Natural By Nature: Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, PA

Natural By Nature is a cooperative of Certified Organic dairy farms located right in central Pennsylvania. Our stores Natural by Natureare proud to carry the rich, high-quality, humanely-produced dairy products that they produce with the milk from their grass-fed cows.

In 1994, the same year that Kimberton Whole Foods moved off of the dairy farm on which we got our start, Natural By Nature teamed up with four other Lancaster County dairy farmers.  Together, they created a system whereby they could ensure a decent living for their families while adhering to strict organic dairy production principles.

There was strength in their collaboration, and in recent years Natural By Nature’s growth resulted in the need to move into a larger plant in order the accommodate their thriving business. The cooperative now works with 30 family-owned farms in Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. The farms are small operations with between 30 to 35 cows per farm.

Although grass is the main ingredient in their cow’s diets, grain and hay are also implemented when necessary. Most of their dairy herds are fed a small amount of grain in the winter, making up between 10 and 15% of their diet. They are also fed hay and haylage to supplement their diet, which is hay that has been harvested and then ensiled. The hay then ferments which manufactures a lot of sugars, providing extra energy for the cow. Ideally during the spring, summer and fall, when the grass is lush and plentiful, there isn’t a need for grain fed. This is because in its best form, grass gives the cow its caloric and mineral needs.

Natural by Nature, believes that milk, particularly organic milk, is meant to be fresh. They pasteurize their milk using the High Temperature Short Time (HTST) process. During this process, the milk is heated to only 165 degrees F, the lowest temperature proven to safely kill harmful bacteria without sacrificing flavor, freshness and many of milk’s natural nutrients.

You’ll find Natural by Nature’s milk, half and half, ricotta, heavy cream, whipped cream and sour cream at your local Kimberton Whole Foods.

 

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