We are stewards of our land, in the same way we are all stewards of the earth. We protect it and nurture it, we work with it and it, in turn, nourishes us. We thrive and grow only as one process, one community, one planet. It’s that connection that we seem to be losing, in our busy lives. We rush from one place to the next, grab food on the go and live surrounded by buildings where once we saw trees. And while progress is wonderful, so is remembering where we came from.
In years gone by cheeses like ours were made in every farmhouse, because that’s how you took milk from summer to winter. The same as other fermented delights, like wine. It was a natural seasonal drum, and all the world moved to its beat.
At Quicke’s we’re still farming the same stretch of land the Quicke family have been nurturing for 500 years. We’ve made progress since the Renaissance, and with innovation in our veins, we set up the cheese dairy in the 1970s. But we still craft cheese the old-fashioned way, with milk from our own herd and heritage starters, hand-cheddaring as it’s meant to be done. When you make cheese with modern machinery, you lose something – the craftsmanship, the connection to the place and the interaction with the environment.
Because, like wine, cheese is an expression of the land it comes from — milk produced just a few miles away will taste remarkably different. Our land, our grass, our cows, our milk and even the unique mould garden of our cheese store — all make a difference to the flavour. The cheese tells the story of the place it’s come from.
Farming life is slow and purposeful. Our vintage cheddar is aged for 2 years — eight seasons dance by while it sits in the cool quiet of our stores. The year rolls on but we feed our cows at the pace of the grass, which grows at the pace of the soil. It all comes back to this land.
It all comes back to this land.