How to build a Dairy
The Big Plan
The plan was always to build my own micro dairy in North Wales. Paying someone else a big chunk of rent and having to drive to a rented dairy at all times of day and night, especially on cold dark evenings in the middle of winter to make my cheese - I always thought there had to be a better way. Having a dairy ten steps away from my back door was the dream. So, we moved, found somewhere with a good sized garage and set the wheels in motion. Three quotes for the conversion of the dairy were eye watering expensive. So, I decided to ask a good friend and it was done 'piece work' over many months.
Before we could start
The hard work really started before the conversion, as it had to be emptied (thanks mainly to my husband). We had a lot of stuff and I mean a lot. Stuff in boxes that hadn't even been unpacked, but we all have those, right? Once emptied and having managed to remove and give away a big solid workbench with vice, the work began. I wanted to make sure that Castell Gwyn was as sustainable as possible.
Pledge on Wool Insulation
Being in North Wales it made sense to insulate the dairy with Welsh sheep wool to make the dairy sustainable and really cosy.
Did You Know?
Wool is naturally flame resistant and offers a greater level of fire safety than other fibres. In addition, wool does not melt, drip or stick to the skin when it burns. This also means that wool produces less smoke and toxic gas than synthetic fibres. I think the use of wool for insulation in buildings should be mandatory. This, I'm sure would help save lives and ensure farmers receive a decent income for their wool.
Funnily enough I tweeted about this and it ended up on the BBC News website The dairy required a small entrance room, where people could get changed, wash their hands and also had storage, now christened 'the Wellie Room', thanks to my builder. After incorporating drains, a new concrete floor in 'dairy blue', the ceiling with lights came next, which made a huge difference, finally followed by the white washable walls. It was finally complete.
Cheese Making Equipment
All the equipment from my cheese vat, draining table, sink, stainless steel tables and all the other paraphernalia that comes with cheese making has been bought second-hand, saving a small fortune. Having cleaned and scrubbed them all, they look like new. So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of how to build a dairy!
- Jackie Whittaker