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Plawhatch Ln
Sharpthorne
United Kingdom

01342 810201

The Dairy

The dairy (creamery) is very reliant on the seasons, the weather and most importantly on the rhythm of the cows. Two to three months before calving - early Spring, Summer and late Autumn - the cows are 'dried off' (i.e. not milked). This means that out of a small herd, a lot less milk is available for processing at certain times of the year. Our cows give us 250-550 litres a day, depending on the time of year, the weather, what's growing in the pastures, their mood... During the 'flush' times we make lots of cheese (the dairying equivalent of making hay while the sun shines). The taste of the milk reflects the seasons, the range of plants in the pasture/hay/silage, the soil life, even the age of the cows and where they are at in their lactation. Changes in flavour are part of being part of the rhythm of the seasons and traditional farming.

Being biodynamic it is important for us to have cattle with horns, and strive for a self-sustaining system. For example, rather than being a waste product, the cows' manure fertilises the pastures, and the whey from cheesemaking is a valuable food for the pigs and chickens. Fundamental to our values is that we only use milk from our own herd, so we know the full history of each pint and the unique characteristics or 'terroir' come through in the flavour. This means the milk has travelled literally metres from cow to dairy to the farm shop, and customers can see the whole process. It's also important to us to preserve – and enhance where possible – the nutritional qualities of the foods we produce, with minimal processing other than fermentation and with only natural ingredients.

With the exception of our yoghurts and halloumi, all our produce is unpasteurised. Unfortunately the very process of making yoghurt requires the milk to be heated and the halloumi pieces must be cooked in their own whey. We produce fruit for our yoghurts on the farm, and freeze the summer surplus. Where we can't produce the fruit ourselves we source biodynamic and organic fruit from known local growers.

The facilities are modern enough to meet environmental health standards, but the processes are based on traditional techniques and it is very 'hands on' as the tasks are quite small and varied.

We pride ourselves on providing quite an extensive range of produce from what is a very 'small' herd.

Our produce includes:

Raw milk (wholemilk and semi-skimmed)

Raw cream (single and double)

Raw milk Kefir

Pot-set, live, plain yoghurt (full fat and low fat)

Fruit yoghurts (e.g. strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, rhubarb & ginger...)

Drinking yoghurts (e.g. strawberry & vanilla, raspberry & gooseberry, elderflower & lime, blackcurrant & redcurrant...)

Greek-style yoghurts: plain, vanilla, choc pot

Cheddar (mild, mature, extra mature, vintage and apple-wood smoked)

Halloumi (unusually made from cows milk, mild, creamy and salty yet holds it's shape when cooked)

Aged & Crumbly (our take on a territorial Cheshire style)