Our cows' milk comes from one Organic Farm, our sheep's milk comes from a local farm on the Leagram Estate, and our goats' milk comes from a small farm in Cheshire. All of which, we are very proud to support
So stage one - We pour in the fresh Organic Cows' milk into our little 250 litre vat
All the milk that comes to us is raw, so we pasteurise it all, This is done very slowly over a few hours, so it is NOT Ultra Heat Treated!
Once pasteurised, we add a good bacteria called a 'starter culture'. Once this little fellow begins to grow, we need it to be happy, strong and warm to make a good cheese. When the starter culture has done it's job, we add 'vegetarian rennet'. This sets the milk into Junket, which is similar to a blancmange in appearance and can be eaten as a sweet desert
Once set, we have to turn it into what Miss Muffet was eating, Curds and Whey! The cutters we use are over 120 years old as we try to do as much as we can by hand
Once cut, we separate the curd from the whey
As the whey drains, it becomes hard work to keep moving the curd, but it needs to be done to make a good cheese!
Once the whey has been drained, we are left with the curd, which is tubbed ready to be worked
Once ready the curd can be milled ready to add salt
Adding salt is a vital part of the process and is all mixed in by hand for an even mix
The curd is then put into rags inside moulds and placed onto our hydraulic presses and left for 24 hours
Once formed, the cheeses are waxed and placed in our store room where they are turned on a regular basis to keep an even flavour
A very important moment for any cheese maker is grading the cheese they've made. This is to make sure the cheese smells and tastes correct but also to see if the cheese has reached maturity and is ready for market
These little gems are our 'soft curd cheeses' made from all 3 different types of milk. Red for sheep, yellow for cow and green for goat!
Here are the 3 stages of the waxing process for our famous Bobs Knobs / Volcanoes
Using our cutting boards we cut the cheese into all different shapes depending on what the customer requires
Preparing for the farmers markets, shows or events, is a big task, as we cut each wedge by hand, ready to be vacuum packed and sold