About UsHeather Dale

“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him”

Norman Cousins – “Anatomy of an Illness”

At Healing Pastures we believe that you carry billions of tiny doctors inside of you in the form of probiotics or good bacteria. 

Where good quality, live yogurt usually contains a maximum of 2 strains of probiotic – and shop bought kefir, made from culture, contains typically between 6 and 8 strains – traditional kefir, handmade from grains (like ours) usually contains around 30 strains of live probiotics and beneficial yeasts.

I’m Heather Dale and as well as being an organic farmer I’m passionate about eating to heal.  I used diet to heal a painful autoimmune condition (interstitial cystitis).   

If you are on a healing journey (or you’re wanting to eat well to make sure that you and your family thrive and feel great) surrounding yourself with supportive like minded people can make all the difference.

Learning how to eat to heal your body can be a huge learning curve.  And until you get into the swing of a new way of eating, it’s usually challenging.

Having been through the process of making some big dietary changes I understand what it feels like.  Starting out feeling deprived, trying to get through huge sugar cravings every afternoon.  The initial hassle of trying to cook with a number of key ingredients missing.  Not being able to grab a sandwich on the go.

I can also remember the joy of having my first half a day where I had no pain.  And those half days turning into full days.  And then the realisation that my energy levels had returned….  and my huge sugar cravings had gone.  

Suddenly eating well didn’t feel like a deprivation.  Partly because I was loving the new types of food that I was eating.  It wasn’t about deprivation anymore it was about discovering a different world of food.  Things like healthy ferments now got me more excited than going out for a few glasses of wine.

From a farming POV – during the time I was making all these initial changes to my own diet – there was a conflict between the things I was learning about nutrition and healing and what we were producing on the farm.

To cut a long story short we made a lot of changes to our farming practice.  We were already organic but since then we have made many other changes to make sure our milk heals inflammation rather than causing it.

One of the things which has taken a long time to turn around has been the breeding of the cows.  

We started to breed all our cows to A2 around 7 years ago.  There had been a scientific study in Australia which showed that it was the A1 protein in cow’s milk which caused inflammation.  Since then other studies have backed this up.    

This made sense to me because I had been for kinesiology food intolerance testing which showed that I was intolerant to standard cow’s milk but fine with goat and sheep milk.  And as human milk is also A2 it makes sense that our bodies should be able to recognise and digest it without problem.

It’s actually pretty hard to find organic goat or sheep milk (particularly goats) because dairy goats are usually fed a lot of grain.

Then we reached a point where we had our own A2 cows coming through into our herd and I could start drinking milk from our own A2 cows and making it into kefir.  

Drinking kefir regularly was a game changer for helping me get over IC.  I had taken a lot of probiotic supplements which had definitely helped but the quantity and variety of probiotics in kefir is so much more diverse.  

The omega 3/omega 6 balance in our pasture fed milk also gave a real boost for getting rid of that final excess inflammation and feeling totally pain free.   I was already working on reducing inflammation by taking fish or krill oil supplements and making good quality bone broths but found that the kefir was the final piece of the puzzle.

Other things we have done to make our milk as healing as possible:

We took part in a pilot project where we became some of the first dairy farmers in the UK to be certified 100% pasture fed.  

We were in another pilot project where we added an extra standard to our organic certificate and have been farming without antibiotics for around 3 years.

We don’t ever use chlorine based cleaning products for the final rinse of our milking equipment because it leaves residue that gets into the milk.  

Our cows only drink spring or well water, not chlorinated water.

We supplement with apple cider vinegar.  

We test our milk and cows for perfect mineral balance.  

Our milk was recently part of a study by Newcastle University comparing the Omega 3/Omega 6 balance in 100% pasture fed milk with conventional and organic milk from the supermarket – and of course our milk came out ahead of the pack when it comes to super powerful anti-inflammatory Omega 3 balance.

When we make kefir we make it using traditional grains at cool temperatures for maximum probiotic potency.

And we like to second ferment with turmeric and black pepper for an extra anti-inflammatory bonus.  (Useful fact: Our bodies need fat as well as black pepper to be able to properly absorb the anti-inflammatory curcumin in turmeric.)

Having been through the process of healing through diet and lifestyle and learning first hand that there are some foods your body can  use to heal.  And there are other foods which contribute to inflammation, fungal overgrowth etc it was very important to me that I could feel confident the food we produce here at Healing Pastures falls into the first category.

As we are a UK based business and looking to sell to a fairly local market I know that I’m not going to be able to reach everyone who might want to buy our kefir……

The other thing that I want to share is my passion for healthy fermenting.  

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world.

You are welcome to sign up for my newsletter for tips on using the most nutrient dense food and fermenting it in the simplest, most time efficient way.

Sign Up Here – I’d love to be able to bring a some healing into your life

You are welcome to sign up for my newsletter for tips on using the most nutrient dense food and fermenting it in the simplest, most time efficient way.

Sign Up Here – I’d love to be able to bring a some healing into your life