Fresh milk has become such a rarity in our pasteurized, slickly packaged world that most of us have forgotten the rich, sweet taste of milk sampled straight from the cow. At the Hall Valley Farm on Smith’s Estate, along Valley Road in Ebenezer, Saint Mary’s. Adrian Hall and his wife Vicky have developed a small dairy herd, and promote the sale of their fresh milk online through facebook, to the members of the Antigua Real Food Network, and by word of mouth to other people who hear about their product.
Adrian’s dairy herd is a suckling herd, and he milks his 15 cows by hand every other day, leaving the calves plenty of food between milkings. In the days when Adrian’s grandfather, Robert Hall, ran the farm, the dairy herd was Holstein crossed with Zebu. Now that the farm is producing milk again, they are planning improvements, perhaps by crossing with a milking breed like Jersey.
The Halls keep a scrupulously clean dairy, sterilizing bottles and caps, and the equipment used for milking. They sell raw milk, leaving the option to pasteurize up to the buyer. They have found that the demand for their milk is seasonal, and in the summer when they have more than they can sell, Vicky makes a tangy yoghurt cheese and creamy lemon ricotta cheese. Fresh farm eggs from genuine scratching chickens will soon be available, as their flock of 40 chickens will start laying soon.
Check out the Hall Valley Farm’s facebook page for updates