Growing up in suburban Surrey with an engineer Dadand a “stay-at-home” is perhaps not a typical start for the wife of a Scottish hill farmer, but Denise Feguson is still there after 42 years.
Her first milker was a patient cow called Florence, followed by a “scrub” goat Jill and a posh companion pedigree Toggenburg, Margery Frolic. Neither Jill nor Frolic bred, but the seed was sown and more goats followed, ones that had babies and milked well. The milk was fed to lambs and calves, and soon cheese was made too. For 10 years the cheese was sold locally, but family pressure and changing regulations for food safety called a halt.
Now 30 years later, Denise’s retirement project is to do the job properly. It is challenging and demanding and has taken over her life, and is forcing her to find her inner organised self.
Denise’s talk is aimed at both the home cheesemaker and the aspiring commercial producer. She’ll be emphasising the importance of good methods to making fine quality cheese and other dairy products. She’ll also give advice about equipment and how to improvise, with information on realistic costs plus basic recipes and recommendations for further information.