Michael Eavis opens Frome’s Milk Station

DAIRY farmer and founder of Glastonbury Festival Michael Eavis, who is a supporter and friend of Frome’s Cheese & Grain, visited the venue to launch the new milk vending machine in the foyer.

The venture is the initiative of dairy farmer Andy Salmon at Tytherington Milk Station, at Bullsbridge Farm in the village of Tytherington on the outskirts of Frome. Bullsbridge is a traditional family-run dairy farm home to the Salmon family for over 80 years. Andy, the third generation of his family at the farm, has lived at Bullsbridge all his life.

He and his wife Emma wanted to sell milk direct from the farm and this is how the idea of the Milk Station was born. The first Milk Station was established in 2017. It is simple to use and open daily. You can dispense your own milk direct into a reusable one-litre Tytherington Milk Station glass bottle; alternatively you are welcome to bring your own clean container. Glass bottles are available to be purchased in an adjacent vending machine next to the milk vending machine and once purchased they are yours to keep and reuse.

Due to the demand for the first machine the Salmons have now opened a second, less than two miles away, at the Cheese & Grain, which will allow access for customers in the heart of Frome who wish to purchase milk in a more environmentally friendly way.

The farm is home to a healthy herd of 240 Holstein Friesian dairy cows which are milked twice a day to produce the delicious milk sold via the vending machine. Andy and his family work hard to ensure that the cows receive the highest level of care and welfare.

Tytherington Milk Station works with the Free Range Dairy initiative. As long as the fields are dry enough for the cows to be out, they will be grazing in the fields. In winter they are kept inside and cosy, eating the silage and maize that is harvested throughout the summer and autumn.

Supermarket milk is often so processed that it is virtually unrecognisable from the original product, and has also travelled hundreds of miles around the country. Milk Station milk is also likely to be much fresher.

It is pasteurised in small batches using a traditional, lower temperature method over a longer period of time. This allows the milk to retain its natural flavour and goodness. The Tytherington milk is produced and pasteurised within three hours of the cows being milked. In comparison milk in the supermarket may be up to a week old by the time it hits the shelves.

By selling milk direct, the Salmons are able to provide milk that is produced and consumed locally, reducing the farm’s carbon footprint. And thanks to the reusable glass bottles, they will have saved thousands of plastic bottles being used.

Photograph by Chris Bailey.