If you're anywhere near my age you'll remember the sound of bottles clinking every morning (no, not putting out the bottles from the party the night before!) and family arguments about whose turn it was to take the cream from the top of the milk.
Almost every household had a milk man or woman, who delivered daily supplies in glass bottles that were washed and used over and over again.
The milk man/woman could tell you exactly where the milk came from and they were an essential part of every community. If the previous day's milk still stood on the doorstep and a household's curtains were closed, they'd knock on the door and check the inhabitant was OK.
And then along came supermarkets and plastic cartons, and we gradually forgot the pleasure of drinking proper fresh milk, and we started to contribute to the mountain of plastic that now plagues the world.
Now the tide may be turning and we're starting to realise that sometimes 'old fashioned' is good. Ideas from the past may well be worth updating and re-using.
Step forward brothers Ben and Adam Spence, their parents David and Susan, and Ben's wife Sam, who together are The Home Farmer. Growing lush green grass and rearing healthy happy cows is part of their heritage but now they're going back to basics and selling milk and cheese direct from their farm. Rather than drive a Benny-Hill style milk cart, they've come up with a novel idea. They've converted a horse trailer into a mobile shop that is parked in different Wensleydale villages according to a timetable so anyone living in or visiting Aysgarth, West Burton, Hawes, and Askrigg can go to buy farm fresh milk and delicious cheese. Better still, the milk is only gently pasteurised so has a layer of cream on just like it used to do! And you can re-use their glass bottles.
The Spence family have 100 cows, all of which they know by name. If you follow them on facebook, you'll quickly learn some of their names and characters too, including the cheeky ones that delight in leaving their pasture to graze grass verges on the nearby lane. Supermarket milk is sent long distances for processing, is homogenised to remove the cream that would normally settle on top, to make it more stable and long lasting, and can be several days old by the time it gets to you. The Home Farmer's milk travels very few miles from the farm and is absolutely fresh. In the Summer time you can see the 'girls' grazing and enjoying their Wensleydale views and when the weather gets cold they're taken inside to a spacious cattle shed where they can enjoy a good massage with scratching brushes, which cows love.
For full details of when and where you can buy the Home Farmer's milk and cheese see their website