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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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........ Milk
...In the dairy
>..Dealing with milk

It is worth establishing a clear routine for dealing with the milk you produce.

There are small churns available should you wish to keep your own milk in churns or if you find that regular customers would like to collect their milk like this. Just to carry fresh milk in a small churn seems to take you back to a slower age. At the other end of the scale you may wish to put your milk into heavy-duty polythene bags. There are specially printed ones available for goat's milk and they certainly make freezing very easy. Cream pots can be bought in difference sizes and with special printing on them such as 'Channel Island Cream'.

Clotted cream can be sold in small tubs as well or in big square boxes if you are selling to a retailer who wishes to break it down from his cold counter. As Kent is not traditionally a county producing clotted cream we have had little competition when selling ours. The flavour of farmhouse clotted cream is nowadays fast disappearing. Most clotted cream is manufactured in bulk from cream that has already been mechanically separated. Traditionally the milk is put into large flat pans, the cream is left overnight to rise and in the morning the whole pan is very slowly heated until the thick flakes of clotted cream form on the surface. The pan is then cooled and the cream removed using a skimmer. If you do not have sufficient space to process all the cream you want, you can produce more cream per pan. This way you must first separate the cream and then run it on to a little milk in the bottom of the pan. It will clot the cream but there will not be as much crust. We find that we produce the most delicious clotted cream using Guernsey milk.

Yoghurt is now very popular. You can make fruit ones, either buying a specific fruit mix or using your own home-made jams. You can make yoghurt from whole or skimmed milk. The latter is always popular with slimmers, but the former has the better flavour. If you want to be really greedy, try making yoghurt using evaporated milk. The flavour is phenomenal! Soft junkets and other creamy sweets can certainly make a profit if they are fed to paying guests or, if your property is suitable, you could consider serving lunches, coffees and cream teas. For a capable cook the margins achieved in this kind of venture are excellent. To find outlets for this kind of dairy produce it may be possible to come to an arrangement with the owner of a pub or restaurant. Although the proprietors of such places may not have the time to be involved in such a venture, they may be willing to allow you to use their facilities for a moderate fee.