Slack House Farm is a 45ha, upland, dairy and stock rearing farm managed to organic standards; situated North of Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria’s borderlands. Dianne and Eric’s main enterprise is their herd of pedigree Ayrshire dairy cows, which produce the milk for the handmade traditional Ayrshire cheese which they’ve called Birdoswald after the roman fort the farm overlooks.
Farmed to higher stewardship level the farm supports amazing flora and fauna and they have a continuing conservation policy and projects which protect and improve the habitat biodiversity.
The farm also has a wonderful organic slow food café and farm shop where you can taste and purchase Birdoswald cheese, fresh milk and butter from the dairy, vegetables and salads from the farms organic growing areas and a range of meats and produce from Cumbria Organics and Hadrian Organics – local produce from the farms locality.
The farm has diversified to include a beautiful bunk house which is proving very popular with walkers and tourists to the area.
Dianne guided visitors on the Farming Landscapes event “From the Soil to the Plate” on a farm walk, where pastures where full of beautiful meadow flowers. It’s a wonderful, wild location with badger sets, wild birds, coppice and forest.
We were then treated to some delicious homemade soup and Dianne’s special Roman Muffins which she makes using spelt flour from the Little Salkeld Watermill.
Eric demonstrates the making of Birdoswald Cheese which is fascinating. This is a handmade product which requires patience, time and love to create. As Eric says the mood of the farmer goes into the cheese, it’s a slow process to get the texture and flavour right and the end product is a delicious nutty, rich cheese which is very versatile.
Warm milk, straight from the cow, is hand-worked for up to 5 hours to produce a 20 lb cloth bound, mould ripened cheese that is matured for up to 6 months.
Suitable for vegetarians as we use vegetarian rennet.
Birdoswald Cheese is available to buy at the farm and at a number of farmers markets including Carlisle, Brampton and Greenhead.