Last Thursday evening, the Farm Shop and Café staff were treated to a trip to the Laceys Farm in Lane End. We have been selling the popular Laceys milk and cream in the farm shop for some time, however we were at a loss at how the products are manufactured.
The tour, run by Will and Ed Lacey now the 8th generation of Laceys to farm, started with a tractor drive around the fields to enjoy the impressive views of rolling Chiltern hills. Following this, we were introduced to the lovely cows and their calves, shown through the milking parlour, the pasteurisation process, then the bottling and retail side of the operation. We were then treated to a delicious BBQ, with their own beef burgers (yum!) and even strawberries and cream to finish.
So what did we learn?
Well, first of all, how much hard work, dedication and passion goes into their cows. Being milked twice a day, at 5am then again at 4pm, takes two hours a pop, and is relentless, hard-work. Come rain or shine, Christmas Day or your Birthday, the cows need milking everyday so there’s no rest. Following this, the cows need to be fed, cleaned, cared for- including their feet being checked on a daily basis. The bottling process uses some machinery but a lot is done by hand, which takes hours and is high-pressure depending on how many orders they have to complete. Additionally, they care for their grass pastures to ensure the crop is as healthy and nutrient-rich as possible to then be fed to their lovely cows.
On top of this all, they have now started a small farm shop with a butchers counter, which requires more work for the Laceys. They are such hard-working but passionate and positive people, and seem to truly love what they do. Plus they make delicious milk/cream/ice cream from Guernsey cows! An inspiration and well worth a visit to their farm.