Middle Farm, Hampshire

Middle Farm offers a litre (or 500ml if you prefer) of fresh pasteurised milk with no food miles attached. If you fancy mixing it up a little, you could have a flavoured milkshake from the same vending machine that provides the milk. But enough talk of milk, move on to the humble vessel that holds the milk I hear you cry! Ok, fine, I will.

The design of this bottle has a lot going on. Firstly the cow is standing in for the letter M; I like that. Further down the bottle, we have a small herd of cows (is it a herd if there are five? When does a herd become herd?), and to my eye, it looks as if the second cow from the left has taken a shine to the first cow. Perhaps that’s all in my mind? While we are delving into my mind, I must confess that the M cow looks like a robot. A little bit like Tom Baker’s K9 from Doctor Who. This wouldn’t be the first time I have found mention of robots when writing about milk bottles (see Surfs Up), but enough of that.

Middle Farm sits in the village of Cheriton in Hampshire. Cheriton has two main boasts, although I’m sure there are more that I’ve missed, one being that it is one of the sources of the River Itchen, whose waters are crystal clear after being filtered through the chalk beneath the ground where it rises. The second is that Cheriton is famous for being the site of the English Civil War Battle of Cheriton, fought on the 29th March 1644. The Earl of Forth led the Royalists, and Sir William Waller led the Parliamentarians on that particular day. Spoiler, the Parliamentarians won much to the anger of King Charles the first. About a mile to the east of Cheriton, you can find a monument to the battle if you fancy a walk.

Isn’t that incredible? Robots, frisky cows, rivers, battles and milk, all from a bottle.


Collected in England