It’s “the girls” who are the center of attention at Twin Brook Creamery. That’s how dairy farmer Larry Stap refers with affectionate respect to the farm’s more than 400 pale-brown Jerseys with wide, dark eyes and lashes that seem to go on forever.
As a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Lynden, Stap, and his family, process and sell Twin Brook Creamery milk, cream and half-and-half at grocery stores throughout Western Washington and Oregon.
Their throwback glass bottles and non-homogenized milk, which lets the cream rise to the top, are reminiscent of another time and of the dairy’s long history. The property has been farmed ever since Stap’s great-grandfather, Jacob Stap, homesteaded the land in 1910.
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Stap says that when his son-in-law and daughter, Mark and Michelle Tolsma, decided to join the farm in 2006, their choice to keep it sustainable was to either grow bigger or to process and bottle their own milk. They decided to market their own product.
They now milk about 200 cows each day and have another 200 youngstock being raised to eventually take their place.
Stap wakes up at 2:30 most mornings to check on the cows and start the milking process. His son-in-law, whom Stap says is more of a night owl, wakes up at 5:30 a.m. Stap works on the business side of the farm in the afternoon, and he and his wife spend most Fridays and Saturdays offering product samples at grocery stores.
Stap doesn’t mind getting up early; his favorite part of the day is when the sun starts peaking over the hills beyond the pasture.
“I love the morning,” he says. “My mind is clear when it’s quiet.”
Did you know?
▪ A majority of the dairy cows in Whatcom County are Holsteins, the black-and-white breed known for their voluminous milk production.
▪ Twin Brook Creamery milks about 200 Jersey cattle, which originated on the British Isle of the same name and are famous for producing high amounts of butterfat, prized by cheesemakers.
▪ Twin Brook owner Larry Stap says the amount of milk solids in every 100 pounds of Holstein milk can produce about 10 pounds of cheese, on average. The same amount of Jersey milk can produce 15 pounds of cheese.
▪ To find out where to buy Twin Brook Creamery products, visit twinbrookcreamery.com.