14 Dec 2014

Spectrum: Marlborough’s Milkmaids

From Spectrum, 12:12 pm on 14 December 2014

(From left) Keven Tilly, Joanna Dudson-Scott, Jan Johns, Kerry Tilly, Lorraine Carryer and Jennie Crum.

"We call her a community a cow... a group of us share the milking and care of Daffodil. None of us has time for the commitment of a cow full time, so we decided that we'd try and see if it worked on a share basis, and it really worked beautifully" - Lorraine Carryer.

Late in 2012 when Daffodil lost a calf leaving her with full udders, a neighbour persuaded Lorraine Carryer to learn how to hand milk the Jersey cow. It wasn’t long before a dozen or so ‘milkmaids’ put aside their normal working lives for a short period to join Daffodil’s 3pm milking roster on Jan John’s property in Wrekin road south east of Blenheim.

Daffodil pan
The teats are thoroughly cleaned and Daffodil's milk is strained through muslin. Joanna Dudson-Scott gently presses her arm against Daffodil’s back leg when she’s milking. ‘It lets me sense when Daffodil may step back and even kick the bucket.’

When the milking is over, the team gather in the nearby wool shed for a slap-up afternoon tea and just about everything on the table is thanks to Daffodil. ‘It’s great to know exactly where your food’s come from,’ say’s Jennie Crum, slicing off a piece of Daffodil Gouda.

Jack Perkins joins the team in Brancott Valley.

Daffodil pan
Nothing but the best - Burleigh Bluebird tea set, buttermilk biscuits, home-made plum jam and a range of cheeses.

While she’s being milked, Daffodil often gets a feed of carrots or (her favourite) silverbeet. ‘It pays to look after both ends,’  says milkman Keven Tilly.