Dairies, milkmen and ice-cream factories

Dairies, milkmen and ice cream and butter factories will be the subject of Orange and District Historical Society’s next History Alive meeting, to be held on Wednesday, October 12 2011.

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Cows were essential to all the early settlers in the Orange district: their needs were few  plenty of grass to eat  and provided milk twice a day, from which cream, butter and cheese could be made. These were some of the few perishable products which could be transported safely to Sydney markets before there were railways. In the early years every farm and smallholding had a few cows, even if they weren’t dairy farms, and surplus milk could be sold if they were licensed or turned into cream and sold to the butter factories. Even the remaining skim milk was not wasted  it was fed to the ubiquitous pig.

There was a proliferation of dairies in the Orange district, some with as few as four cows, which were licensed to sell milk. They all had their particular group of customers and deliveries were made twice daily, seven days a week. In 1945 there were 130 registered dairy farms in the Orange district. The sale of milk locally was estimated to be worth

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