Is ice cream the savior of British dairy farming? Possibly not, but it’s top of my list of the tasty ways in which farmers have adapted and diversified in response to the ever decreasing returns on milk and livestock.
Local brands of ice cream are far from a new phenomenon, of course. Bradwell’s ice cream has been a Peak District favourite for over 100 years, and many of the flavours in their Classic Range are those I grew up eating such as chocolate, butterscotch, and rum & raisin.
Down where I currently live in Hampshire, I seem to mostly encounter New Forest Ice Cream, which has been produced for the last 30 years and boasts a range of 40 flavours from traditional mint choc chip, vanilla, and strawberry to the more exotic rose water, pistachio, and bubblegum (which is a vivid shade of blue).
Relative newcomers just over the border from Derbyshire are Our Cow Molly close to Dungworth village. In production since 2007, although the farm has belonged to the family for much longer, their range includes 30 flavours, around half of which can be bought from local stockists with the full range on sale at the farm’s shop. Selling on the farm first allows the family to be quite experimental, and various events through the year encourage visitors to come back for more than just tasty treats.
Of course typing this up reminds me that my freezer has been rather depleted by recent visitors. Time to stock up, I suspect.