Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

panic stations

Ok, so we are now half way through the week of 'no school' that is Spring Bank Holiday or what was in my day, Whit Week. I feel as though l have aged 5o years and don't look much better either, there l was thinking that l was a Boden Mum. No, l am just a slave to the general public, making lunches, pouring coffees, clearing tables. Oh well it beats helping to calve a cow at 3 in the morning or having to miss a christening because the herdsman is off sick.

It has been amazingly busy this week; last week we made no ice cream, instead moving a large blast freezer, which is now accessible through a new freezer door from the production room. The space it has created is brilliant, we now have room for all the equipment, including the pot filler & metal detector. The team today are making up for lost time and are busy making 4.7ltr tubs of royal bourbon vanilla and our natural mint choc chip, closely watched through the viewing window by small children. We have had so many new customers come to visit this holiday, families, grandparents, teens all ages in fact; the footpath has been well and truly walked and ice cream cones and lattes munched or sipped with gusto. To be fair, up and down the coast, traders are reporting that is is seriously busy with people re-discovering the joys of the English seaside holiday. Virtually all our coastal customers have run out of ice cream and orders are being processed at the moment, ready for delivery. Many of our cafe customers have commented on how busy we actually are, for example we have seating for 80 inside, and all seats were taken for the 2 hours of lunch time service, l think that about 90 lunches were prepared and a huge amount of cappuccinos, lattes, milkshakes and smoothies served, times like this you could do with a larger, 4 headed barista machine!

To relax after a full on day in the ice cream parlour is a stroll down to the beach with the dogs - no one about, the beach empty just a few common terns diving for sand eels as the tide creeps up the beach. And how to set up for the day? Well, the last few mornings have seen perfectly blue skies, the sea flat as a mill pond, no one about, the dogs have the beach to themselves, sand martins swooping low over the cliffs , oyster catchers screaming at the dogs, and the batteries quickly recharge, if only l could bottle it..........

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Well behaved dogs & children

Half term is approaching fast now, caravaners are arriving so it's a case of keeping the grass cut as soon as a van moves off whilst this bank holiday weekend sees the CL site full as well as the Rally Field. Lets hope they all behave, keeping dogs on leads and children under control. It is so very annoying when dogs are left to their own devices running about pooping au natural, strange because when you mention the signs both on the CL site and on the footpath 'dogs on leads' you are told that 'my dog is well behaved'. There have been several dogs gone AWOL over the past weeks, the temptation of a plethora of rabbits and the elusive sent of roe deer. is just too much for a pet more used to the scent of tarmac. So much for well behaved mutes, then, there are the children who are seem to be left to their own devices, much akin to the doggy one, hells teeth, this is a working farm, animals, tractors, bales DANGER! Perhaps l have missed something, l was brought up to always finish a meal before commencing on the pudding.

Being on the coast we have a interesting collection of coastal wartime defenses, one of which has been restored by a group of enthusiasts. The bunker was de-commissioned about 20 years ago and was maned by the Royal Observer Corps, the task being to watch for & identify incoming enemy aircraft and then during the Cold War years to monitor the 'flash'. The site is fully nuclear proof, but very small, in fact mind numbingly small. Strangely, the direct line to Whitehall was above ground supported by wooden telegraph posts.

Good news for our attempt to reduce carbon footprint, we have had our planning application upheld and can now go ahead with the installation of a wind turbine, with the aim of producing 40% of our electrical requirements.

Finally, what is going on in Parliament? Can someone please explain why MPs feel that the law does not apply to them? Perhaps it is time that Brown and his bunch of crooks started to behave like 'statesmen' and went to the country, but there again these money grabbing, weasel featured creatures who wouldn't know the meaning of truth if it hit them on the head, are not statesmen.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Over the past few weeks, the ground has become dryer and dryer, cracking in a most dramatic fashion, large fissures appearing welcoming the unsuspecting beetle. Crops have been looking a bit stressed, oil seed rape especially suffering after such a bad drilling season last autumn. Beginning of the week, BBC weather showed a final glimmer of sunshine before rain hit the north east at the week end. This last chance of ideal silage weather erupted in a frenzy of cutting, turning and clamping in an effort to cut that all so important crop whose nutrition content is at its highest. The clouds scurried across just as the last load was wrapped and storred. It can now rain, soft rain gentlely soaking into the dry soil, slicking down the dirt.

So how are the cows doing - big changes have taken place, our animals have moved 6 miles away to a neighbour's farm who is now in the final process of setting up his own dairy bottling the farm's supply of milk: the brand name is St Quintin's. So, from now on we are collecting both milk and cream from Lowthorpe on a weekly basis, pasturising on a Monday, then making ice cream tuesday to thursday. Keep it local says l, previously we had been buying in cream from Dairy Farmers of Britain, now our cows are helping to produce both the cream & milk.

This week has also seen a rush in inquiries from new customers, ice cream samples have been taken Whitby, Leeds, Northallerton and York. Whilst first deliveries have been taken to Whitby Pavillion and the wonderful sounding farm shop, Hares Leap.

Finally, for any visitors next week, Haz & Jen are not making ice cream until the folowing week as we are doing a major move of freezers, freeing up space in the production room.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Mid May

Time is racing away from me. Snow and low temperatures have been replaced by May blossom flowering and the count down to first cut silage. So much has been happening over the intervening weeks that my keyboard has a problem in keeping up with the bad spelling and punctuation! Joke.

Perhaps the major update to the farm is the transferring of cows to Lowthorpe; here some more dairy farmers are going full throttle into the added value theme, not cheese or ice cream but bottling the farm's milk for their new brand St Quintin's Creamery, sorry no web site yet, so it makes more sense for us to collect both cream and milk from one spot. Our cows seem to have settled in nicely, after time spent in quarantine, whilst rather a large number of glamorous heifers and matronly dry cows have moved to the seaside for the summer! These girls are really showbiz celebs, every time they spot walkers perambulating along the permissive footpath, they race across the field, leaping, bouncing and doing handstands in a hope that they might win a place on Britain's Got Talent!

Now that summer is more or less on our door steps, we are once again opening 7 days a week, taking advantage of the noticeable increase in visitors to the Yorkshire coast. Over the Easter break, all holiday cottages and caravan sites in this part of the world were full, and this looks to be repeated over the coming bank holidays. A return to the traditonal summer holiday - buckets and spades, macks and brollys? Lets hope that the weather doesn't let us down, l have noticed that the oak is out before the ash so does that mean we will just get a splash? Oh, l do hope so, there is nothing more sole destroying than wearing wellington boots in August!

Sorry no photos, my camera has met with a rather nasty accident.
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