Drinking in Boydell's Dairy
Boydell’s Dairy Farm
On Tuesday the fifteenth, we visited Boydell’s Dairy Farm where we met Kiley who showed us around his operation. Their farm focuses on two sides, milking sheep & Ag Tourism. Nestled on 105 acres in the North Essex countryside, they currently milk about 200 white-faced ewes. Having once used the same barn and parlor for dairy cattle, it was a logical decision to modify the existing structures for use by sheep following a downturn in the dairy cattle markets. Now, the Boydell’s Dairy has an 18-ewe milking parlor with 6 milking units. As each ewe fills in to the next available stall, it opens the gate for the next ewe. The milker will go down the line cleaning and prepping each ewe before rotating the six units down the row until all 18 ewes are finished. At the end, a gate lifts up to reveal a cutout section of the front wall and the sheep exit to make room for the next group to enter. One of the main destinations of the raw sheep milk is The Traditional Cheese Dairy in Stonegate, East Sussex. Here, customers can find a variety of cheeses including the Lord of the Hundreds or Battenhurst which are made exclusively with milk from the Boydell’s Dairy.
The other main focus of Boydell’s Dairy Farm is agricultural tourism. Kiley told us that over the years public interest in where their food comes from has increased tremendously. It has grown to the point that last year the farm raised more money through tourism than actual production from their animals. It was easy to see why, as goat kids played in the middle of the barn, baby lambs nibbled on our fingers, and Jeffery the pony grazed peacefully. The farm also had a pair of pigs, llamas, alpacas, chickens, ducks, a donkey, and number of cattle. Kiley, the farmer, was a main part of our excitement in the farm. It was obvious how much he loves all of his animals and wants them to have the best life possible. Seeing his excitement for what he was doing was likely the reason the public enjoys tours of the farm so much!
The word of the day is “Wellingtons” or “Wellies” which means rubber boots.
-The Scrummy Sheep