Red Cow Dairies - Quality Tasmanian Cheese & Sustainable Farming
Publishedon 05/05/2015 - 12:59 am
Clean air, fertile soil and lush pasture year-round. Tasmania’s North West has long been home to some of Australia’s most productive dairy country, which lead Andy and Matt Jackman to relocate their dairy herd from Victoria to Tasmania. We’re sure the cows didn’t complain and given the quality of the milk and cheeses that Red Cow Dairies now produces, we’re certainly not either.
Red Cow Dairies works with nature rather than against it, feeding soil life, balancing soil minerals and improving the local environment through biological farming techniques. Amongst many benefits, these techniques lead to lowering rates of disease on the farm and ultimately, an increase in the quality of their end products – cheese and milk.
Biological farming is a common sense approach to farming. Andy and Matt Jackman have created a tailored approach to managing minerals and nutrients in their soil, aiming to provide their soil with life to feed their plants. The practice of putting back into the soil, what is taken out is one small part of Andy and Matt’s dedication to sustainability. Red Cow Dairies aims to build a system that yields greater production without the additional inputs of conventional artificial methods. The results on the ground speak for themselves; Red Cow Dairies grows and farms a hormone and chemical-free, grass-fed veal and fresh milking free-range herd. In a time of increased focus on food security and connecting the plate back to the paddock, this is something that Andy and Matt can be very proud of.
After producing some of Tasmania’s finest milk, all of Red Cow Dairies’ cheeses are individually hand crafted, turned and matured with care. Each cheese is selected for it's ripeness and confirmation. The milk is high in capa casein and protein, resulting in the finest quality from every batch Red Cow Dairies produces. Red Cow Dairies chooses not to change anything about their milk, ensuring the goodness in their milk is as it is when it comes from the cow.
Andy and Matt hand raise all their male bull calves to an age of between 6-8 months. Their bulls are fed fresh cows milk and then cheese whey, direct from cheese making that day. What a life! The farm’s veal forage only on new pasture and the movement of the cattle between paddocks allow them to naturally fertilise each area, creating a natural recycling of nutrients and minerals back into the soil. Further to this, the farm incorporates the use of natural predators such as dung beetles in assisting the recycling and composting of cow manure and assisting in the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Natural pollination using bees to pollinate and stimulate plant development within the farming system is another focus of Andy and Matt’s operation. Red Cow Dairies uses the honey they produce, as a homeopathic remedy for their cattle and as an antiseptic in the dairy herd. Moving a little higher up the food chain from bees, the farm sustainably incorporates preservation of native vegetation and encourages native habitat restoration to allow native species such as the Tasmanian Devil the Eastern and Spotted Native Quolls to co-exist with the farming practices.
Red Cow Dairies runs a single-breed dairy herd with Aussie Red Cows being the ‘chosen ones’. They are a cow that has inbuilt sustainability, producing beautiful creamy, rich milk that is high in protein and butter fat. On the smaller side for a dairy cow and tending to eat less food than the average, Aussie Reds have a very efficient digestive system, for converting fresh grass into milk. They also have a very relaxed temperament and love to graze on the fresh pasture of the North West Coast of Tasmania, which must have something to do with the rich, tasty cheese that Red Cow Dairies produces.
For a full list of products and stockists, visit www.redcowdairies.com.au. Our tip is to get your hands on the ‘Well Red Brie’ or the ‘Cream Cream Cream’ (Triple Cream brie), allow it to sit and then enjoy with a fresh baguette. It’s a simple indulgence and one that is very hard to beat.