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Friday, 9 March 2012

Meeting the monks who make butter

Making butter by the jam jar method was interesting if not arm achingly time consuming . So I searched for somewhere in Leicestershire or Rutland where I could buy locally made butter. Thanks to @katescurios on twitter, I found out that at Mount St Bernard Abbey in the north of Leicestershire,  thousands of litres of milk  and hundreds of pounds of butter are produced each year.

So off I went to the Abbey, a beautiful, peaceful place that draws you in and  makes you want to spend more time there in quiet contemplation.

But I was there to find out more about the butter making...and met Brother Nick who is
 one of the monks who helps in the dairy.

The dairy is behind the abbey shop....before getting there though,you have to walk through the yard...where all the girls live who produce the milk......

They are all Holstein cattle, a herd of about 100 who live in the yard during the winter before spending the summer months in the lush green fields surrounding the abbey.

In addition to working in the dairy Brother Nick is completing an MSc degree....but he says he enjoys the quiet of the dairy and producing something that is of value to both the monks and the general public.

Milk from the dairy supplies the 30 plus strong community at the abbey..and one of their largest customers is an independent milkman who supplies customers within a five mile radius.That 's what I call a local delivery round!

Butter making happens three times a week - and salted, unsalted, cinammon  and chive varieties of butter are sold at the abbey shop as well as three types of milk.

I had to buy some of course, and yes, it's absolutely delicious!

You can hear more on this story have a listen to Brother Nick, the cows and I - as well as the bells of the abbey!

The butter making monks of Mount St Bernard Abbey

If you're a local butter maker living or working in Leicestershire or Rutland, then please get in touch - I would love to hear from you !

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