With the impact of Covid-19 & the community desiree for locally sourced produce, we want to be able to offer the community a local dairy where people can get involved. To understand how milk & dairy products our produce, get back to nature and feel part of a community project suppling the community with nutritious ethically produced dairy products from happy healthy animals grazing environmental pastures.
Not forgetting therapyic aspects of getting back to nature and the mental health positives of being part of this project, one especially in lockdown when the isolation for so many was incredible hard. The livestock don't know covid is happening, their welfare has to be maintained 24 hours a 7 days a week.
Heath Farm was set up 10 years to produce, high welfare, naturally fed/reared free range animals, doing conservation grazing and conservation breeding. Going back to post war menatilty where animals where valued and a respected, understanding what it took to put food on the table.
We are so passionate about people understanding how animals should be reared knowing where food comes from, educating the best we can along the way. You see properly grazed animals on farms practicing holistic management do so much for our plant. We don't use routine vaccinations or antibiotics. The herd builds up its own natural immunity. If the ground/pastures they are grazing are healthy and well managed the animals will be healthy and well nourished.
A Dairy shorthorn Suckler herd. Or as some call it Calf at foot.
Simply we have a suckle of English Longhorn Cattle. This means we don't take the calves off their Mothers we let their Mothers raise them and the herd becomes a family supporting and looking after its own, at around 9 months the young stock will still be kept together but put in another field to either become more breeding stock or reared for pasture fed beef.
Why would we take calves from their Mothers at 3 days old when the herd in the field next door our together? happy animals produce healthy milk and meat.
Our cattle will only be milked once a day to allow the calves to take what they need first and foremost we then take what is left with the calves. The calves will come into parlour with their Mother's for milking so neither party becomes stressed or anxious.
Intern having less stress on our animals makes a happy, healthy herd which will produce the finest milk full of natural anitbodys and full of nutrition.
To keep our animals produceing milk we will be using our Longhorn Bull Max to naturally produce more young, again allowing nature to do its job naturally.
The community project won't just be about processing milk, but also making the finest butter, cream, yogurt and ice-cream only using local ingredients which our on our doorstep.
The plan is to start by buying just a few older shorthorns, experienced girls who have still have some years of calving left, but would suit a slower way of life. Using their experience to get the dairy running, iron out any teething issues and milk flowing.
Next stage is to add more of different ages till we reach 12.
We feel 12 girls would work well for our micro Dairy, enough to get a nice supply of milk off, and a number which would work well in teaching the community.
Final stage production development, Butter, cream, yogart and our very own Hessett ice-cream using all KT's experiences to put our community & efforts on the map with the most amazing ice cream only using truly local flavours.
The funding will be used to secure a mobile milking bale, the purchase of cattle, secure the land to make a public viewing area and education area to teach from. Basically the kit needed to set up a micro dairy and milk production plant/creamery.
We would like the community to get involved from the start to see the journey from the being, to take pride in their community and its achievements to produce its own food supporting each other.
From a disused building to that first taste of milk, to watching the first cow have the cluster put on and being milked to that first taste of goodness.
Thankyou for taking your time to read our project.
About us -
Katie Farming and Suffolk go hand-in-hand and for Katie Mitcham the two are in her blood.
Growing up on the family farm, Katie always had a love of animals and sourcing quality meat.
She spread her wings and went to study Cordon Bleu. On leaving college she had a very successful career as private chef working or The Royal Family, many high rolling clients and also spending many years for clients on Moto G.P.
After travelling the world as a professional chef, Katie felt her roots pulling her back and to Suffolk
On coming back to Suffolk, she settled down got married to Simon and had family. She started working for an A list client, and starting her teacher training at West Suffolk college come a lecturer teaching professional cookery.
But in September of 2012 she gave her career as a chef up to care for her Father who had been badly hurt in an accident, and oversee the day to day running of his arable farm in Hessett.
Katie gave Mike the grazing rights to the conservation grazing on her Father's farm, and it wasn't long before she teamed up with Mike to make Heath Farm a center for native breeds, using traditional husbandry techniques and helping push Heath Farm where it is today.
Mike grow up on a dairy farm Dorchester Dorset, at 16 then went to work on a pig farm, where he then ran their farrowing unit.
Having gone to agricultural college on leaving college, his next job was working for a brassica and potato farm in Lincolnshire. Mike then left the industry to work in commerce for 20 years but the pull of roots brought him back to farming.
Mike started Heath For from nothing just 12 acres and a disused piggery building and a dream, he decided to back agricultural college to refresh his knowledge and gaining a BsC in agricultural at Writtle College.
Mike currently also works for a large Agricultural contacting company whilest growing Heath farm and pushing it to where it is today.
Disclaimer- The page is updated by myself Katie I am not ashamed to say I have dyslexia and my grammor and spelling can be some what wonkie donkey. Most errors are down to me, writing on my phone in my wellies normally up to my waist in mub, in the middle of a field.
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