Operating since 1987, Seven Stars Farm is a 420 acre certified Biodynamic dairy farm located in northern Chester County, Pennsylvania. They use the milk from their own Jersey and Jersey crossed herd to produce Seven Stars Organic Yogurt.
At Seven Stars, the philosophy in raising cows has always been “natural is better”. Instead of using antibiotics and growth hormones, a healthy herd is maintained by using homeopathic remedies and herbal tinctures. Cows are never de-horned, nor are their tails docked. The result is a hard-working, healthy and good-natured group of cows.
The Mission of Seven Stars Farm:
- To explore and implement the concepts and practices of biodynamics.
- To care for and appreciate the farm in a way which enhances the health of its people, animals, plants and soil.
- To produce high-quality food in an efficient and harmonious manner.
- Demonstrating high-quality workmanship, we respect and care for buildings, machinery and tools.
Harvest Market carries three 32oz. flavors in full-fat: Whole Milk Plain, Maple, Vanilla. For our customers who crave a lighter product, we also provide Low-Fat Plain and Low-Fat Maple. Organic maple syrup, organic vanilla extract, organic lemon extract and cultures are the only additional ingredients added to Seven Stars’ unhomogenized, pasteurized milk. The result is an old-fashioned, European-style yogurt that is both unique and addictive!
With a host of nutritional benefits and four distinctive flavors, Seven Stars yogurt is the perfect way to start your morning. It can be stirred into a bowl with granola and berries, blended into smoothies or just as easily slurped directly from the container! Your culinary possibilities don’t end with breakfast, however, with countless any-meal recipes that contain yogurt at one’s disposal.
The History of Seven Stars
The story of how Seven Stars Farm came to begins in 1939, when influential philanthropist Mabel Pew Myrin and her husband Alarik Myrin bought 1000 acres of Northern Chester County, Pennsylvania farmland and named it Kimberton Farms. The Myrins’ wanted to test the practicality of Austrian philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamic method of agriculture and to establish a school that utilized Steiner’s “Waldorf” approach to education.
By 1941, the Myrins’ had enlisted Dr. Ehrenfried Pheiffer, noted biodynamic pioneer, to manage the farm and biodynamic training center. Although Dr. Pheiffer’s time in Kimberton was brief, he had planted the seeds of biodynamic agriculture.
The farm has changed in many ways since that time, in the 1970’s the property was divided between the Kimberton Hills Camphill Village and the Kimberton Waldorf School. The 1980’s saw the development of one of the first Community Supported Gardens (the Kimberton CSA) and the long term lease of the dairy farm to David and Edie Griffiths (Seven Stars Farm). A small natural foods store on the farm slowly grew and transformed into Kimberton Whole Foods. And in 1988, Seven Stars Yogurt began production.
In the mid-90’s, the development rights for the school’s land were sold to Chester County’s Open Space Preservation Program, making Seven Stars Farm one of the early models of preserving farmland in Chester County. Today, the Kimberton community is a thriving mixture of educational, therapeutic and agricultural endeavors.
As a biodynamic farm, the kind souls of Seven Stars look at the relationship of soil, plants, and our animals as an interconnected one. A quality final product begins with a well-balanced farm. In other words, by maintaining healthy and nutrient-rich soil that in turn provides the lush grasses that the cows rely on to produce their protein-rich milk, the farmers can continue to make organic yogurt that makes customers happy.
This cycle begins with the treatment of the land. With 420 acres, Seven Stars is considered a small farm compared to most, but they continue to replenish the soils nutrients through crop rotation, crop diversification, and manure. At Seven Stars Farm, the goal is to provide outdoor grazing for cows whenever it is seasonally available, so half of the available acreage is dedicated to pasture. The rest of the farmland is used to cultivate small grains and sorghum-Sudangrass, used as feed in the winter months. Seven Stars is proud to have all of the food our cows consume is produced right on the farm!
The herd of Jersey, Jersey-cross milking cows fluctuate from around 60 to 75. They raise all their cows from birth, while normally purchasing the breeding bulls from other farms. After a very brief stint living and feeding from their mothers, the calves are fed six pints of whole milk twice a day for the next three-and-a-half-months.
The cows graze on rotating pastures from early spring through late fall, coming in only for milking. While the cows are out on pasture, the farmers are busy growing feed to sustain them though the winter. We strive to grow 100% of all our feed, and this is the first year we have accomplished that goal. In addition to grasses, the girls are given and organic grain supplement of corn, spelt or soybeans mixed with minerals to keep them healthy. This supplement constitutes approx. 1% of their total dietary intake and all the grains are grown on the farm and tested for GMO’s. People need to know where their food comes from and we need to know where our cows food comes from!
Visit the Farm
Visitors are welcome at Seven Stars Farm, located at 501 West Seven Stars Road in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The best time to visit is in the Spring and Fall, when temperatures are moderate and the cows are out on pasture. Winter is, also, a cozy time to visit our barn, but high summer temperatures means over-heated cows, flies and sometimes stressed farmers. Consider yourself forewarned! Cows are milked very early in the morning (5am-7am) and from 3-6pm in the afternoon. If the weather is above 90 degrees and the humidity high, the cows will be in the barn during the day. If it’s cooler, they are out on pasture between milking times.