What better way is there to introduce children to the world around them than through personal experience?
Our aim is to allow children (and adults alike) to discover what happens on a daily basis on a working organic dairy farm!!
At Old Holly Farm you can meet and feed our calves, watch the cows being milked and then try some of our Ice Cream, made from our Organic milk that has come from the very cow's you've just seen being milked!! Plus we even use our milk in both our cafe's, so you can enjoy it in a brew, hot chocolate or milkshake!
Our aim is to allow children (and adults alike) to discover what happens on a daily basis on a working organic dairy farm.
We work hard to get information out there, here's a few things to watch out for!
I'm on Twitter!
I'm Lefty the Cow, and I'm the Old Holly Farms tweeting cow! Farmer P gave me a black&whiteberry for Christmas, to let you know all the gossip from the cow barn - diets, bulls, manicurists and all the milky action!
Follow me @oldhollyfarmcow
As well as.....
Ian writes a column every month for Lancashire Magazine with what's going on in the farming calendar and farming in Lancashire!!
Lancashire Magazine is available to buy from our Farm Shop
Ian At the Moovies>>>
Follow this link and click on the Video titled "Organic Farming"
to learn abit about Organic Farming on Old Holly Farm!!
Plus follow this link to thisisdairyfarming.com to find out how the milk in your fridge is produced by Britain's dairy cows and about the farmers who care for them
Finally (well for now!)....
Look out for the Old Holly update which Ian writes every month, an insight into what's been going on on the farm this month! It can be found on every table in the Courtyard Cafe and Playbarn!
Day to Day....
David and Ian's day starts at the crack of dawn with the 5am milking, long before the Farm Shop and Playbarn are open! They bring the cows into the parlour and milk 24 at a time, they are currently milking around 120 cows every morning and again at night time. The calves are then fed milk at about 7am, whilst the parlour is cleaned down ready for the night time milking, and once all the cows have been fed, watered and checked then its time for David and Ian to have their breakfast.
After a well earned breakfast, David and Ian can then start the rest of their jobs on the farm including caring for the animals, looking after the herd, crops, working with machinery, building and maintenance work around the farm yard or farm paperwork!! Ian's farm update will fill you in on what's been happening this month. The Farm operates 365 days a year, with a 5am start on Christmas Day, New Years Day, on their Birthdays etc. The farmers even check on their cows at night time to check everything is well.
At 4.30pm every day the cows are milked for a second time. Everyone visiting Old Holly Farm is welcome to visit the dairy viewing gallery where you can see the milking parlour in action!
From here you have an excellent view of the parlour, this also gives children the opportunity to see where their daily milk comes from.
The organic milk produced on the farm is also used by Angela to make Coolcow Ice Cream on site, so why not visit our Farm Shop and try some delicious Ice cream!!
Ice Cream tubs are also now available so you can enjoy our Ice cream at home!
Organic Farming - what's it all about?
Organic farmers aim to farm with the least ecological damage, to conserve and enhance wildlife and land. Many non-organic farmers also have a similar approach, but organic farming is enforced by strict rules making sure that every part of the farm is organically run. These rules are called Organic Standards, and are laid down in the law. Anything you buy labelled as "Organic" must legally meet the required standard, and all organic farms must be registered with a certifying body. Old Holly Farm is registered with the Soil Association.
A Soil Association inspector will visit the farm at least once per year to check the standards are being followed, and only then will the organic symbol be awarded. Look out for the Soil Association symbol on organic food, it is your guarantee that food has been produced to the highest organic standard.
How do organic farmers make sure they farm organically?
Firstly we have to look after the soil, by restricting the artificial chemicals (they suppress soil life) and adding nutrients through composted farm manure and green waste. The farm also rotates the crops it grows on different fields, as different crops put in or take out different nutrients, and there has to be a balance between crop growth and building soil fertility. We also look after our hedgerows to reduce wind erosion, and protect the local wildlife that may be living in them.
Secondly we have to look after our animals, and in particular our dairy cows and chickens. Organic farm animals must have access to fields, weather permitting of course! They must also be truly free range, and our Old Holly Chickens are certainly that with a run of the farm! Our animals also have plenty of space in their houses, which helps reduce stress and disease. Sometimes its important that the animals are put to bed at night time as this protects them from predators i.e. the fox.
Our animals also live on a great diet of Organic food, which is GMO free (genetically modified organisms), and are visited by the farm vet regularly, and are only given medicine when the situation demands and not routinely.