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Holycow.gifDevon - Holy Cow Organic

holy cow organic
higher challonsleigh,

tel: 01752 337723


The development of holy cow, where it comes from and how it’s produced.

10 years ago we were a conventional farm, doing much the same as most other dairy farmers. Our cows were housed between October and April, we used lots of fertiliser to grow grass and arable crops and we produced a commodity product. The milk tanker arrived every day to pick up our milk and most of the time we had no idea where it ended up. It could have been locally for cheese, transported to London, or Birmingham, to bottle for all we knew. It frustrated us that we had no control over the marketing of the product which was produced so loyally by our wonderful (holy-even!) cows and to which so much planning care and attention was taken by the team in looking after them.

a closet eco-warrior

I liked the organic way of doing things and the more I spoke to organic farmers and carried out my own research the more I grew in confidence. We took the plunge in 1999 and converted the whole farm to organic production. It took 3 years and we had a steep learning curve but it was worthwhile and we feel deeply satisfied not having to use to resort to any chemical inputs like fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides and we don’t use routine antibiotics on the cows. Our two herds have been specially bred to suit our system, which is to be outside in the fresh air as often as possible, to give birth to their calves at as natural a time as possible, and most importantly, to eat the food that they are designed to eat: ie grass! Prof Jeff Wood from Bristol University has recently published research proving that grass and grass silage fed cows have higher levels of Vitamin E and beneficial fatty acids like Omega 3s.

Looking after each and every cow and their babies keeps us busy but it still niggled that we had no idea where our milk was ending up.

the birth of holy cow

Holy Cow was born by a meeting of minds. We had been looking for an opportunity to do something with our milk for years, but always shied away from an on-farm processing operation. The prospect of building a plant from scratch was daunting in this age of regulation in multi-layers. After two years of researching the market for organic dairy products I met the team at Langage Farm, only one mile as the crow flies from one of our milking parlours!

The Harveys have been making the finest dairy products (their ice-cream and clotted cream are famous-my mother will travel miles to get her hands on a vanilla and ginger ice-cream!) for 40 years. They have just built a state of the art new factory which is big enough to cope with big volumes and small enough to maintain their traditional hand-made techniques.

Creation date : 05/09/2007 @ 22:36
Last update : 05/09/2007 @ 22:36
Category : Devon
Page read 8436 times

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