4th March 2019
While the world’s dairy farmers on the whole decline in number due to an uncertain financial future, here in Bishopstone we’re going the other way, as we so often do. Over the years Helen has shown herself masterful at bucking trends. Use more chemicals, they all said in the 80s, so Helen decided effectively to use none. Get out of pigs and pubs, they said, at various times. So now we have lots of organic saddleback pigs and one pub, a small hotel and restaurant the last time we looked…
Ah, yes, those new organic dairy cows and heifers—they are due to produce new calves from tomorrow as I write this (March 1), and then probably another 150 during March. The expensive but remarkably simple new dairy at the top of the farm will be producing milk from grass (which they tell me grows for free here in Wiltshire) from early March, run by Helen’s daughter Sophie and her husband Dai. The timing is interesting, since the botched departure from the EU threatens several of the export markets over there and in the USA, as painstakingly developed by the Organic Milk Suppliers’ Co-op, where Helen was a founder member 30 years ago.
Anyway, regardless of what happens to those markets (we’re not altogether happy at this state of Brexit affairs in case you wondered), it does mean that all you Abel and Cole and Sainsbury and organic cheese and butter consumers will be assured that Eastbrook is providing even more of the raw material.
Actually, we’d like to produce our own HB branded dairy products, in the near future. What would be your suggestion? Best response—assuming we get any—will win a night in our mini hotel, sleeping in our staggeringly comfortable beds and feeding yourselves on our lovingly created comfort foods, from our lovely chefs. And we’ll take you to see the cows (and the pigs). TF
First new calf at the new dairy!