Back in the old days, the “milkman” would deliver fresh milk to neighborhood doorsteps. Through our recent partnership with South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, MD, 4P Foods is proud to bring that nostalgic tradition to our community members with their delicious, all-natural dairy products, driven by South Mountain Creamery’ commitment to fresh, healthy, responsibly-produced food.
South Mountain Creamery’s story begins in 1981, when Randy and Karen Sowers began farming on their home farm, where the creamery is presently located. By 2001, they had opened the first on-farm dairy processing plant in Maryland, and in 2017, the second generation of their family took over operation of the farm. Today, the farm is owned and operated by three generations – including Tony & Abby (Sowers) Brusco and Ben & Kate Sowers and employs over 130 people from the local community.
They raise their cows on pasture, where they enjoy grazing on all the grass they can eat plus supplements of crops grown right on the farm. In addition to their dairy herd, South Mountain Creamery also breeds and raises beef cattle as well as laying hens, which are cage-free and certified humanely-raised. South Mountain Creamery’s sustainable agricultural practices include the use of cover crops to reduce erosion, crop rotation, and utilizing non-GMO seeds. Their land is under agricultural preservation.
South Mountain Creamery’s products are made from pasture to bottle on their own land – including the milk, chocolate milk, heavy cream, and half and half you’ve already been enjoying in your weekly Dairy bags! Their cows are milked twice a day, and that milk is transferred less than 50 feet to their Grade A milk plant every morning. When they’re making low fat milk, they run the raw milk through a separator, which creates skim and cream.
Next, the milk is pasteurized using a system called High Temperature Short Time (HTST). The milk is heated up to 165 degrees Farenheit for 15 seconds and then rapidly cooled. This is a continuous process that’s very efficient at destroying potentially harmful bacteria in milk products while preserving the products’ flavor and nutritional content.
Most of South Mountain Creamery’s milk is also homogenized – in other words, the cream does not rise to the top of the milk. Homogenization is a physical process in which nothing is added or removed from the milk. It’s simply forced through a fine strainer at very high pressure, which breaks down fat molecules (cream) and results in an even or homogenous consistency. To curb their carbon footprint, South Mountain Creamery milk is bottled in reusable glass, which can be washed, sanitized, and safely reused, as well as convenient plastic bottles. If you receive your milk in glass, please remember to return these glass bottles to us at 4P Foods in the location where you leave your bags and other materials – it helps us and the farm, too!
We hope you enjoy the wholesome taste of real, local milk from South Mountain Creamery in your Dairy Bags to come.