A healthy soil rich in nutrients grows the very best grass and that is what we want our cows to feed on. Free ranging, pasture-fed cows produce wonderful milk which in turn produces great cheese.
Our cows’ diet is 80% grazed grass with 20% conserved forage, the opposite of an intensive farming regime. They graze for 70% of the year and when it’s wet and windy, they are bedded inside on sea sand. It’s like lying on the beach for them but it has another benefit too. The salt in the sand is inert, killing all bacteria . The salty bedding is swept up into the slurry which is sprayed onto the fields in spring, helping keep the ph of the soil up. This is particularly useful in Cornwall because the granite land has an inherently low ph and grass requires the soil to be 6.5% .
The grass seed is a mix of perennial rye grasses and white clover ,which is rich in protein and fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere through its root system. Oh, and we never use pesticides.
Meet the farmer - Jonathan Hosken of Gadles Farm
“I find there’s something very pleasing about milking the cows and knowing that all that lovely rich creamy milk is going just a couple of miles down the road to be made immediately into cheese. A lot of people like to know about the farming side of dairy life but I am fascinated by the cheesemaking. It’s a great feeling to know where all the milk goes and what it does.”