Northland Sheep Dairy basics
Northland Sheep Dairy is a small, 100% grass based farm located 30 miles east of Ithaca, New York. We milk a small flock of crossbred sheep selected to thrive on our native pastures. Our animals are not fed any grain or by-products -- they are 100% grass-fed and handled using low stress management techniques.
We produce truly handmade sheep cheese on the farm, using only our own raw sheep milk from 100% grass fed animals. We produce a number of hard and soft cheeses, and we sell almost exclusively to our local community.
Donn Hewes and Maryrose Livingston purchased Northland Sheep Dairy from the original owners, Jane and Karl North, after working in partnership with them for 5 years. Maryrose is the shepherd and cheesemaker and Donn works the farm with his team of draft horses and mules.
In addition to our sheep cheese, we grow and sell 100% grass-fed lamb and mutton, as well as wool products and tanned sheepskins.
Northland Sheep Dairy our farming year
At Northland Sheep Dairy our sheep cheese is all made with raw milk produced by our own 100% grass-fed flock. The ewes lamb in mid-April, and we begin making cheese in late May. We milk the sheep twice daily throughout most of the season, and make cheese until the animals are dried off in late October. This means that all of the cheese we make is from milk produced by exclusively pasture-fed animals. The sheep are fed hay during the winter months when they are not lactating. We make cheese approximately every other day throughout the season, and our cheeses are aged in our cheese cave for 6 months to 2 years where they develop a natural rind.
When the Ithaca Farmers Market opens in April we begin selling our sheep cheese, meat, sheepskins, and wool products every Saturday at the market. The Northland Sheep Dairy has gained a loyal following in Ithaca through the years and now offers their customers a selection of frozen lamb meat and mutton cuts right from a portable freezer.
The sheepskins we sell are processed so that they can be washed. Sizes vary considerably, thus the prices of the sheepskins can vary. Come see and feel them at the Ithaca Farmers Market this summer.