1. Do you have a Retail store at The Creamery?
While we don’t operate a traditional store, we do sell to consumers from the office at 21 Henry St. in Stirling. We are open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Thursday. We are closed from noon to 1:00 P.M. for lunch.
2. Can Stirling Creamery™ butter be shipped to consumers in the U.S.?
Unfortunately, not at this time. Trade restrictions on butter from Canada to the U.S. and vice versa make this a very difficult proposition.
3. Is there a difference between barrel-churned butter and regular commercially produced (continuous process) butter?
Absolutely, and that’s why we have been barrel-churning our butter one batch at a time for over 90 years! Barrel-churning is a slower, gentler process that in our view better protects the delicate butterfat molecules. The butter is never ‘overworked’ and the result is a richer flavour that’s often described as ‘old fashioned’.
4. Are the cows that supply your cream 100% grass fed?
Dairy cattle do not eat simply a grass diet for a couple of reasons. The first is that in Canada our climate does not allow for an entirely grass fed diet. Secondly, dairy farmers must ensure that their cows eat a consistent and balanced diet. ‘Grass only’ is an insufficient diet for milk-producing cows.
5. What does a cow eat on a daily basis then?
O.K. here goes…
A cow’s daily diet consists of:
- 11 kilograms of hay
- 16 kilograms of silage and grain
- 2 kilograms of protein supplement
- minerals and salt
- 80 to 180 litres of water
6. Tell me more….
Much of the cows’ daily diet is grown on the farm. Hay is a mixture of grass and legumes, like alfalfa. It is most commonly used in two ways:
- Haylage -The hay is cut, chopped and stored in a loose way in a storage silo, while it is still moist (See silage below).
- Hay – Usually cut after haylage, when the plants are taller, it is allowed to dry in the field. It is then baled into round or square bales and stored under cover.
Corn is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. Although it looks the same as the sweet corn people eat as corn-on-the-cob, it is harder and can’t be cooked or eaten. It too is usually used in two ways:
Silage – The whole plant is harvested while it is still green after the cob has formed. It is then cut into pieces and stored in a silo. After the silage is stored in the silo, the wet corn undergoes fermentation, or “pickling”. In this process the corn is changed by a bacterial process to make it tastier and easier to digest by the cows. When the silage comes out of the silo it is more palatable. The same process turns wet hay into haylage.
Grain Corn – Only the kernels from the plant are harvested and stored in a dry form. Grain corn is usually ground up and mixed with any barley or oats, a protein food like soybean meal, plus vitamins and minerals.
7. Does the cream from which you produce butter contain antibiotics and/or growth hormones?
By law, the milk supply in Canada is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
8. Where can I buy Stirling Creamery™ butters?
Check our website under ‘Retailers/Where to Find Us’. We do our best to keep this information up-to-date. Incidentally, we are now available in many parts of Western and Atlantic Canada. And we’re working to get new Retailers in Quebec. Stay tuned…
The answers to questions #4, #5 and #6 were kindly provided by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO).