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INFORMATION AND QUESTIONS ABOUT CHEESE

Information and questions about our artisan sheep, cow and goat organic cheese.

1. Are your cheeses made from pasteurised milk?
Yes, all our cheeses are made from pasteurised milk, so are suitable for all, including pregnant women.

2. Are your cheeses suitable for vegetarians?
Yes all our range of cheese is suitable for vegetarians. In order to coagulate the milk, rather than using a traditional animal rennet, we use a vegetable rennet, which is derived from a mushroom.  You can order cheese for vegetarians online here.

3. What is Organic?

We make a number of cheeses with Organic Milk. Buy our British Organic Cheeses HERE.

Organic farmers aim to produce good food from a balanced living soil. Strict regulations define what they can and can't do. They place strong emphasis on protecting the environment, use crop rotations, no
artificial fertilizers and minimal pesticides.

Organic farming recognises the direct connection between our health and the food we eat. Strict regulations, known as standards, define what organic farmers can and cannot do – and place a strong emphasis on the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In organic farming:

  • pesticides are severely restricted – instead organic farmer develop nutrient-rich soil to grow strong
  • healthy crops and encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease
  • artificial chemical fertilisers are prohibited – instead organic farmers develop a healthy, fertile soil by growing and rotating a mixture of crops using clover to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere
  • animal cruelty is prohibited and a truly free-range life for farm animals is guaranteed
  • the routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers is disallowed - instead the farmer will use
    preventative methods, like moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping smaller herd size
    the production and use of GM in animal feed is banned

For further details visitThe Soil Association and watch 'The Organic Debate' video (click here).

4. How should the cheese be kept once opened?
Wrap the cheese well in cling film and place in a food container to prevent
drying out. Store in the refrigerator. Unwrap and allow to breath at room
temperature for one hour before eating in order to appreciate the flavour and
eat within seven days of opening.

5. How should the cheese be served?
Our cheeses are suitable for all occasions. For a cheeseboard, pick out 3 or 4 of your favourite high weald dairy cheeses, aim for a maximum of 50g to 100 g of cheese per person. Having a cow, sheep and goat milk cheese on a cheeseboard adds interest, along with a mixture of soft and hard cheese. Sheep and goat milk cheeses are often suitable for those intolerant to cow milk, so they are great for those on special diets.

Take the cheese out of the refrigerator 60 minutes before serving for maximum flavour.

Should any cheese be left over, the sheep and goat cheese can be successfully frozen for later use, while cows milk cheeses tend to crumble after being frozen.

6. Can the cheese rind be eaten?
Most of our cheese is matured in the cheeses store for several months. During this period the whole cheese wheels will grow a natural mould on their surface, this is normal. Before packing, we wash off the excess mould with water, and dry the cheese before packing. The rind is completely natural, and can be eaten with no ill effect.

Our Saint Giles organic cheese is coated with organic carrot, while the Sister Sarah is coated using Annatto, which is extracted from a South American berry

7. Why does Organic sometimes cost more?

As the costs of farming with oil-based fertilisers and chemicals increase, the price gap between organic and non-organic is closing. Where there is a price difference, you are paying for the special care organic farmers place on protecting the environment and improving animal welfare.

8. Where does the milk you use for the cheeses come from?
All our Non - Organic cows' milk is supplied by the 280 dairy cows' on the farm, just 25 yards from the cheese vat......food yards not miles! When we are ready to make a batch of cheese we pump the milk across the yard into the bulk milk tank. Our Organic Cows milk is supplied by Dairy Farms within Sussex.
The Sheep milk is supplied by Orchid Meadow Farm, a large organic farm in Dorset with several hundred milking ewes, and the conventional sheep milk is supplied by various small farms in the south of England.

9. How do you milk a Sheep?
We generally say that you need short legs! However, the true answer is very easily. The ewes, generally Frieslands or British Milk Sheep, are very friendly and enjoy the whole process and routine. They run up a ramp into the milking parlour, so that they are at a comfortable waist height to the milker. Light silicone milking units are attached to the teats, and within around 60 seconds the ewe has produced around 1 to 2 litres of milk, depending on their stage of lactation. The problem is generally how to get them out of the parlour rather than into it. See the Gallery for pictures of the milking process.

10. How long will a sheep milk for?
Milking sheep generally produce milk for around 5 months, and give around 300 litres in a lactation. This compares with a cow, which will give around 5000 to 9000 litres in a lactation.

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