HUMP day (also known as Wednesday) was the perfect day for local camel farmer Michelle Phillips to provide a farm tour for Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, which in turn resulted in an invitation to showcase her products to the National Party rooms in Sydney.
The visit was fresh off the back of Camel Milk NSW’s recent success at the Sydney Royal Show’s Cheese and Dairy Produce competition, with its milk and halloumi winning silver and bronze medals respectively.
Mrs Phillips, who owns and runs Camel Milk NSW from the property “Piercefield” between Muswellbrook and Denman with her husband Dan and family, also gave the former dairy farmer his very first taste of camel’s milk.
Mr Johnsen said it was “just like drinking full cream cow’s milk” which had a “different yet still pleasant aftertaste”.
“I was really expecting a different flavour,” he said.
Mr Johnsen has a particular liking for halloumi but unfortunately the product had sold out due to its popularity.
“Camel milk is very white because it’s so low in fat,” Mrs Phillips explained.
“We’re currently milking six cows which produces about 20 to 25 litres in total per day.
“The milk has a long shelf life and can also be freezed.”
The Phillips started their business from scratch and Mrs Phillips drives to Sydney every Tuesday making deliveries of milk and cheese she packages and makes herself.
She has also started making soaps and lip balms.
The farm has about 70 camels, including the bull Hughie, named after Hugh Heffner, and cows with names like Pamela Anderson, Dolly Parton, Cleopatra and Double D.
There is an established camel meat market but Mrs Phillips prefers to send the young males to organic farmers who use them for weed control.