When I first moved to Hamilton I wondered why the Waikato – the land of dairy farms – didn’t have its own iconic milk brand. Now it does, and it’s called Jersey Girls.
Most Sundays I bring home a couple of bottles of wonderful Jersey Girls milk from the farmers’ market. This is milk like it’s supposed to taste. It's creamy, un-homogenised and certified organic.
Jersey Girls milk is superb with my Sunday morning coffee. It’s a quality of life thing. It makes standard supermarket milk seem bland and boring.
At the market you’ll get to meet members of the lively Vosper family, who are behind this excellent milk. There are often kids lining up for free drinks.
The Jersey Girls cows live on the Vosper family farm, Cleavedale Farm, near Matamata. It's a small herd – 250 cows, and they all have names, according to the Jersey Girls website. There are currently two generations of Vospers in the business: John Vosper, his wife Liz Mackay, their son Michael, and John’s sister Mary Vosper.
As well as the farmers’ markets, Jersey Girls milk is available from an increasing range of places, including some supermarkets. Our local Hamilton East Binn Inn is stocking it.
You can also buy the milk straight from a vending machine in the main street of Matamata.
Jersey Girls is New Zealand’s only certified organic jersey milk brand. Jersey cows are famous for producing creamy milk. The Vosper family have been milking jerseys since the early 1900s.
I know dairy farmers who drink Jersey Girls milk in preference to their own.
I reckon Jersey Girls are well on their way to becoming local legends, if they’re not already.
Four great ways to use Jersey Girls milk
1. In a cup of Trade Aid espresso coffee. Trade Aid is New Zealand’s world-famous fair trade organization. Fair trade is closely related to local food issues – it’s about making sure food producers get a fair deal for their work.
2. In tea: a cup of freshly brewed Zealong black tea (grown in the Waikato) with a splash of Jersey Girls milk. Here's a link to an article about the Zealong tea plantation.
3. Albert’s chocolate milk
One cup of Jersey Girls milk, two heaped teaspoons of Trade Aid cocoa, one teaspoon of Trade Aid sugar. Whizz in a blender.
My son Albert suggests Jersey Girls could produce chocolate milk (like that other brand of classy milk that’s on sale in supermarkets, that doesn’t come from the Waikato). But his homemade version tastes great and uses a lot less sugar than the commercial product.
4. Make yoghurt and kefir: Jersey Girls milk makes great kefir and Caspian Sea yoghurt. (I’ll write a post on milk cultures one of these days.)
74 Hinuera Rd, Matamata