Something’s happening in the neighborhood that I’m pretty excited about. I wasn’t sure how the Ladies would take the news, especially Molly since she takes her duties as a Heritage Breed model pretty seriously. But surprisingly, they seem pretty excited about it too.
I had heard the Kerrys were coming, and now the Kerrys are here. It’s true – I’ve seen them myself. And with the Kerrys are a few of their smaller Irish cousins the Dexters.
Until now, we were one of the few farms in these parts with old-fashioned heritage breed cows. Here and there I see a Dexter or some Scottish Highlands; there’s a farm with beef Devons a couple of hours away and a herd of ethereal British Parks I’ve been wanting to see. Devon crosses are popping up here and there, but mostly, until now, any heritage cow friends I’ve made are from Virginia, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont.
I’ve had a little crush on Kerry cows for some time, but have only managed to meet one just once in my travels. That’s all changed now since recently, a small herd owned by the Grossman family has taken up residence at Pasture Maid Creamery in nearby New Castle. So, not only will these Kerry Ladies (and their man) be living nearby, their milk is being put to the test by a real, professional cheesemaker, Adam Dean.
While our Girls are an old-fashioned breed from North Devon England, Kerrys are a similar type of indigenous cattle from Ireland. In fact, the Kerrys with their lovely horns look very similar to the Ladies, but are just a little smaller and are black instead of red. Like our American Milking Devons, Kerrys are also famous for their scrappy ability to make rich milk and excellent beef while eating nothing but grass.
The introduction of Kerry cattle into this professional dairy herd is a bold and proactive response to the ever-increasing costs of farming inputs. By breeding their herd of modern dairy breeds to a Kerry bull, the Dean family of Pasture Maid Creamery (not the Dean’s brand in cartons – look for glass bottles of Pasture Maid Creamery pasteurized creamline milk) is shaping their herd in a way that will reduce their dependence on expensive grains and fuel as they continue to produce excellent milk and beef.
After visiting my new Kerry neighbors, I came home with some booty and fresh inspiration: a gallon of Pasture Maid creamline milk and a dozen farm fresh eggs. I re-started my cheesemaking engines by making this pillowy soft, fresh buttermilk cheese. Its pure, rich deliciousness is a true reflection of the beautiful milk.
I’m struggling with brain jam because I have so many things to say about this milk and cheese. But, rather than torture you with one long runaway spew, I’ll restrain myself. More to come, you can count on it. Don’t believe me?
Get your own Pasture Maid Creamline milk and try for yourself. Your brain will cheese up with excitement too.