13 Dec 2021
Caerfai Farm – Producer of the Month
7 Dec 2021
The Evans family has run Caerfai Farm near St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, since 1929. Third-generation farmer Wyn Evans has been producing cheese for almost 25 years, using milk from the farm’s own grass-fed cows to create two tasty classics: Cheddar and Caerffili. We spoke to his daughter Linda, who runs the dairy today, to find out more.
Our family have lived and worked here for over 90 years, but our farm is actually situated on an ancient farmstead that was created long before the Evans family arrived. Caerfai means ‘bay fort’ in Welsh – and you can still see evidence of the iron age fort on the nearby promontory.
Tell us more about your location – we’ve heard it’s pretty special.
It is! We overlook Caerfai Bay, a beautiful sandy cove surrounded by purple sandstone cliffs. We’re also just a mile from St Davids, the smallest city in the UK. We run a campsite, farmshop and honesty box so visitors can try our cheese while enjoying the view.
Is your farm environmentally friendly?
Dad was a pioneer of eco-friendly farming practices. He was inspired to lessen the farm’s impact by the birth of his grandchildren, and the increasingly visible effects of climate change on Pembrokeshire’s soil.
We’ve been certified organic since 1993 (having started farming organically in 1991) and our farm runs on 100% self-generated renewable energy produced on site using solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal sources – as well as the herd’s plentiful cow pats (used for methane capture). We’re a south-facing farm overlooking the ocean, so we have a steady supply of sunshine and wind, which helps. Dad even has electric farm vehicles now.
What makes Caerfai Farm’s cheeses unique?
We’re one of the few cheesemakers in Wales who produce cheese using milk from our own cows. We currently have 16 milking cows of various breeds, including Norwegian Red, Brown Swiss and Montbéliarde. We have a closed herd, meaning that we don’t buy in other cows, which is also quite rare. I love that the process is so immediate – the milk is still in the cow at 6am, but by the end of the day, it’s cheese!
Our cows are grass-fed year-round, which makes for brilliant Cheddar. The best Cheddar is made in February and March when the grass is growing well, as it results in better milk yields and the high beta-carotene gives the cheese a good natural colour.
What do you like to eat with Caerfai Farm cheese?
Soda bread goes really well with Caerfai Caerffili – I like it with homemade apple chutney on an open sandwich. When it comes to Cheddar, I’m satisfied with a cheese biscuit.