Updated: Mar 14, 2019
Yes, you read that right. Cheese.
Not just any cheese will do: Try the silky, buttery burrata made from the milk of the water buffalo.
As their name may suggest, water buffalo thrive near clean rivers and streams. More commonly raised in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, they can only be found on a handful of dairy farms in the United States. One of those farms is located right here in North Jersey: Riverine Ranch in Warren County.
Brian and Courtney Foley run Riverine Ranch with a nod to Old World cheesemaking. Their buffalo herd leads a stress-free life grazing on the banks of the Musconetcong River, thanks to humane, eco-friendly practices that allow the animals to live and eat as nature intended. The result? A delicious, high-butterfat milk, churned into some of the region’s best mozzarella, yogurt and ice cream.
From the beginning of the Foleys’ farming career in 2010--Brian is a former electrician who runs the farm full-time, while Courtney markets their products around her elementary school teaching schedule--they set out to create a product that would respect the water and land around them. Our partners at the North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council stepped in with funding and expertise to support the couple’s stewardship. The Council worked with the Foleys to reduce the amount of farming byproducts washing into the Musconetcong. The Foleys also learned where to plant trees and native grasses on the farm’s riverbanks that slow and filter storm water. These best practices earned the Riverine Ranch a “River-Friendly Farm” certification--an official moniker that the Foleys can use on their products to demonstrate their commitment to local water health.
Riverine Ranch is one of a growing number of certified “river-friendly” food producers in the region. The river-friendly program reflects a larger movement underway across the Delaware River basin to protect drinking water and wildlife habitat for future generations.
Support Riverine Ranch and other river-friendly farms on your next trip to the market! Click here to find products and locations near you: https://www.riverfriendlyfarm.org/find-farms
Learn more about the Riverine Ranch by visiting https://www.riverfriendlyfarm.org/Farms/Riverine-Ranch or http://riverineranch.com/index.html