Q: Is your dairy certified organic?
A: No, but we think you will agree that we are even better than that! We are one of only three cow dairies in the state of Pennsylvania to be Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). At Apple Valley Creamery we care about responsible, sustainable, and holistic farming practices that work in harmony with nature. This means that we care about both the welfare of our animals and the environment.
AWA certification guarantees that we meet the highest standards for sustainable farming practices and animal care, so you can feel good about drinking our milk! If you want to learn more about the AWA standards we meet, visit their website found at: www.animalwelfareapproved.org. If you want to learn more about the way we run our farm, please visit our "Farming Practices" page.
Q: What do you feed your cows?
A: Over 90% of our cows' diet comes from grass and non-GMO crops grown on our farm. We use a rotational grazing system for our animals so they can naturally harvest much of the grass they eat. We do not feed any animal by-products to our cows or any man-made additives such as Rumensin or Monensin. Visit our "Farming Practices" page for more details.
Q: Do you give your cows antibiotics?
A: We do not feed antibiotics to our animals or use antibiotics for sickness prevention. In rare instances, we do use antibiotics to treat a sick animal if no other course of action is available. This protocol is allowed and encourged by the Animal Welfare Approved program standards as part of their holistic standards for animal care.
It is important to understand that the occasional treatment of an animal with antibiotics does not contribute to antibiotic resistance by bacteria. Also, all of the milk from animals treated with antibiotics is not sold until the antibiotics have cleared the animal's system. In fact, we have a lab on site where we can test our milk, before we bottle it, to ensure there is no antibiotic residue in the milk and that it is safe to drink.
Q: Do you use rBST or other synthetic growth hormones on your cows?
A: No, we do not give our cows any of these artificial hormones. We are committed to working with natural processes to produce our milk. Not using these hormones also puts less stress on our cows; we believe happier cows give better quality milk. Visit our "Farming Practices" page found on our homepage for more information about this and many other farming questions.
Q: How much milk does a cow give in a day?
A: It varies greatly depending on the genetics of the cow and where she is in her lactation cycle. On average, however, our cows give between 6 and 7 gallons of milk each day.
Q: What breed of cows do you have?
A: We have three main breeds of cows: Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Jersey. We believe this mixed herd of cattle results in healthy animals and a high quality milk.
Q: I understand you have a closed herd. What does that mean?
A: A closed herd is one that does not allow cattle from other farms into the herd. Our herd has been closed for forty-five years. New genetics are still introduced to our animals through artificial insemination. The advantage of a closed herd is that many diseases that are prevalent throughout cattle in the nation are not found on our farm.
Q: What is the difference between the raw milk and pasteurized milk that you sell?
A: Raw milk is milk that has been harvested from the cow, cooled, and then bottled. It has not been processed in any way. To sell raw milk in the state of Pennsylvania, additional lab testing is required for safety, as well as a label that warns people with weakened immune systems against consuming raw milk.
Pasteurized milk is milk that has been heated and then cooled to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the milk. We minimally process our pasteurized milk by using flash pasteurization so we can rapidly heat and cool the milk to retain its taste and integrity. We also offer milk called cream line, or non-homogenized, milk.
Q: What is cream line milk?
A: Cream line milk has been pasteurized but has not been homogenized. Homogenization is the process of breaking up the fat particles in milk to be smaller so that they stay in suspension. By not homogenizing, this allows the cream in the milk to rise to the top and form a cream line.
Q: I know most organic milk in the store has a very long shelf life. Why is this?
A: Because organic milk is often not produced locally, it has to travel farther to reach you. In order to make sure that the milk doesn't go bad before it can be sold, organic milk is often Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) pasteurized. This type of pasteurization will lengthen the shelf life, but it also sacrifices the quality and taste of the milk. Because our milk is produced and delivered locally, we can offer a fresher product using minimal, low temperature pasteurization, in order to preserve the great taste and quality of our milk.
Q: What is the cost to have home delivery?
