We hit the road, Tipperary bound, this past October holiday weekend to catch the end of season at Crawford’s Farm. It was mild for the end of October, but the threat of winter was in the wind. We were greeted by the farm dogs which admittedly, being the city mouse that I am, I was mildly apprehensive about getting out of the car… Needless to say the dogs, much like their owners, were undeniably friendly. Farmers Owen and Mimi Crawford, got their start outside of the natural food industry, working as a carpenter and environmental scientist respectively. Looking for a lifestyle that fulfilled their principals, the Crawfords turned to the land in order to ‘live well, eat well, connect with nature, put their ideals into practice, and ultimately to contribute positively to the Irish food and farming systems.’
We started off into the fields, picking some apples along the way for the ‘the girls’ as the dairy cows are fondly referred to. The fields were roped off to regulate the grazing patterns and the herd was lazily munching in the fields, looking forward to their upcoming winter holidays no doubt. The Crawfords have 11 dairy cows, who work for the spring-autumn seasons and the cows take 3 months off to recoup. The 9 month working schedule works for both farmer and cattle by giving the cows time to calve and rest collectively and therefore concentrating milk production throughout the year. Additionally, the time off allows the fields to regenerate with new, high nutrient spring growth and give time for projects around the farm which are in no shortage of supply. The Crawford’s herd are Irish shorthorn cattle, their milk is not homogenized or pasteurized, and is sold as a natural, raw milk. Their family farm/creamery is compact, efficient, and relies on biodiversity to provide the best quality grass for the herd. The dairy cows are the main focus of the farm, but it’s their symbiotic system that makes it sustainable; Shorthorn calves are reared for grass fed beef; their pigs consume leftover skim milk/apples/vegetables and are later sold as pork; the farm chickens and ducks roam free to fertilize the land and are later sold as poultry; they grow their own organic grain for the cows during the winter months to ensure a healthy diet off season. Each element plays a part in their system that respects the land and animals while producing healthy, sustainably made raw milk. Small production, diverse farms like Crawford’s play a vital role in the future of Irish food production and the preservation of Irish food/farming tradition.
So Why Choose Raw Milk?
Raw milk is a micro biotic, live food high in vitamins, enzymes, protein, beneficial bacteria, minerals and amino acids that help nutrients and your immune system. Because pasteurization kills off most of the aforementioned, its health benefits are significantly lower than it’s raw counter part.
Crawford’s raw milk products include milk, butter, cream and butter milk, and are rich, complex and full flavour.
Crawford’s Raw milk is sustainably and ethically farmed in Co. Tipperary. Cows are treated humanly and live happy, healthy lives.
Crawford’s farm is produced responsibly, handled with the utmost care and stored at optimum conditions to ensure a quality safe raw milk product for customers. Crawford’s grass fed herd have maintained their health and quality of milk through their grass fed diet. Their cows do not receive antibiotics like conventional dairy cows, making them better able to process harmful pathogens through their natural digestion.