We are a farming family who have been farming in Somerset for generations, but in 1997 buffalo came to Higher Alham because of a need to diversify on this small beautiful dairy farm.
We began to experiment with the milk on the kitchen table and using some recipes, which we had obtained from our friends in Romania during various trips to study and import the buffalo and coupled with Francesí finesse with cheesemaking (Francesí grandmother was a champion dairymaid), we developed two cheeses, Iambors, named after the bull, and Junas, named after the favourite buffalo of the family. Having mastered the cheeses after many experiments, we began to make bigger quantities and in 1998 we started to attend the local farmers markets in Somerset.
As the buffalo were breeding very well and we had mastered the art of rearing them we soon had too many animals, so we decided to focus on the buffalo and sold most of the cows in 1999, keeping a handful of the favourites to provide milk for the buffalo calves. These have grown slowly over the last 10 years to 25 milking cows and so with this extra milk we further added to our cheese range with some cows cheeses. During this time we also began the process of converting to organic, and we became organic in 2000.
Over time the buffalo herd has grown from the original 25 cows and 1 bull that were imported to over 60 milkers with young animals making a total of nearly 200 animals roaming the somerset countryside.
Over the years we have added more cheeses to our range and in 2007 we started making mozzarella, originally with cows milk for an Italian pizza restaurant, and then having perfected the technique we moved onto the buffalo milk, which won a silver at the 2008 British Cheese Awards. We currently sell to a wide range of London pubs and restaurants and at many farmers markets in London during the weekend. Our philosophy remains as a always a commitment to the welfare of our animals and care of the wonderful countryside we are fortunate to farm as well as producing the best possible organic produce for our customers. For the latest news from the farm, check out the news page.
††††††††††††††† ††††††††† Juna, the best buffalo ever!