About a year ago I was going pretty crazy trying to find a source of an heirloom culture* here in Aus. I since found one (we bought a Villi yoghurt culture from a distributor for Cultures for Health here in Australia), but still, to my knowledge, they're the only source. Actually I'm not sure if it counts as, although it's definitely designed for long-life (coming up to a year old and still going strong), it was probably formulated in Cultures for Health labs and designed as an imitation of an original Finnish Villi culture.
Now I'm kind of wondering.... how many other people out there in Aus have heirloom cultures? What's their story? Did you get them from a little old granny living with ninety nine cats in a small country town near Woop Woop? Did they just come with the milk, straight from the cow/goat/ass/buffalo/whatever, and you've kept them going ever since? Did you borrow a sample from a cheesemaker on the other side of the world and bring them into the country in your suitcase after an overseas adventure? Perhaps you've even made some heirloom culture yourself, by immersing a brussel sprout in milk for a few days..... just because.
I want to know how many others there are out there! We could have an heirloom culture party!
*Heirloom culture: strains of cheese culture that create the conditions for their own ongoing existence - usually consisting of multiple strains of bacteria, so they are more likely to resist viral infections, and (I presume) create more nutrients for one another.