It all started 60 years ago in a Dorset village called Stalbridge
Dan's Grandad moved to Crib House Farm and started his small milk producing business with just 20 cows and an appetite for adventure.
Dan & Alex
Dan is the third generation of the family to embrace the world of dairy farming at Crib House Farm.
He started working full-time on the farm when he was 18 years old and met Alex a few years later. Working in the City, Alex didn't need much convincing to move to Dorset and she's been enjoying country life ever since.
After years of watching the milk leave the farm in tankers, Dan started to think about other ways of putting it to good use.
A relatively recent convert to the world of healthy living, he had read about the virtues of Greek yoghurt but never tried it. Alex brought a tub home to use in a recipe one day and it was love at first spoonful for Dan. It wasn't long before he was culturing milk on the AGA in the farm kitchen and straining it through cheese cloth to achieve a thick, creamy texture. The results were an instant success with family and friends and so the idea of Dorset Strained Yoghurt was born.
For every litre of yoghurt, we start with three litres of milk and after adding our carefully selected cultures (including probiotics), it is strained using traditional methods to create a thick, creamy texture packed with protein.
Crib House Farm is nestled in the heart of the Blackmore Vale, a broad and picturesque valley that has been used to farm livestock and dairy for hundreds of years.
Our gently rolling fields knit together to form a patchwork quilt that covers 550 acres of beautiful Dorset countryside. Thick hedgerows bristle with wildlife and the underlying clay soils provide the perfect environment for pasture and forage crops. We grow these in the summer months and harvest them for the cows to eat through the winter months.
Dan works alongside his Dad to tend the herd whilst Grandad mans the veggie patch and keeps a watchful eye over the chickens. Alex acts as chief yoghurt taster and recipe developer and Mum does her best to keep them all in check along with the cats and dogs.
Good land management and sustainability are core values at Crib House Farm.
Traditional crop rotation techniques ensure that the soils remain rich and fertile while modern solar energy technology generates up to half of our electricity during the summer months. We carefully maintain a 24/24 herringbone parlour that houses all of the equipment necessary for milking the herd.
Our farm is home to 250 Holstein Friesian milking cows, or 'the girls' as they are affectionately known to Dan.
Because we keep all of our calves to replenish the herd (a closed herd), we know the history of each cow and can preserve the quality. Milked twice a day in our 24/24 herringbone parlour, the girls are, unquestionably, the real talent behind our yoghurt.
We know that the best milk comes from healthy and content cows so Dan works hard to keep them happy.
Free to roam the pastures at Crib House Farm during the summer, the herd is only too pleased to accept the offer of shelter during the cold winter months. Whatever the time of year, the girls always enjoys VIP treatment. So much so that the condition of the cows and quality of herd management often receive high praise from visiting vets and dairy specialists.