Our cows produce over 1 million litres of delicious, fresh UK raw milk per year. The selling of our raw milk harks back to a tradition that began with our great-grandfather who took the farm’s milk by cart to nearby Kendal. We believe that our raw milk is exactly how milk should be – creamy, rich and rounded.
The cows that you’ll see in the milking parlour or the fields are cross-bred rather than the usual dairy breeds of Holstein or Friesians, which are more common in the UK. The herd is also certified organic due to their 100% organic, GM free, grass-based diet, which means that all the raw milk we sell through the vending machine is also certified organic. The feed the cows eat is never sprayed with chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides, and their raw milk is unpasteurised (not heat-treated) and not homogenised (it has a cream line). It’s an unprocessed food that is naturally flavoured by the sward that the cows are grazing.
Raw milk from Low Sizergh Farm will taste different to milk from another farm in another part of the country. This is down to the soil, the topography and the climate, all of which combine to produce the specific grass crop grazed by the cows. The French use the word terroir for wine – it expresses the belief that the combination of soil, climate and plant will lead to the production of a particular grape that’s unique to the plot of land it’s grown on. The terroir gives the wine a sense of place and a clear identity. It’s the same with our milk but we don’t have an equivalent word for it. Perhaps merroir? Like terroir but milkier?
Our cows are housed in winter when the grass stops growing and the fields are wet. That’s when they eat the silage produced from the grass that has been cut in the summer months and then fermented. The taste of the milk is subtly different when the cows are grazing on grass and when they are enjoying winter feed.
The milk goes from the cow’s udder to a big bulk tank in the dairy where it is quickly cooled. Our raw milk vending machine is supplied from this tank. The tank in the vending machine holds 200 litres, and the big tank in the dairy next to the milking parlour holds 10,000 litres.
As our cows produce over 1 million litres per year, some of the milk goes to Chris Sandham near Preston who pasteurises it and makes our own Kendal Creamy, Kendal Crumbly and Kendal Crumbly with Red Onion cheeses. Windermere Ice Cream Company uses our milk in its delicious ice cream – some of which is given back to us for use in our sundaes and milkshakes. The rest of the milk goes to Dale Farm in Kendal, a dairy cooperative that makes desserts for supermarkets.
There are less than 200 places in England that supply raw milk direct to consumers, and we are proud to be one of only a few places in the North of England with a raw milk vending machine.
Our vending machine sits just outside the farm shop only a few yards from the milking parlour. Why not come and see the cows being milked in the milking parlour and then buy some of the fresh milk to try?