It’s all about the Milk

There I was at Porkstock (only the best Norfolk foodie event of the year) watching a cookery demonstration when an auction popped up – On offer was a milking day at Old Hall Farm in Woodton, Near Bungay.

I was in it to win it.

So, I bid, won and booked – today my hubby & two friends got up extra bright and early to be on the farm.


Old Hall farm is owned by Rebecca and Stuart Mayhew, the Farm is undergoing quite a transformation. For 18 months, the produce shop was in a shed, along with an honesty box, local produce and an amazing milk vending machine (what will they think of next). But now a big and permanent shop is underway.

Next to that will be the new milking room and dairy – allowing the herd to double from 26 Jersey milking cows to around 50 and making the milking a lot more efficient than the nearly 5 hours it takes a day now.

On the go as well is a café and butchery. They already sell local produce like Crush oil, Candi’s chutneys, bakery bread, Gnaw chocolate (to mention a few) as well as their own pork – with the local butchers making them bacon and sausages. Farm grown veggies, like pure as snow caulies. They even make milkshakes (OM try the coffee one), fudge & butter with their milk. Plus of course their own raw milk including ***A2 milk. But in the future, they’ll be raw yogurt and Ice-cream. (I’m a development chef who loves ice-cream, hint hint!)

It’s a farm of wonders with a newly planted vineyard. An emu pen with what may be a male or a female (don’t ask), they’re hoping for a female as they can lay over 30 eggs a year, 20 x the price of a little hen’s egg. Ducks, Peacock’s & geese by the dozen. Ponies, horses, and goats just for fun. Plus, free range chickens for eggs. Pens full of Pigs for fattening & cows for milking, with the odd bull for market.

It’s a proper working farm. With animal welfare at the top of their agenda.

They know every cow by name – I’m in love with Daisy and Iris. Unlike commercial dairy farms where the calves are taken away within a day or so, they allow the mother to nurse her calf for months. There’s plenty of love and plenty of grazing – even the young calf bulls get a good long life on the farm. It’s a happy place.

Plus, they offer milking days for local children and the odd experience day. Rebecca is really passionate about sharing her love and passion for farming onto others.


But the biggest thing I learnt was about ***A2 milk – – –

There are 2 types of protein in cow’s milk A1 and A2, some cows naturally produce A2, while the majority produce A1 – hence the milk we get in supermarkets is a mix of both.

However, it’s the A2 which is extra special – people who are lactose intolerance can often tolerate A2 milk. The same protein in Goats and breast milk.

A2 is the original protein in milk, hundreds of years ago following domestication the A1 protein emerged. A bit like the evolution of humans and blood groups – but that’s another story!

(Milk proteins are known as Caseins, A1 & A2 are the primary 2 types of beta-casein.)

Now it just happens that Old Hall Farm, offer A2 milk via their shop for the lactose intolerant. They milk both A1 & A2 cows, but hope in the future to breed just A2 milk-ers. At the moment, a third of their cows produce A2 milk, so it will only be possible to breed pure A2 producing cows by breeding A2 bulls with A2 cows – Rebecca’s thinks this may take 3 – 5 years.

It is presently illegal to sell raw milk via shops and it is only available straight from the source or a milkman!!!

There has to be a direct cash transaction from the vendor to the customer. It’s also illegal to sell raw cow’s milk in Scotland while there are around 200 raw milk producers in England. It’s all very strict – – making it quite hard to get a glass full of the good stuff.

Old Hall farm milk brown Jersey cows, known for producing a higher quality richer tasting, full bodied milk that’s also better for you. Because its higher in essential nutrients like Vitamin A and B1.

All hence why lactose intolerant peeps are going on to A2 milk and finding no symptoms. But of course, there will always be exceptions.


A few more fascinating point about raw milk versus supermarket homogenised milk is – – – –

Homogenization(normal supermarket milk) destroys nutrients and proteins, making healthy fats rancid. The process breaks down the fat molecules and distributes them in the milk into micro parts that suspend in the milk. Making it less digestible with our bodies more unlikely to break it down. It’s not as nature intended – – – we absorb more fat.

Raw milkis untreated fresh cow’s milk – allowing the cream to float to the top and leaving all the goodness inside, oozing with flavour and great taste. The naturally good enzymes aren’t killed off by the heating process leaving it full of probiotics and beneficial bacteria.

It’s not advised for elderly, pregnant women and young children because there is a small risk of contamination – hence commercial milk is heat treated to kill any pathogens.

But it is said to help with asthma, eczemaand create natural antibodies.

It also contains ‘Lactase’ which helps us digest the lactose milk sugar more healthily.

The creamy stuff (buttermilk) is a good source of easily absorbed Vitamin A, Vitamin D, E and K2, raw milk is also a good source of Calcium.

Plus, ‘conjugated Linoleic’ (fatty acid) helps fight cancer.

Yet, despite its creamy goodness it’s still 95% Fat FREE!!!!

Calorie wise it comes between full fat and semi skimmed milk but its healthier, your less likely to absorb the bad fat & you’ll benefit from the extra nutrients.

And if that wasn’t enough it’s often bottled on the same day unlike supermarket milk which could be several days older.


So, what’s all the fuss about – – – simply because it may cause a reaction if bacteria were to be left in the milk.

But then again you may get run over by a bus or your house might fall down or if you’re really unlucky you might win the lottery.


But I love the stuff – it makes incredible milkshakes, I especially like it on my morning muesli and if there is any left I make bread and butter pudding with my crab apple jelly glaze –  of course I make custard, of course I’ll use ‘RAW’ because it’s just so tasty.


But because I have to get it from the farm – – – I can’t always lavish in its ‘udder goodness’ (see what I did there)


Old Hall Farm

Norwich Road, Bungay, NR35 2LP

07900 814242 /





By Zena Leech-Calton ©

If it tastes good – EAT IT &

 If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger