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Gazegill Get “Highly Commended” For Diversification Innovator of the Year at the British Farming Awards

Celebrating the creative thinking, innovation and dedication of Britain’s farmers

Farmers Guardian received an overwhelming number of entries from farmers across the UK for the 2014 British Farming Awards.

The awards aim to celebrate innovative and determined farmers who have, and are, making changes to their business in a bid to successfully grow and secure a future in British agriculture.

Farmers Guardian editor Emma Penny said: “To receive such a great level of entries in what is only the event’s second year is amazing”.

The finalists were each interviewed by a member of the Farmers Guardian team. The results of the indepth interviews were discussed by the 33-strong panel of judges who are responsible for deciding the overall winners.

The winners were announced at the awards presentation evening, this year being held at Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, on Thursday, October 23. We are very proud to have been “Highly Commended” for Diversification Innovator of the Year.

Santander.jpg

Diversification Innovator of the Year

‘If you have successfully taken an idea, from conception, through research and planning to the successful delivery of an on farm project which has enhanced your farm income and added value to your farming business then you could be a real contender for this year’s Diversification Innovator award.

Time, in today’s very busy world, is at a premium so to successfully develop a new business alongside your existing farming operation shows that you have the commitment, drive, ability to think creatively, and courage to try something new. We share many of the same values at Santander and look forward to meeting you.’


Gazegill.jpgGazegill Organic Farm

The list of developments which have turned Lower Gazegill Farm in Lancashireinto a thriving business is long. It includes sales of raw and un-homogenised organic milk from the 60-cow Dairy Shorthorn herd, as well as direct and online sales of pork, lamb, beef, veal and mutton processed in the farm butchery. There is also an education facility and a care farm, which takes in adults with learning difficulties on a day-visitor basis. These clients grow herbs and edible flowers which are offered for sale.

“We have two main brands; Gazegill Organics and Emma’s Dairy, which is named after my wife,” says Ian O’Reilly. “Adding value to our organic milk, through processing and direct sales, has allowed us to keep our dairy herd. There is a growing demand for raw milk and milk, but any surplus is sold through an organic co-operative; it is currently worth 43ppl.

“We are close to Clitheroe, although without easy access from the main road. That means we have to deliver our products to customers and also try to attract them to our on-site butchery.

“Social media has proved to be a great way of boosting our online sales and we find Twitter and Facebook particularly useful. Our website is updated on a regular basis, to keep existing and potential clients informed about what is happening on the farm. We send off between 80-140 boxes of milk and meat every week and when we launched our home-produced bacon on the internet, it sold out within an hour.”

Ian and Emma’s track record on communicating with the public about farming is impressive.

“We hosted more than 260 free educational and school visits last year; this is something we feel very passionate about,” adds Ian. “Our farming ethos has always been to put in more than we take out.”

Gazegill On The BBC Inside Out North West ‘Could Ribble Valley be the model for UK farming?’

INSIDE-OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re really pleased to have featured on the BBC this week. As you no doubt know we’re passionate about animal welfare and we’ve been reaching out across Lancashire and the wider UK and engaging with people who share our values ; together we can help make a difference

‘Ribble valley in Lancashire has been fighting to restore consumer confidence in its products since the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in 2001.

It has introduced a unique system of food production which aims to transform thinking about food by emphasising trust and provenance. Could this be a model for the rest of the UK?

Watch the video feature on the BBC News website.’ From the BBC’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

INSIDE-OUT-iplayer

 

Have you visited our online shop? We have a number of carefully selected products you can be confident are from happy animals.

First time you’ve ordered from us and have questions about your order? Fill out our contact form and we’ll call you back at your convenience or buy online, quickly, safely and conveniently

Buy With Confidence. We Are Raw Milk Licensed

Raw Cows Milk… We are one of only a handfull of farms in the UK that is licensed to sell raw drinking milk, milk which is straight from the cow and as nature intended. The milk contains all the healthy bacteria that we need to maintain a healthy gut and the enzymes are alive making it easier for us to absorb calcium, not to mention that the real white stuff tastes great – the more processes milk has to endure, the poorer the taste. We take great care to ensure that the milking plant and our cows are squeaky clean giving us the confidence to sell our milk knowing it is the perfect pint. If you would like more information about raw milk please contact us, the milk is available from the farm shop and we also deliver around the farm and to Manchester, Leeds and Bradford areas… try the healthy alternative.
The legalities regards Raw Drinking Milk are such that it may only be sold direct by the farm to the end user… if it is coming from anywhere else its not genuine and may not be licensed.

Gazegill Organic Farm – Ribble Valley Food Trail from Tony Holker on Vimeo.

Or come and visit us and buy direct from our Farm Shop. Emma’s Dairy is situated at Lower Gazegill Farm, Rimington in the shadow of Pendle Hill and there’s lot’s to do!

Emma’s Dairy is situated at Lower Gazegill Farm, Rimington in the shadow of Pendle Hill. We have a traditional herd of Dairy Shorthorns which produce a milk high in butterfat and because of their grass and herb rich diet it is naturally higher in omega 3. We are proud of our history and the land here has been managed by the same family for nearly 500 years, our Hay Meadows have been sensitively managed during this time and are rich in flora and our girls thrive on the food they yield. During the spring many flowers can be seen, many of which are rare, and ground nesting birds such as Curlews and Lapwings are resident as well. Here at the Dairy you can find our on-farm outlet selling all of our meat and dairy produce alongside our visitor and education centre where we host free educational trips for schools and groups and during the summer months family hedgerow safaris. We welcome visitors to the farm and hope to be meeting you soon.

 

We’re In September’s Lancashire Life, Page 296 “Gazing into the Future” Feature, our thanks to @Tigger_cooks @lancashirelife

One family has farmed the same land for five centuries but they’re far from set in their ways, writes Philippa James

It’s obvious Ian O’Reilly and his partner Emma Robinson, of Gazegill Organics, are not your run-of-the-hill farmers. For instance, they work with the Galloway Society, one of Lancashire’s oldest charities, letting blind people drive tractors on the farm – under supervision of course.

And they do have the occasional drama. Most recently, the milking parlor had its electrics wiped out by a bolt of lightening. ‘At first, with the wet floor, i thought we’d lost most of the herd, but all was well’, Emma chuckles. ‘Mind you, I’ve never seen such wide awake cows!’

lancashire-life-gazegill-2-224x300 Proud to be featured in Lancashire Life

But the real reason this farm, at Rimmington, near Clitheroe, stands out from the crowd is for what it produces and the way it does it. If you ever yearned for the days when your milk came with a delicious creamy top, look no further.

This farm is one of only 78 in the UK to sell ‘green top’, which is raw, unpasteurised milk. They also sell pasteurised, where a golden band of cream sits atop the milk. What they won’t supply is homogenised, which Ian describes as ‘brutalised’ milk.

But Gazegill isn’t stuck in the past. It has an imposing new, fully-automated bottling plant and there are plans to produce raw and unpasteurised semi-skimmed and a range of organic ice creams. Working with Maurizio Bocchi, of La Locanda in Gisburn, they will also produce soft, Italian-style cheeses.

The same family has been farming at Gazegill for 500 years – a remarkable achievement. And the next generation can be seen in the form of Niamh, 10, Isabel, five, and Oliver, three. When i arrive they are patting Hyacinth, so called because for the first few days on the farm she constantly ‘bashed her bucket’.

lancashire-life-gazegill-4-224x300 butcher, Sarah Swarbrick, in the farm shop where their meat is sold to the public through the week

The farm raises dairy and beef shorthorns because they are stocky beasts which calve easily, and the milk has a good buttermilk content. According to DairyCo the ‘useful’ life of most milkers is six years, but here they often have animals well into their teens, and ‘Dad’s Cow’ is 17, a testament to good care and good grazing.

As well as producing meat from Hampshire Down sheep and a herd of very rare Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, Ian and Emma also sell rose veal. This prevents bull calves being slaughtered at birth or being exported at six weeks, often to be re-imported here as veal at £38 a kilo.

