Little Seed Field is situated on Castiles Farm. The farm has been in our family for four generations and we currently have a 200 strong dairy herd. Our great grandfather first came to the farm in the late 1930’s as a tenant and we have been producing milk since then. Whilst we did always have other livestock interests, dairy cows have been a big part of farm life and they are now the sole source on income for the farm business.
When we first began to sell milk to our local dairy, milk was collected by hand and left at the end of the farm lane in large milk churns. If it was a hot day then the dairy, upon collection, would give a quick ‘sniff’ test to see if they were happy to collect our milk that day!
Happily, since then, things have moved on a little. We installed our first ‘milk line’ in the late 1960’s which brought with it some automation of the milk collection. In the early 1970’s we installed our first bulk tank – we could then store and chill milk ahead of collection. We now milk in what is called a ‘24/48 Herringbone’ parlour. This means we can milk 24 cows at a time, with another 24 waiting to start. It takes us roughly 2.5 hours, twice per day to milk our 200 cows.
The farm was purchased from the Grantley Estate in 1947 and since then, Sean’s grandfather Harry and Sean’s Dad, Colin, have both managed, developed and grown the dairy business.
Sean has recently taken on the day to day running of the farm and we live on-site with our two young boys. Our Holstein Friesian herd (the black and white ones) are outside grazing between the months of March and November - we walk them in from the fields twice a day, once in the early morning and again in the mid-afternoon. Calving time is always a busy period and between the months of September and December all 200 of our ladies will give birth so there are often plenty of little faces to be seen around the farm.
We grow much of our own feed in the form of grass for silage which we store on the farm. The grass is harvested up to three times per year between May and September – these can be very busy periods on the farm but they never fail to get the farm buzzing with anticipation and activity.
We take dairy farming very seriously and are proud to have excellent herd health and milk quality standards. Our milk processor is very focused on sustainability, forward thinking and the promotion of effective and efficient dairy farming. Something we are very proud to be associated with.
We hope you enjoy staying with us on the farm. Farms are exciting and interesting (if sometimes a little smelly) places to visit. We are more than happy to chat you through what’s going on on the farm during your stay if you are interested in learning more about what we do.