Life on Greener Pastures: Traders Point Creamery

By Rachel D. Russell | November 24, 2015
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milk cow at traders point creamery
Traders Point Creamery in the winter

Balance.

It’s the useful force behind just about everything in life. And if you’re craving it, just drive to where Boone and Marion counties almost touch and you’ll find it.

Welcome to Traders Point Creamery.

This USDA-certified organic farm in Zionsville, the first of its kind in Indiana, has become a household name when it comes to local, fresh dairy products. Indeed, owners Dr. Fritz Kunz and Jane Elder Kunz are proud to live and provide by their motto of “nourishing the land that nourishes us all.”

The farm occupies approximately 400 acres and has practiced organic dairy farming since 2003. These acres are dotted with around 76 Brown Swiss cows that exist on the grasses they ingest from rotational grazing. The natural eating habits of these bovine beauties matters to Traders Point Creamery because they respect the land, the process and the creatures, which is turn creates first-rate products.

“There’s a reciprocal relationship between treatment and product,” Cheesemaker Kris Malling puts it simply.

Balance.

It’s true: A cow’s life at Traders Point Creamery is one of freedom and naturalness. They are not tethered to one spot all day, eating from a trough—they can roam and eat what they crave from the land, which may even include something from an onion patch one day, or perhaps other protein-rich foods that are not grasses, like legumes, clovers and alfalfa, the next day.

In the winter, when the Indiana weather is unforgiving and the ground is hard and frozen, green sustenance is hard to come by, so they receive organic hay from Traders Point Creamery’s land and other Indiana farms to supplement their nutrition. At no point does the herd ingest grain, corn, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones.

“There’s a fluctuation in flavor profile that can happen on a daily basis,” says Malling. “In the spring, there’s fresh grass and rain, so there’s more moisture in their diet. This means there’s less fat in the milk.” 

Of course, the inverse is true in winter, when there’s less fresh, green grass and butterfat content goes up because there’s less moisture in the cows’ diets.

This “daily seasonality,” as Malling calls it, matters when it comes to the taste of the products they carefully manufacture. For example, Traders Point Creamery’s Fleur de la Terre, a mild cheese that develops complexity as it ages, is only produced when cows are on pasture, which would be in spring and summer. Malling says these times of year provide “the perfect medium to fully embody the lush grasses and herbs available to us on our organic farm.”

As to what Traders Point Creamery mostly produces, the name of the game is artisanal cheese. This is made at the main location in Zionsville, along with cottage cheese. The products manufactured here are made with milk from their Brown Swiss herd with an eye towards detail. For example, the 2,000 pounds of cottage cheese made here weekly is hand stirred, and the temperatures and fluctuations babysat with consistency in mind.

“We very intentionally do things in a less efficient manner here [Zionsville location] because the product benefits from it,” Malling says. “The product would suffer if not.”

They are proud to provide full-fat, non-homogenized products, which means good fats remain part of their dairy creations. They adhere to minimal-processing principles to promote the best flavors and health benefits and believe an organic, grassfed herd yields the best health benefits for consumers resulting in milk that is exceptionally high in omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) and vitamins.

But, as with many healthful, delicious offerings, the public has caught on to the philosophy and high quality foodstuffs that have made Traders Point Creamery a role model in the organic dairy world. This begets adoration, which in turn leads to growth.

So this small but ever-growing business spread its wings a few years ago when it opened an additional production facility in Indianapolis. It had to, to fulfill the demand for its popular products, such as yogurt. One-and-a-half years ago they were producing about 3,500 units of yogurt a week at the Zionsville location; today, they produce about 30,000 plus units at the Indianapolis facility.

While the second location allows Traders Point Creamery to push out larger quantities of some of its goods, such as yogurt, they pride themselves on staying true to whom they are. They refuse to compromise and remain true to attention to detail, quality of product and organic processes. For instance, the extra milk they need to fulfill product demands while remaining true to their 100% grassfed herd philosophy has allowed them to create alliances with other Indiana dairy farmers who live by the same dairy farming practices.

Balance.

So put on your farm boots, grab your friends or family and head out to Traders Point Creamery. There, you can tour the farm and meet their well-kept herd, and enjoy their handcrafted dairy creations knowing the best possible care was taken of the creature that made it all possible.

Visit Traders Point Creamery year round at 9101 Moore Rd. in Zionsville. Sample their artisanal, organic products at this same location by purchasing them in their store or enjoying them at their dairy bar or in The Loft Restaurant, or by visiting stores that stock their products listed at Traders Point Creamery website.

Here is more content on Traders Point Creamery  in partnership with Edible Indy:

Edible Indy minute video on Traders Point Creamery's Baked Boone Bounty Bloom

Fig, Peach and Cheese Crostini Recipe

 

historic barn at traders point creamery
cheese made at traders point creamery
Photo 1: Historic barn at Traders Point Creamery
Photo 2: House made cheese on the farm
Article from Edible Indy at http://edibleindy.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/life-greener-pastures-traders-point-creamery
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