Meet the lovely families we work with —
The farmers we work with select strong healthy bloodlines for breeding their animals. All creatures are stocky sturdy beasts, they're bred for good feet, frame, udder strength and a gentle nature. Due to the way they’re fed, being mainly grass, and passion for their welfare each herd produces less milk than most. Needless to say, they live a much longer, fulfilling life of freedom, in a calm and nurturing environment.
The Reynolds at Kingcott Dairy
The raw cows milk we use to make our cheddar type cheeses comes from the Reynolds very special herd of British Friesen Danish Reds and Brown Swiss.
Heres what the family have to say about their girls.
At Kingcott Dairy we know that great tasting cheese starts with the milk, and that means happy, healthy cows! To produce the best quality milk we pay close attention to everything related to our cows, from their food to their feet. As the farming saying goes “Look after your cows and your cows will look after you”.
During the spring, summer and autumn the cattle graze the lush pastures around the farm, sometimes into November if fine weather allows. We prefer to manage our grassland as naturally as possible, using manure for fertiliser and having woodland for boundaries.
Over winter the cows are housed in spacious sheds and enjoy the home grown fodder that we have conserved for them earlier in the year. Calving takes place all year round to give us a steady supply of milk, it’s quite important not to run out of milk for cheesemaking!
Also importantly for us is that our Kingcott herd of cows is a closed herd, that is, we don’t ever need to buy in replacement animals. All of our new stock is born and bred on the farm here, with the cow families remaining for generations. We are milking mothers, aunts, daughters and even great grand-daughters!
To find out more and to buy some of the families delicious award winning blue cheese click here
Boydells Dairy Farm
For years this small family-run dairy farm in north Essex has been providing us with raw ewes’ milk for years to make our award-winning un-pressed cheese The Lord Of The Hundreds and very morish Battenhurst.
Today Boydells Dairy farm, run by Kiley Threadgold who took over from father Roy, operates on the simple premise that farmers should care for their animals as their most precious asset, and that in doing so, animals will naturally respond by producing higher and better quality yields.
The 300 ewes at the dairy are nurtured in just such a manner, spending as much of their time on pasture as possible, though for the winter months the early lambing flock are housed in open barns and fed on mainly home-produced forage, with their running water supply coming from springs in the adjacent field.
In the summer the ewes graze on pastures rich in clover with a session every few weeks on a field of chicory, which acts as a natural anthelmintic. During these months the farm is also opened to visitors, with school groups and members of the public welcomed on a tour of the farm designed to educate on the important benefits of natural and traditional farming practises.
“We believe that it is important that people, particularly children, understand about farming and where their food comes from,” says Kiley, whose family have been milking sheep her for the past 26 years.
However the traditional the dairy methods here, Boydells farm also embraces the future when it comes to beneficial sustainable technology, and recently invested in a new barn with a 16Kw solar PV system on the roof, as well as a rainwater harvesting system to reduce impact on the environment and produce most of the farm’s energy needs on site.
Find out more here www.boydellsdairy.co.uk
Our delightful fresh goat’s cheese, Stonegate is made from raw milk also, coming from a frisky herd of pedigree Toggenburgs, cared for by Debbie at Ellies Dairy. Heres what she has to say At Ellie’s Dairy we try to raise our goats in as natural an environment as possible. We are not certified organic but we farm as traditionally as possible and work to the highest standards of responsible and ethical farming.
We operate a ‘closed’ herd and all our animals are of the highest health status. They are pasture fed with free range access to grazing all year round but when they prefer to be indoors in their large airy barn they can enjoy hay from our own ancient meadows, made without pesticides or additives. The goats are fed minimal cereals, and when we do they are grown by a local farmer who has ethics and values similar to our own. All our feed is GM and additive free which we blend with a mixture of natural herbs and minerals for optimum nutrition.
We raise all our male kids alongside the females and they enjoy exactly the same conditions – like all our animals, they are thoroughly spoilt! As we are a pedigree herd, we select the top few of our best males each year to work as stud males in other commercial herds, most usually in the West Country. The remaining boys are raised for meat and are sold directly to private customers, top London restaurants or to the excellent butcher in the Goods Shed in Canterbury. They are slaughtered less than a mile away from the farm at a very small traditional butcher who maintains the highest standards of animal welfare and hygiene.
Every animal is individual and at Ellie’s Dairy we pride ourselves on our animal husbandry and in knowing the name, character and behaviour of every single goat. This ensures that we can very quickly spot any animal that may be feeling slightly off-colour. We use a lot of homeopathic and herbal remedies for our goats and do not routinely use hormones or antibiotics.
We believe in what we do. We hope that you agree.
To find out more and to buy some of debbies delicious cheese http://elliesdairy.blogspot.co.uk/p/view-our-product-range.html