Island Life Magazine Ltd February/March 2007 - Page 66

life - FOOD & DRINK Milk that tastes like it should … By Tony Ridd We are all so used to buying massproduced food at supermarkets that many of us forget what food and drink should really taste like. Not so at Briddlesford Lodge Farm, along the Briddlesford Road. A family run farm shop that has just celebrated its first year of trading with two awards: A Gold from the Green Island Awards and, prestigiously, ‘The Best Local Food Retailer for the Isle of Wight and Hampshire’, from the “Farmers Weekly”, the “Daily Telegraph”, and the “Countryside Alliance”. The Briddlesford herd of 150 Guernsey cows has for the last 2 years won the Tiresford Trophy presented by the English Guernsey Cattle Society to the highest yielding herd in the country. Currently Briddlesford Lucks Daffodil 2nd is the highest yielding individual Guernsey cow in the country. Caring for the herd is a family affair, with Richard, Paul and Louise Griffin working full time on the farm, Izzy Griffin part time, and other family members at busy times, even grandson Christy is already helping. The Griffin family moved to Briddlesford Lodge in 1923, when Richard’s grandparents came to the farm with their 12 cows from which the entire herd is descended. The farm shop was Louise’s idea some years ago, but did not come to fruition until she gave up her job in the yachting world to join the family business in 2003. As with most diversification schemes it was out of necessity to keep the farm viable. Having invested in the milking parlour in the early nineties, Richard and Paul have had to endure 66 the steady decline in payments for their milk from buyers. They are now paid only 21p per litre, when it is sold for more than 90p in supermarket stores. In December 2005 they opened their shop in the farm’s old milking parlour. It still retains the milking stalls, troughs and old beams creating an interesting and rustic ambience. This, coupled with the warm welcome and fabulous display of island produce, provides a friendly atmosphere in which to select and purchase wholesome and tasty food. The farm freshly bottle their own unpasteurised gold top milk called ‘Buttercup Milk’ named after an old farm favourite and sell it in the shop and at the Newport Farmers Market. The fat content of Guernsey (Gold Top milk) is only 5%. This compares with ordinary milk at 4% and semi skimmed at 1.5-1.9%, so in terms of a healthy diet there is very little difference. However, the taste of Guernsey milk is rich and creamy, a real luxury product. Other goods for sale in the shop include fresh vegetables, poultry, beef, lamb, biscuits, apple juice, ice cream, wine and beer to name but a few. As much as possible is supplied by other local farms and cottage industries with like-minded mainland British suppliers making up the balance of stock. Farm visits are catered for, with a variety of groups having visited over the last 12 months. They have the opportunity to learn how milk is produced and all have the chance to sample the end product. The future is bright for this farm diversification. With the recent acquisitionofapasteurisingmachine that will allow the Griffins to sell their milk through other outlets and a range of yogurts is being planned. If you haven’t already visited the shop I can highly recommend you make the effort. Opening times are Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Sunday 10am4pm. There is ample parking and always a friendly welcome, not only from the family and Bobby in the shop, but also from the baby calves who live in the barn opposite the shop. Photos: Above - Cows resting in their barn at Briddlesford Farm Below: The Award Winning Briddlesford Farm Shop Sponsored by -