Local farm and milk producers Lacey's is a family run farm that has been going for 8 generations. They have stood the test of time and had to move with it in order to keep going, but their passion, drive and amazing quality keeps pulling them through. This is exactly why we use them with our coffee.
Is it more expensive? Yes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
There are a number of reasons it is the best you get, and it all comes from the knowledge of everyone who works the farm, and popping to meet them all was a privilege. We should all be proud to have such a dairy farm on our doorstep, especially when you consider how few of this calibre exist any more, especially in the South East.
We were given a fantastic guided tour of the land on a tractor - a highlight. Fun and interesting. The land is so well looked after and the detail to make sure the food for the cows is correct for their diet is incredible. Weather can play such a big part in the quality of the grass that they have to be ready for any situation in order to keep the herd fed properly. The cows are so well looked after here too. If one is limping in any way, which is normally due to flint getting in their hoof, they are attended to straight away. Unlike many mass farms where lameness is all too common.
The care for their diet is so managed the cows even have their own nutritionist! Amazing.
We were also shown calves. Depending on their age they have slightly separated pens in order to be looked after properly. They are in amazing shape and look so happy. Speaking of shape - the thinness of the cows are not under-nourished, but properly maintained. This Guernsey herd is superbly looked after which is why they produce such good milk. They are the Angus cows of the Dairy world.
We were guided into the milking parlour. Beautifully clean and seemed great in this warmer weather, but I imagine on the cold 6am mornings it is not so glamorous! But there can never be a day off. 6am and 4pm, the cows need to be milked.
This milk compared to the more common Holstein is richer in protein, vitamin A and D, Calcium and Omega 3! The benefits are incredible. Including the fact it is only pasteurised once, for 15 seconds at 72 degrees and NOT homogenised. Most milk is homogenised and pasteurised twice. This is why the delicious Lacey's milk is creamier and richer in colour, and why it needs a good shake before use as the cream settles on top, particularly the blue topped whole milk. It was also explained that other milk will last longer due to these extra processes. It is also lower in lactose, which is what many people have issues with in milk, so maybe small amounts of this will actually sit ok with you?
The bottling area was also shown to us. A few years ago it was installed and has helped them greatly, speeding up the process. Though with the different types and sizes it is still relatively manual and time consuming...
Obviously another clear benefit here is the fact that by using this local milk, not only better for you and tastier, is the limit on miles travelled, making it better for the environment. It really is win win and why we have always used this amazing milk in our coffee, hot chocolate and tea. This is another nod as to why, in some uneducated opinions we are more expensive than some chain shops. Quality over quantity people.
I for one am in love with this place and my full respect goes to them for what they are doing. The cream is also exceptional on strawberries if you are after some this weekend!!
The little farm shop up there is open:
Tuesday - Friday 08:30 - 17:00
Saturday 08:30 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 15:00
You will also find some of their own meat and deli produce.
Over and out... James