Farm Tour: Nice Farms Creamery

Follow along each month in Attraction magazine as Sprout takes readers on tours of Mid-Shore farms. They will share stories from the road as they gather fresh produce from area farms. Sprout provides individually portioned, ready-to-eat meals using fresh, local and organic ingredients, delivered directly to a customer and to businesses.

How clever of us to feature Nice Farms Creamery as June is National Dairy Month. We felt it was crucial to place a spotlight on a local pasture raised milk farm on Maryland’s Mid-Shore in the June issue. Nice Farms Creamery is located off Auction Road in Federalsburg. The herd of 42 cows grazed on a green pasture close to the milking barn as we pulled into the quiet lane. Inside it was bottling time; milk jugs were being filled by very efficient members of the Miller family.

Nice Farms Creamery is a family owned, family operated dairy farm in Federalsburg since 1989. Owner Bob Miller greeted us warmly as he exited the bottling room to explain the farm’s operations. The farm has been supplying Sprout with milk, yogurt, butter and now ice cream since Sprout established in 2015. Ryan Groll said, “We get our dairy weekly from Bob Miller and it’s always a fun filled morning as we have our little dairy handoff in town.”

Every week, Ryan places an order with Nice Farms, including wholesome milk, flavorful butter and the best darn yogurt around. Though Sprout is not located within its delivery area, they are determined to make this relationship work. It’s terrific to see two passionate business owners work together to find mutual meeting points every week where Ryan and Bob meet up to exchange cash and dairy.

Every week, Ryan Groll (left) places an order with Bob Miller of Nice Farms.

Nice Farms is a true dairy farm, where their cows live on pasture. They have 42 cows on their 200+ acre farm. Truly, these milking ladies are a wonder. The herd at Nice Farms is a mixture of Holstein and Jersey crosses with Linebacks, Milking Shorthorns, Dutch Belted and New Zealand Friesians. The Nice Farms cows thrive in this environment where they graze naturally. As Bob explains, “Our cows are stronger, able to walk to and from our fields, and are overall in better health. We select cows and genetics that bring our cows back to a more natural animal as nature intended – moving her away from her industry production bred cousin.”

In one day a Nice Farm cow will produce about four gallons of milk. That requires the cow to drink about 30 gallons of water a day. Each cow requires between two and three acres of pasture to feed. These active and happy cows will typically produce less milk per cow, but it will be creamier and full of nutrition not found in a confined feed cow’s milk. The color and flavor of the milk reflects the changing seasons when transitioning between stored forages, cool season, and warm season pastures. Expect a wholesome creamy whole milk with amazing flavor.

Ryan explains, “Local, pasture raised, nutritious, and above all, quality is Sprout’s main concern and Nice Farms is spot on. Their attention to detail and animal husbandry is superior.”

Anna Miller picks Buttercups as the curious dairy cows watch.

Coming from a farming family, it was while serving as an officer in the US Army on his second tour that oldest son, Bob Miller, had this crazy idea: rather than relying on a large dairy cooperative, what if the farm could sell its own milk? Serving overseas had given Bob the opportunity to see how family farms could be completely self-sustaining. With no large corporations or cooperatives contracted to purchase their products, as is often the standard in American agriculture, these family farms sold their own dairy to the public. The idea for Nice Farms Creamery was born. The farm now supports three households, and a growing brood of six children, and is a thriving business providing the best dairy around from Ocean City to Annapolis and beyond.

To learn more, visit the farm between 3 and 6 p.m. at 25786 Auction Road in Federalsburg. Or, visit nicefarmsmd.com or email nicefarmscreamery@gmail.com. To sample Nice Farms Creamery items in Sprout’s daily cooking, contact Sprout at 443-223-0642 and visit www.eatsprout.com or www.facebook.com/eatsprout.

Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Nice Farms Creamery cows are milked twice daily. Everything is done on the farm, including pasteurizing, bottling and ice cream production. There are seven different flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, mint chip, strawberry, peach, coffee latte and cookies & cream.

Taste the ice cream at the following events:

  • Clean Water Concert Series in downtown Easton on June 3 and 24 starting at 6 p.m. Turn to page 90 for details.
  • Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Show at the Tuckahoe Show Grounds on July 6 through 9.
  • Eastern Shore Steam and Gas Show in Federalsburg on August 4 through 6.

Visit nicefarmsmd.com/ice-cream-schedule for a complete schedule.

See Nice Farms Creamery at the Kent Island Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. year round. Retail locations include Graul’s Market in St. Michaels, Simmons Center Market in Cambridge, Earth Origins in Easton, among many others. Visit www.nicefarmsmd.com/locations to a list of all locations.

 

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Jennifer Latham
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Attraction July 2017 Cover