The milking cows have been going outside for the first time this year during the last week. Just for a couple of hours a day to begin with, while still spending the majority of the day in the barn eating silage. There’s not much grass so we can’t let them out permanently just yet, but giving them two hours a day grazing has helped increase their milk production. During March the yields were very low and it was starting to get a bit desperate with us only having 10 cows to count on and no calvings since the beginning of February. With the few days of warm weather we had recently, it looked as though we could let the cows out which meant we didn’t have to disappoint too many people with reduced milk orders, and the girls were more than happy to stretch their legs.
We have some more good news to report, in that four new cows will be arriving from Kirkham Organic Farm in Gloucestershire this weekend. Two are half way through a lactation (so we’ll be using their milk as soon as they arrive) and the other two are due to calf within the next month. Seeing our numbers swell to 14 will hopefully mean we can put these trying times behind us and look forward to a more abundant spring where there won’t be any more milk shortages and we can take on some new customers from our waiting lists.
Some Vanilla ice cream has been made this month! No it’s not the spring flush just yet, we haven’t been able to spare any milk to make ice cream, but we’ve produced some with a new recipe using just cream and sugar. The cream is a by-product of our part-skimmed milk orders (which are always very high) but we have very few orders for cream. With lockdown and some of the restaurants and shops we supply closed, we we’re ending up with a bit of a “cream mountain” each week with no home for it to go to. We’ve tweaked the recipe of our milk and cream vanilla gelato, to produce an ice cream that’s a little different using no milk, just cream.
We hope you enjoy it; it’s taken a few goes at perfecting the recipe with some trial and errors. Originally we were hopeful of making a product that was close to using 100% cream, but we soon realised this wasn’t possible. We ended up with sweet, vanilla-flavoured butter! There were some mixed reactions to these test runs to say the least! ‘Not bad’ some of us thought, but too rich was the overall consensus and the texture wasn’t what we were after at all. The fat content was too high and it needed something adding to the recipe with less fat to balance the cream… something like milk for instance. So…if we have no milk to spare but milk is 88% water, can you guess what was included in a small amount in the next batch to make an ice cream that was less buttery but with a smoother texture? Just don’t think of it as watered down please; the milk-solid content is still higher than our traditional recipes. Our cream… it’s powerful stuff!