, the apples that go into our sauce are not certified organic. Our growers care for their trees year-round using integrated pest management (IPM) techniques to minimize the use of synthetic pesticides.

What are your growers’ sustainable farming practices?

Our apple growers monitor their orchards closely, minimize the use of synthetic pesticides and use a number of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. These include growing disease-resistant varieties to reduce the need for spraying and pruning frequently to ensure that their trees get plenty of sunlight to keep pests and disease at bay.

What do consumers say about your apple sauce?

  • “I am embarrassed to say that I ate an entire jar of your applesauce last night.”
  • “Your apple sauce has the perfect consistency.”

What varieties of apples do you use in your sauce?

We use just the right mix of two of our favorites among the best varieties available in the Northeast.

Would you share the recipe for your sauce so I can make it at home?

We think our sauce tastes better than homemade! We could give you the recipe…but then we’d have to kill you. What we can tell you is that we start with spectacular, 100% local apples, grown in the Northeast’s best orchards. Our growers select each variety for its flavor, and Northern growing conditions intensify its special traits. We cook the apples whole for a full-flavored sauce that balances sweet and tart and has just the right consistency. We never add sugar as a sweetener — because we don’t need to — and we never add water to increase yield.

What in the world is ascorbic acid, and why would you add it to your apple sauce?

Every batch of our sauce is tested just before it goes into jars to make sure that it has the proper pH level to give it a safe shelf life. Depending on the acidity of the apples, we may need to add a very small amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to certain batches to meet this food safety standard. Happily, even though ascorbic acid is listed as an ingredient, we haven’t yet had to add it to our sauce.

If the sole ingredient in your sauce is apples, why does one jar contain 12 grams of sugar?

Those are the natural sugars that come straight from the apples themselves.

Do you have any plans to make new flavors of apple sauce, say berry or cinnamon?

One reason our sauce tastes so great is that the apples stand on their own – and we leave them alone. That said, we’re experimenting with a few local ingredients that would be delicious combined with our sauce.

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