Martin Littkemann and Lori Smith live on a dairy farm just north of Stirling, Ontario and are joint owners of the Ontario Water Buffalo Company. They now have The Buff Stuff Store on the farm. But they don’t milk cows…Martin and Lori have become the first farmers to milk water buffalo in Ontario. Water Buffalo are native to warmer climates such as Asia and India, however they have proven over the years that they can adapt to colder climates. In Italy it is a normal agricultural way of life. They milk approximately 300,000 water buffalo compared to only 250,000 Holsteins black and white dairy cows in Ontario. The milk from water buffalo is very high in fat and protein. The butterfat ranges anywhere from 6 to 10% on individual animals. It is easily, digestible especially for people with lactose intolerance and other dairy health-related issues. The milk is also used to make delicious ice cream and yoghourt. The meat is a healthier alternative to regular beef as it is lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. People who eat water buffalo say it is better tasting than their own beef!
Martin and Lori at present are shipping their milk to an Italian cheesemaker in Toronto, Ontario to be processed into authentic mozzarella di bufala. This cheese is very moist and spongey. It tastes great in Mediterranean dishes such as Caprese Salad, lasagna and pizza. The mozzarella is at its peak flavour and texture 24-48 hours after being made, however, it does keep well in the refrigerator after this time and can still be used in your favourite recipes. For more information about our products, e-mail us.
Not your usual dairy cow but more like your family dog, just a lot larger. Martin and Lori’s farm just north of the village of Stirling, Ontario houses about 800 water buffalo, a few barn cats and a smiling dog. Watch Explore the Four videos about the Ontario Water Buffalo Company and other attractions in Comfort Country. The water buffalo is an incredible species and is the primary source of dairy in many countries. Fifteen per cent of the world’s milk supply comes from water buffalo. In Italy there are more water buffalo milked than Holsteins in Ontario. There are about 170 million water buffalo worldwide with two types; swamp and river. Swamp are primarily used for meat and draught while river a best for milking. As calves they range from 80-100 pounds while the adults reach up to weights of 2600 pounds.Farm tours go from April-November by appointment only. Drop ins are able to take a self-guided tour but must check in at the store first. Cameras are welcome!
If you are interested in purchasing products, the Buff Store is now open! They have a wide variety of meats and cheeses on sale. You can buy many water buffalo products at The Buff Stuff Store including milk, cheeses, meat, gelato and yogurt.
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