There are very few dairies left in Scotland and even fewer to be found on crofts. Those that remain are using their milk for cheese making, such as:
The Isle of Lewis Cheese Company - 'Handmade artisan cheese from our Hebridean croft dairy to your table'.
Jumping Goats Dairy, Bettyhill, Thurso - 'a tiny croft dairy on the Far North coast of Scotland. We make cheese by hand, using only milk from our own much-loved, free-ranging, jumping goats'.
The Isle of Skye’s Only Goat Dairy Farm, Waternish - 'Frost Croft Skye is the 1st and Only Goat Dairy Farm On The Isle Of Skye. We are now producing our own hand made cheese and soap made from hand milked Goat's Milk'.
The West Highland Dairy in Achmore by Kyle of Lochalsh was a major producer of artisan cheeses, initially using their own milk. The dairy ‘was established in 1987 and we have taught a great number of prospective cheese makers during the last 20 years as well as managing our own small commercial dairy business. However, we have recently decided to change direction with our business and now intend to concentrate mainly on running our dairy training courses whilst opening our shop on a limited basis for the sale of ice cream and other dairy products made by students’. Kathy Biss, who runs the dairy, has worked in the dairy industry for a good many years and taught dairy technology at Cannington College in Somerset and Otley College in Suffolk. Her consultancy work has included a wide range of dairy products and processing establishments all over the U.K. and the U.S.A'.
Kathy’s book "Practical Cheesemaking" 'is a useful introduction to the course content and, according to past students, is easier to understand once you have completed a course.
The students have ranged from ‘a bucket in the kitchen’ to cheese makers in need of extra training. We are good at accommodating mixed ability groups'.
Artisan cheese is made by the Isle of Mull Cheese Company on their small family farm near Tobermory. While not a croft enterprise, it is well worth a look to see how vision and hard work combined to produce something special.