The Cypress Grove creamery is nestled on an 18-acre parcel of land — one of the last open tracts within the Arcata city limits.
Call it Serendipity
As fate would have it, this location was once home to a cow dairy and creamery named Cypress Grove Dairy. This could just be a strange coincidence, but we like to think that it’s a sign. When first acquired, the property was neglected and structures were in severe disrepair. Major investments were made to the expansion of the creamery and the beautification of the full 18 acres, not to mention two dilapidated 100-year-old barns.
Home Sweet Home
One of the barns featured an agriculturally-themed mural so faded, it was barely visible. In an effort to preserve the original artwork, we hired local artist Lucas Thornton to repaint and restore the mural for future generations to enjoy. Changes were also made to protect bird species and wildlife, reduce energy and water use, and create an edible walkway with a fruit and nut tree corridor running along the edge of the property.
As demand for our cheese grew around the country, a larger and more energy-efficient creamery became a necessity. The recent expansion exceeds California Green Building Standards Code and several non-mandatory provisions to encourage energy conservation and promote green practices.
We are passionate about making great cheese to the highest standards, and we’re committed to investing in the kind of changes necessary to make a positive impact on our community.
Improvements and upgrades to the property also included removal of surrounding non-native, invasive vegetation and use of low impact development landscape design by Streamline Planning Consultants.
Agricultural and Riparian Easements
Half of the parcel has been committed to open space and four of these acres have been granted as an agricultural open space easement. In partnership with the City of Arcata’s environmental services department, we set aside a riparian easement adjacent to the creek that runs through our property for maintenance, invasive plant abatement, and downstream flooding mitigation.
This serves to create a richer environment for wildlife propagation and the native salmon population.
Inspired by Cornell University’s project to restore populations of cavity nesting birds, nesting boxes were created for tree swallows near the marshy areas on the creamery and dairy sites. They’ve been extremely successful with mosquito abatement, and we’re happy to report that four tree swallow fledglings were confirmed in the new boxes.
Cypress Grove installed an advanced CIP (Clean In Place) system that reduces energy and water use, and improves employee safety while cleaning production equipment and the facilities.
In 2014, a fruit and nut tree corridor was developed on the edge of the property available for harvest by neighbors and passersby. Please note: fruits and nuts are reachable from the 17th Street curb only. Please do not enter the property to access the trees.
Installation of a new boiler for heating water used in production now cuts gas consumption by nearly 50 percent. Installation of new pasteurization equipment reduces our pasteurization energy use by approximately 55 percent.
A state-of-the-art anaerobic wastewater pre-treatment system mitigates much of the impact on our local municipal treatment plant.