Although controversial, a wind turbine is being installed which, as well as covering the electrical needs at Gazegill, will free up funds to take on an apprentice to work alongside butcher, Sarah Swarbrick, in the farm shop where their meat is sold to the public through the week. They supply across the north west to the trade too.

On this farm, they have recently delivered a two-day-a-week ‘Gazegill Education Project‘ to help integrate those with disabilities into work environments. It has just been approved for a new ‘Care Fram Project’, a social enterprise that will provide organic herbs and each pack will have the individual ‘story’ about the student who helped cultivate them. Ian said ‘We are keen to put something back into the community’.

Meadow land at Gazegill now produces 70 species of indigenous wild flowers, the likes of foxgloves and ragged robins, which are replacing Himalayan balsam. The next project is producing a range of bedding plants and with three orchards providing apples, plums and greengages, chutney making is on the horizon.

lancashire-life-gazegill-3 September’s Lancashire Life, Page 296

The on-site, Education Centre has delivered free sessions to 250 schools and groups in the last year. When primary schools visit they tour the farm then make their own butter, fresh fruit, farm-cultured yoghurt and ice cream.

They plan a cookery school for 24 students. Ian believes we need to get ‘back to basics’ of eating healthily. ‘The best thing you can do is put good food into your body’, he said. ‘Never mind all this two chickens for a fiver’. Have you seen the conditions those hens are raised in?’ We returned to the farm from The Duke of York, at Grindleton, where chef-patron Michael Heathcote put together some sumptuous dishes using Gazegill meats.

Emma and Ian start work at 5:30am, and rarely finish before 7pm and, although there is always a freshly prepared meal on the table, the couple worry they don’t spend enough time with the children. However, seeing them running around the farm and hearing of their family outings in a semi-retired horse and carriage for picnics, i can’t think of a more idyllic way to grow up.

– article ends –

Would you like to order raw organic milk from us? Fill out our contact form and we’ll call you back at your convenience

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Buy With Confidence. We Are Raw Milk Licensed

have-you-tried-raw-milk-banner-217x300 raw milk licensed farm lancashire uk

Raw Cows Milk… We are one of only a handfull of farms in the UK that is licensed to sell raw drinking milk, milk which is straight from the cow and as nature intended. The milk contains all the healthy bacteria that we need to maintain a healthy gut and the enzymes are alive making it easier for us to absorb calcium, not to mention that the real white stuff tastes great – the more processes milk has to endure, the poorer the taste. We take great care to ensure that the milking plant and our cows are squeaky clean giving us the confidence to sell our milk knowing it is the perfect pint. If you would like more information about raw milk please contact us, the milk is available from the farm shop and we also deliver around the farm and to Manchester, Leeds and Bradford areas… try the healthy alternative.
The legalities regards Raw Drinking Milk are such that it may only be sold direct by the farm to the end user… if it is coming from anywhere else its not genuine and may not be licensed.

Gazegill-Organics-370x200-300x162 Explore Gazegill

Or come and visit us and buy direct from our Farm Shop. Emma’s Dairy is situated at Lower Gazegill Farm, Rimington in the shadow of Pendle Hill and there’s lot’s to do!

Emma’s Dairy is situated at Lower Gazegill Farm, Rimington in the shadow of Pendle Hill. We have a traditional herd of Dairy Shorthorns which produce a milk high in butterfat and because of their grass and herb rich diet it is naturally higher in omega 3. We are proud of our history and the land here has been managed by the same family for nearly 500 years, our Hay Meadows have been sensitively managed during this time and are rich in flora and our girls thrive on the food they yield. During the spring many flowers can be seen, many of which are rare, and ground nesting birds such as Curlews and Lapwings are resident as well. Here at the Dairy you can find our on-farm outlet selling all of our meat and dairy produce alongside our visitor and education centre where we host free educational trips for schools and groups and during the summer months family hedgerow safaris. We welcome visitors to the farm and hope to be meeting you soon.