A: We have a sliding delivery fee depending on how much you order. Product orders that are over $75.00 are delivered for free. Product orders between $50.01 and $75.00 have a $4.95 delivery fee, product orders between $25.01 and $50.00 have a $5.95 delivery fee, and product orders $25.00 or under have a $6.95 delivery fee. The product prices are the same prices as charged in our farm store.
Note: Product order amount does not include bottle deposits or the delivery fee.
Q: How do bottle deposits work?
A: We charge a $2 refundable bottle deposit on any size Apple Valley Creamery glass bottle you receive. This deposit is automatically added to your bill. Every time you return a glass bottle to us you will see a $2 per bottle credit on your bill. You may also return our bottles to any of our vendors; they all charge the same bottle deposit.
Q: How do I pay for my home delivery bill?
A: We accept Discover, Visa, or Mastercard for payment. After delivery, you will receive an invoice within 1-3 business days via e-mail. At that time your credit card will also be billed automatically.
Q: What if I am not home when you deliver?
A: Almost all of our customers are not home at delivery time. If you are not going to be home, simply leave out a cooler where we can place your delivery. If the temperature is expected to go over 40F that day, please leave ice or ice packs in your cooler. Many people also have fridges in their garage. If you leave us instructions on how to make a delivery there, we are more than happy to place the products directly into your fridge.
If we arrive and do not find a cooler to place your order in, we will leave a cooler bag for your items. The cost is $5.00 per bag; this will be added to your bill. If the temperature is expected to reach over 40F that day and we do not find ice or ice packs in your cooler, or we need to leave a cooler bag, we will leave ice packs in the container at a cost of $2.00 per container. Please understand, that PA state law requires us to leave the product in a container with ice or ice packs if the temperature is expected to be over 40F.
Q: How do every other week and once a month options work for home delivery?
A: You can choose to receive certain items on odd or even weeks. When you log into the website it will tell you if it is an odd or even week. If you order items using the "once per month" option, you can choose when to receive your first order. After the first order is delivered, the system will approximate the next closest delivery date one month later from your first delivery and generate the order for that delivery date.
We do not recommend using the "once per month" option in conjunction with an every other week delivery option. This is because the "once per month" items could be delivered on the off week from your every other week delivery. You would then be charged a delivery fee for just those items you received on your "once per month" order. "Once per month" orders work best with "every week" orders or if you wish to receive delivery only once per month.
Q: Are there any holidays that your business is closed?
A: We do not offer home delivery service and our store is closed on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. With the exception of New Year's Day and Christmas Day, if you had an order scheduled to be delivered on one of these days it will be deleted from our system. Please plan ahead by ordering more product the week before these holidays.
Because Christmas Day and New Year's Day fall on the same weekday, only one week apart, we often times make special arrangements to deliver at least one of these two deliveries on a different day. We will inform you via e-mail each year to let you know what the holiday delivery schedule will be for those deliveries.
Q: What is your inclement weather policy?
A: We make every effort possible to deliver your order on its regularly scheduled day. We may leave earlier or later, however, on that specific day depending on the storm. This allows us to be on the roads when it is safest. Please help us in this effort by placing your cooler and empty milk bottles out earlier than normal in case we arrive at your location earlier than expected.
If we are forced to cancel a delivery due to inclement weather, we will inform you via e-mail. Always be certain to keep your e-mail address updated in our system for important announcements such as these.
Q: If I am not in your home delivery area or do not wish to receive home delivery, are there any other locations to purchase your milk?
A: Yes! You are always more than welcome to purchase your milk right from our farm store during normal business hours. This gives you a great chance to actually see the cows that produce the milk and view our bottling plant through glass windows in our store. Other than during the winter season, if you come at 4:30 in the afternoon you can actually talk to the farmer in the milking parlor while you watch them milk the cows. No appointment is necessary for this. You are more than welcome to just stop by any day our store is open.
We also sell our milk at several other locations in South Central Pensylvania. You can visit our "Retail Locations" page found on our homepage for more information about these vendors.