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The Torpenhow Cheese Company was formed at Park House Farm near the village of Torpenhow (pronounced ‘Tra-pen-ner’) on the edge of the Northern Fells in Cumbria. Established in 2019, our aim was to turn the rich free range milk from our Jersey/Friesian herd, into creamy deep flavoured cheese.
Our family are definite cheese lovers, and when we began our Organic conversion, we thought it was time to share our passion with others. The cheese is handmade by the family in the old converted hay barn opposite the farmhouse.
We live in a truly beautiful area where the change in seasons is still very apparent. These changes are reflected in the taste and texture of our cheeses and we hope you can taste some of that meadow-sweet country air in every bite!
Our belief is that non-stressed grazing cows produce top quality creamy milk, which is the foundation to top quality cheese.
Our lovely cows graze outside for over 300 days a year on a mixture of grasses, herbs and legumes giving the cheese a unique and changing flavour throughout the year. The herd calve in February and March as we aim to match their lactation curve with the grass growth curve.
Over the past few years, we have worked hard to build tracks for the cows too reach all the paddocks even when it is raining (which is a lot in Cumbria!) We live in a great part of the country for growing grass, and are passionate about our soil health. The grazing cattle naturally fertilise the paddock and the more they graze, the quicker it grows.
This year we are introducing a flock of free range chickens to follow the cows and mimic the natural process of birds and large herbivores working in harmony to build soil.
Park House Farm has been in the family for generations and is shaped very much like a rugby ball, with the farm house, milking parlour and cheese room in the centre. In 2018, we began our Organic conversion process having stopped all chemical fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide use the year before. We converted to full organic status on 18th June 2020.
By planting deep rooted, nitrogen fixing plants like chicory and clover in the grass sward, we can let nature capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix it in the soil for the grasses to utilise. Our mob grazing farming technique allows us to use one paddock a day every 28 days in rotation. This gives the plants and soil plenty of rest and growth before we graze again.
This year we have planted 4km of native hedgerows between the paddocks to provide shelter and help create wildlife corridors.
There is 25 acres of Atlantic Woodland on the farm. We manage and protect this habitat along with the becks and streams which run through the land. We have fenced off areas of the farm which are unproductive and wet to provide larger areas for woodland regeneration.