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.
Dan's Grandad moved to Crib House Farm and started his small milk producing business with just 20 cows and an appetite for adventure.
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. Diversifying into on farm processing serves two important purposes for us. Firstly, producing fresh, natural dairy products with a clear provenance and secondly, securing a future for the farm by guaranteeing a fair, stable price for free range milk. Our goal is to process all our milk on the farm.
He started experimenting with soft cheese when one day Alex brought a tub Greek yoghurt home 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. As sales grew, so did the amount of cream by-product and this was in turn fermented into Dorset Cultured Cream and churned into Dorset Cultured Butter.
Our gently rolling fields knit together to form a patchwork quilt that covers over 300 acres of beautiful Dorset countryside. Thick hedgerows bristle with wildlife and the underlying clay soil provides the perfect environment for pasture and forage crops. Traditional crop rotation along with a regenerative grazing system ensures that the soil remains rich and fertile.
We manage our carbon footprint by being as energy efficient as possible by using modern solar energy technology alongside heat recovery systems. We keep our fuel consumption low by operating a grass-based system where the herd feasts on a diet of home-grown forage over winter when grass availability is limited. Our aim is to minimise the requirement of any bought-in nutrients required to balance their diets and to try to source these from the UK. We do not feed soya or palm kernels.
In 2021, we joined the Mootral MoOvement. By feeding the cows a natural garlic and citrus supplement, which reduces the methane-producing microbes that are present in the rumen, we should reduce the cows' methane emmissions. Follow us on socials to find out how we get on!
Milked twice a day in our 24/24 herringbone parlour, the girls are, unquestionably, the real talent behind our products. In 2019, we started breeding smaller and hardier Friesian cows, suitable for prolonged grazing periods. We use ‘sexed’ semen so that we get predominantly female calves to replenish the herd. Any male calves are reared alongside our beef animals which are sold locally where possible (predominantly to a local farm shop) and, if not, always in the UK.
Free to roam the pastures at Crib House Farm for over half the year, the herd is only too pleased to accept the offer of shelter during the cold winter months. We don’t push our cows to yield as much milk as possible as we prefer to focus on the quality of the milk and have a healthy and relaxed herd.