We caught up with Mandy from Mooberry Farms earlier this week, and her little family of beautiful Jersey cows. We spent an afternoon chatting to the team, meeting the cows, and getting to know the daily activities on this little working farm. For us at The Munching Mongoose, it is always an incredible privilege to get to know the farmers and the animals behind our products, and the gorgeous Jersey ladies from Mooberry did not disappoint!
Mandy introduces the cows by name, telling us how Google steals everyone’s food, and needs to go on a diet, about Sky, who runs the show, and Bikkie, her best cow, who’s recovering from being ill. We got to meet Betty, who had never been out on grass before she came to Mooberry, and how she didn’t know what to do at first, and Bree, who’s ‘on holiday’ at the moment (she’s not producing milk currently). For Mandy, they’re her family, and she cares deeply for them.
“The cows, we know every name. You recognise them, that one with the white dot on her face, that’s Betty, and the one next to her is darker in colour, she’s Sparkle. I sit at the dining room table, and I just look at the cows, I just watch them. The cows, you can see. Beauty, I know, always lies down after milking, if Sky did that, I’d think there’s something wrong with her. The other day, I said ‘There’s something wrong with Bikkie, she’s just not herself!’, and the next day she was sick. My husband jokes, ‘Do the cows talk to you?’, but I just know. I think it’s because I like to spend time with them and by doing this I pick up if they aren’t really themselves.” – Mandy
This mutual respect and understanding between farmer and animal is something amazing to watch, and Mandy’s love for her cows is evident in the way she farms. The cows are free-range and grass-fed, grazing out in the fields for most of the day. They’re also fed a mix of maize, sunflower seeds, vitamins and natural herbs, to make sure they’re getting a balanced diet, and to keep their immune systems strong. Mandy is currently working on sourcing non-GMO maize, and soon all her feed will be GMO free. The cows don’t receive any routine antibiotics or hormones, and their milk is tested daily to make sure they’re healthy. The cows are milked twice a day, every day, and every day Mandy and her team are up and about with the cows from 6am.
Mooberry Farms grew out of a concern around the current food system, and a desire to be more in touch with the source of their food.
“In 2010, the boys just drank so much milk. We’d always joke, boys go and milk the cows! But I didn’t like the things I heard about commercial milk. I already had the veggie garden, and we had chickens, and I thought for the sake of my kids, let’s just get a cow. The first cow we bought, her name was Buttercup, she was a Jersey cow. I treated her like a horse, her udder wasn’t quite right, and she charged us everywhere we went. She had these horns! And I just thought, this is not what I signed-up for. Everytime we put the food down she charged, and I just remember Pete bolting out, over the compost heap, over the fence. I can still remember him running! But people heard we had raw milk, and they started to come to us. And suddenly I had four cows, and I remember being so worried – what am I going to do with all the milk, and the orders just came in.” – Mandy
Mandy and her team at Mooberry are changing the world through each litre of milk and spoonful of yoghurt they lovingly produce. Happy cows, happy farmers, happy people. And by supporting local farmers and artisans, like Mooberry, you too can change the world, by increasing demand for ethically and organically farmed produce. Not only do you get a glimpse of the beautiful cows producing your milk, but you get to know that by buying that milk, you’re supporting a sustainable future.
Mooberry Farms supplies The Munching Mongoose with delicious, ethically and organically farmed dairy products. Our regular boxes come with farm-fresh milk, and you can visit The Market to add on one of our dairy packs, with a selection of butter, cream & yoghurt. Happy Munching!