Kerry farmers realise creamery dream at Tommerups pre-Eat Local launch

CREAMERY: Kay Tommerup says the family is taking the sixth generation farm full circle. Photo: Luke Marsden
CREAMERY: Kay Tommerup says the family is taking the sixth generation farm full circle. Photo: Luke Marsden

TOMMERUPS Dairy Farm has realised a dream of opening an honest-to-goodness old fashioned Scenic Rim creamery.

The sixth-generation Kerry dairy farm has been operational for 110 years and is owned, managed and loved by the Tommerup family, led by Kay and Dave.

On Saturday, May 25 they launched the Tommerup's Micro-Creamery as another step in ensuring the viability of the farm at a time when many dairies are reconsidering their futures.

The micro-creamery was officially launched at the Tommerup's Farm and Wild Canary Long Lunch, one of the entrée events to Eat Local Week.

Kay Tommerup said launching the micro-creamery was as much about adding business viability to the farm as it was about celebrating the heritage of the families involved.

"As a little girl, I would make butter with my Mum and my older brothers," she said.

"We had a jersey house cow and Mum would scoop the cream from the top of the milk and when we had enough, she'd put it in the blow butter churn and we'd turn the handle until our arms got tired, then pass it on to the next person until we made butter.

"That beautiful old butter churn now sits proudly in my kitchen as a reminder, and the memory of making butter is what inspired me to launch the micro-creamery."

LONG TABLE: Guests at the Eat Local entree event to launch the micro-creamery at Tommerups.Photo: Sarah Sweeney

LONG TABLE: Guests at the Eat Local entree event to launch the micro-creamery at Tommerups.Photo: Sarah Sweeney

Ms Tommerup said in the early days on the farm, cream was separated from the milk and sent into the Logan and Albert Co-Op in Beaudesert. The skim milk was fed to the farm pigs.

It was only 50 years ago that the family started selling whole milk and not just cream.

In 1969 bulk milk sales became available and a refrigerated bulk milk vat was purchased.

Prior to that a cream can fridge was used in the dairy - cream was separated on-farm and was taken by horse and coach to the factory in cream cans.

In 2019, cream cans will once again be used to transport the separated cream from the dairy and into the micro-creamery. They will also use an original Alfa Laval separator to separate the cream in the dairy. This will occur as the cows are milked.

The paddle design for the butter churning will be modelled on the original glass butter churn used by Ms Tommerup's family in her childhood.

She said the family would now be taking the farm full circle and going back to the days when the dairy business had real value and honouring past generations as they do it.

"After a lot of soul searching when things became tough with low milk prices and then the drought conditions, we had to work through whether we had the determination and the passion to continue to dairy," Ms Tommerup said.

"Apparently, we do, and this is the way that we believe we can make our dairy business viable into the future, while also producing a really beautiful product that people will love and remember.

"I'm comfortable with making butter - it feels right. There are so many cheesemakers in the region making amazing cheese that we did not want to overfill the market.

"Making butter suits our farm scale, our production system and our family background as well as our Jersey herd with their rich and creamy milk."

The launch of the Tommerup Dairy Farm's micro-creamery was an appropriate entree event to Eat Local Week, which runs from June 29 through to July 7.

Eat Local Week fans can also taste flavours from the micro-creamery on Sunday June 30 at Breakfast with the Jersey Girls @ Tommerup's Dairy Farm.

Bookings at eventbrite.com.au/e/breakfast-with-the-jersey-girls-tommerups-dairy-farm-tickets61471852967