Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses ‘Milking’ Technology
Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses are based just around the corner from Woodfarm Central and our guests have been enjoying their wares since we opened. But now it’s even more exciting!
Jason and Katharine Salisbury are based at Whitegate Farm, Creeting St Mary, IP6 8PG. There is a white gate at the entrance and not only that, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses also do exactly what they say on the tin! They have a herd of over 50 cows helping them produce the renowned Suffolk Gold & Suffolk Blue, made using traditional methods by Katharine. Jason just talks to the cows all day long and plays with his amazing robotic milking system. 🙂
You can buy the products directly from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and you’ll also see them in a number of local Delis (Earsham Street Deli and The Deli at the Chilli Farm both stock it) as well as farmer’s markets, farm shops and restaurants.
Suffolk Gold is a creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese, with a rich golden colour. Perfect with oatcakes or an apple (I concur).
Suffolk Blue is a creamy lightly blue-veined cheese. Whilst the appearance of the blue veining changes with the seasons, the depth of flavour stays the same.
We used Suffolk Gold for the years that we held our Pop-Up Restaurant in Woodfarm House and it went down a storm with our diners enjoying the cheese course supplied by Earsham Street Deli.
The really exciting thing now though is that they have the most amazing robotic milking system, which enhances the welfare of the cows and makes life easier for a farmer! I was invited down to take a look and was genuinely wowed by the whole process. And the great thing is that they have a viewing bay for customers to simply walk in and see the milking in action during the day. It’s fascinating for kids of all ages (this kid was 53 at the time of viewing!).
Hopefully my little videos (below) will give you an insight into the process but do go down and see for yourself and pick up some milk and cheese whilst you are there.
The cows, (having initially been trained where to get food from) simply come in whenever they like as they get fed throughout the process. Each cow has been set up on the system so the ‘robot’ knows where their udders and teats are! A camera then locates the teats and washes them, before applying the milking device. Their yield is recorded electronically for each teat and it even shows you the expected yield beforehand! It then stops when they have given the milk they are going to give, the feeder stops giving them food and out they go, making way for the next cow. It really is fascinating to watch so please do pay them a visit whilst you are with us. It’s a bit further from the Barges but well worth it!
You can then buy seriously fresh milk from their amazing vending machine, and the taste is incredible! The shelf-life of the milk is one week from purchase. They are currently producing around a staggering 700 litres per day but most of this is used for cheesemaking. Only a small proportion is sold via the milk vending machine.