Its the 22nd of April, the frost has gone, the sun is out and the fields are dry. At last we can let the cows out. They have been indoors for nearly six months so its a relief to all of us to see them relishing the grass. The milk is up, so now we can increase cheese production and build up the stock!
Its the end of winter, the March winds have dried out the fields sufficiently to bear the weight of tractors and dungspreaders. So it’s time to get the winter’s muck out on the fields to make the grass grow. The digger sits itself in the slurry lagoon and the dung spreaders back up to it. Over a thousands tons of dung are shifted in a couple of days. Great fun!
Every week we taste all of our cheeses. Although we follow the same recipe, natural variations in grass, silage, the weather and unknown dark forces can make a huge difference to the final cheese.
This is our first Brown Swiss cow, We bought her from another farmer for £2,000. She has just had a female calf, which will be fully grown in two and a half years time. By then she will give birth to a calf of her own and produce milk herself.
Record rainfall has flooded our river meadows again. It doesn’t matter too much. At this time of year all the cows are housed, so the swans have the fields to themselves.
Happy new year. We hope you enjoyed our cheeses as part of your Christmas celebrations.
We had a great Christmas, particularly at Borough market where we had this huge stand and enjoyed meeting a lot of people there. Sadly we had it just for the Christmas season, our own pop-up shop. So we’re not at Borough for a few weeks now while they find us a new location. Hopefully we’ll be back soon, keep an eye on our twitter account @bathcheese or @bathsoftcheese to find out when we have a confirmed date.
Here is a photo of Yarek, our cheesemaker milling the blue cheese curd. He breaks the curd into walnut size pieces and puts them in the tall 8 inch diameter moulds. The curd has to be just the right texture to get nice marbled blue veins in the finished cheese. If the curd is too soft, the cheese will not go blue, too hard and the cheese will get very dry. This batch got to the right stage on Saturday evening. It was midnight when Yarek finished!
October, because of the rain, has been a month of mists and muddy fruitfulness. The mild weather has has brought forth a flush of grass and despite the mudddy gateways the cows still like to get out to graze. Here they are coming in for milking on a sunny Sunday afternoon in mid October.
This cow is very proud of her baby, as are the other parents in the picture ( and the grandparents out of the picture)……….And she should be proud because her calf is our first from a Swedish Red bull.
The Swedish Red breed is renowned for good health and it is claimed that when crosswith Friesians they produce a crossbred heifer that is good for organic milk and cheese production. In two and a half years this calf will have her first baby and we will find out the claim is true!
It’s June, and very wet. Some of the river meadows are underwater, and sea gulls feed where cows should graze.
Such is life. Thanks to the rain, this year has been very good for grass growth, and since milk comes mainly from grass its been a good year for milk too. But the flooding has been a bit of a sod ( or should I say sodden).