If there’s one thing the members of the Swallowtail WI love as much as cake, it’s cheese! So, imagine how excited we were to welcome the fabulous team from Norton’s Dairy as our speakers at April’s meeting.
The talk that night was given by Teresa Norton, whose family have run Norton’s Dairy since 1946. She gave us a wonderful insight into how the business works and told us all about the star members of the team – their herd of 55 Brown Swiss dairy cows. This isn’t just a way to put food on the table for the Norton family, it’s a true passion – and Teresa joked that her dad considers the cows to be his children too.
It was fascinating to hear how Norton’s Dairy products are made, and heartening to know that the milk, cheese and cream farmed come from blissfully happy cows. Teresa explained about their high-tech milking process allows the cows to wander in and be milked when they fancy it, before wandering off to hang out in lush green fields and laze about. It sounds like quite a life! She also explained how hard the dairy farm works to be sustainable, and what the impact of low milk prices have on a small business like theirs.
After Teresa’s excellent talk, it was time to eat cheese. Accompanied by her boyfriend Will, Teresa had arrived armed with four types of delicious soft cheese for us to taste: the Nortons soft cheese, soft cheese with lavender, soft cheese with apricots and soft cheese with chilli. We also had the opportunity to take their incredible yoghurt, and buy some gorgeous double cream. It didn’t take long for us to get stuck on, and we were delighted that we’d invited our WI advisor Margaret Collingwood along to such a tasty meeting.
The evening was extra special for us as we were able to announce that the Swallowtail WI had been presented with a special award at the recent Norfolk Federation Annual Meeting. We were crowned Best New WI by the Federation, and our president Claire got up on stage to collect our certificate. The news was greeted with delight by our members, which is brilliant as they are what make the Swallowtail WI so special.
Cheese and prizes? What more could you want from a WI night out?
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