Michael Eavis, Glastonbury Festival founder, dairy farmer and friend of Frome’s Cheese & Grain popped into the venue last week to launch the new Milk Vending Machine that is now in place in the foyer.
The vending machine is the initiative of Andy Salmon the local dairy farmer at Tytherington Milk Station, located at Bullsbridge Farm in the village of Tytherington on the outskirts of Frome. Bullsbridge Farm is a traditional family run dairy farm home to the Salmon family for over 80 years. Andy Salmon has lived at the farm his whole life and is the 3rd generation of the family. Andy and his wife Emma wanted to sell milk direct from the farm and this is how the idea of the Milk Station was born.
The first Milk Station was established in 2017 and comprises of a very simple to use milk vending machine. The vending machine is open daily where you can dispense your own milk direct into a lovely reusable 1 litre Tytherington Milk Station glass bottle or you are welcome to bring your own clean container. Glass bottles are available to be purchased in an adjacent vending machine next to the milk vending machine and once purchased they are yours to keep and reuse.
Due to the demand for the first machine they have now opened a 2nd machine at the fabulous site The Cheese & Grain in Frome. This will allow access to those customers in the heart of Frome who wish to purchase milk in a more environmentally friendly way.
The farm is home to a happy healthy herd of 240 Holstein Friesian dairy cows which are milked twice a day to produce the delicious milk sold via a vending machine. Andy and his family work hard to ensure that the cows receive the highest level of care and welfare.
Tytherington Milk Station are proud to be associated with the Free Range Dairy initiative. As long as the fields are dry enough for the cows to access, they are out in the fields grazing. When the winter months come, they are kept inside and cosy eating the silage and maize that is harvested throughout the Summer and Autumn months.
Milk found in supermarkets is often so processed it is unrecognisable from its original form and has travelled hundreds of miles around the country.
By selling milk direct the farm have had the opportunity to provide a product that has been produced and consumed locally reducing the farm’s carbon footprint. The milk processing room is situated just a stone’s through away from the farmgate vending machine and under 2 miles to the Cheese & Grain site.
The milk is produced and pasteurised within 3 hours of the cows being milked. In comparison milk in the supermarket can be a week old by the time it hits the shelves!
The milk is gently pasteurised in small batches using a traditional, lower temperature method over a longer period of time. This allows the milk to retain its natural flavour and goodness.
The milk has not been altered by the homogenisation process. Homogenisation is a mechanical process that typically involves high temperatures, agitation and filtration, all aimed at breaking down the naturally occurring fat molecules in milk into a smaller, more uniform size. When the molecules have been broken down, they will stay suspended within the milk and not separate. Hence there isn’t a layer of cream on the top of homogenised milk. This process has no health or nutritional benefit and is carried out to give a longer shelf-life and to make the milk ‘whiter’ in colour, with the absence of the natural cream line. If you do not like the cream at the top just give it a shake to mix back in.
Glass is class! Everyone is becoming more conscious of the impact that plastic is having on the environment. At Tytherington milk station reusable glass bottle can be purchased, and these bottles can be reused every time you need a refill. Once purchased these bottles are yours to keep, just wash the bottle thoroughly ideally in a dishwasher and keep reusing. Since opening in 2017 the farm would have saved thousands of plastic milk bottles being used. Milk in glass also tastes even better than out of plastic!
To try for yourself head down to the Cheese & Grain open from 8am daily till 8pm (check website for Sunday opening times).
Photo Credit: Chris Bailey
Group Photo left to right: Neil Darwin Free Range Dairy Network, Graeme Barry Contracts Manager C&G, Andy Salmon Tytherington Milk Station and Michael Eavis