Northern Ireland can boast several excellent brands of dairy ice cream and an outstanding product to keep an eye open for in Fermanagh is the cleverly named Tickety Moo brand, made on the Grey family’s farm at Killadeas.
John Grey and three sons, Marcus, Gareth and Gordon, are all involved with the farm in various ways, with Marcus having responsibility for the herd of pedigree Jersey cows that provide the extra creamy milk that is central to their products - and Gareth is the ice cream man.
The Greys are innovative farmers and Oghill Farm has one of the country’s first state-of-the-art De Laval robotic voluntary milking systems, which means they have the luxury of milking on demand - some cows apparently opt for milking as often as five times a day instead of the traditional morning and evening milking, and produce a lot more milk.
The cows also have mechanical brushes for grooming, and mattresses to lie down on at night - a sort of bovine Hilton. The Greys used to welcome visitors to watch the 4.30 milking if they were coming to the farm shop - now you can watch anytime as robotic milking is an ongoing process.
Jersey cows produce extra creamy milk, which is perfect for ice cream making, and the whole production process is completed on the farm - and very efficiently too, with turnaround from milking to ice cream within 24 hours.
They make huge range of about 18 flavours, which is constantly changing - favourites include gorgeous ‘Just Jersey’, Rhubarb & Custard Crumble, Strawberry Fields, and Valrhona Chocolate - and they also do a few sorbets.
The shop is open afternoons, from March to late September, and you can see the milking at any time.