On the Farm

The Vale of York is known for its rich farmland and we are lucky enough to enjoy 550 acres of it in the area around the small village of Seaton Ross.

Ten people work on the farm on a daily basis doing jobs like milking, feeding, ploughing, sowing and looking after our young stock.

Meet the goats

Caring for our goats

onthefarm-1.jpgLooking after the goats is a constant activity and there is a well rehearsed daily routine of feeding, bedding and milking. Our goats are kept on straw in large barns with plenty of room to move around and with lots of natural air and light. They are sociable, curious animals and living in settled familiar groups helps them to milk more consistently throughout the year.

In shelter, they are protected from the vagaries of the British weather where the dangers of foot rot and soil borne diseases can be a real health hazard to them. It also means that we can control their diet and ensure it is fibre-rich and nutritionally balanced for their own health and for good quality milk.

Milking

Milking takes place three times a day, in the very early morning, at midday, then late afternoon.

On average, each goat produces around 3 litres of milk a day. So you can imagine why we need so many!

But not all of the milk we use comes from our own farms. We also bring in goats' milk from other family farms across Yorkshire and the Midlands. They have been with us for many years and are all passionate about achieving the highest levels of milk quality and animal welfare.

Feeding

We grow red clover leys on the farm, which we crop as hay or haylage to feed the goats throughout the year. In order to have a well balanced diet, our goats also have a special feed based on ingredients like wheat, barley, citrus pulp and soya.

This fibrous and nutritious feed ensures the goats' are kept in the best of health and provide us with a high quality fresh tasting milk.

On the farm

Quality Assured

onthefarm-5.jpgThis farming philosophy has helped St Helen's Farm, and all our suppliers, to secure Red Tractor farm assured status. It means that we meet agreed standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. We are all independently monitored to ensure we maintain a top quality supply of fresh British goats' milk for you to enjoy.

In addition, we have formed our own 'Better Goat Farms' scheme, which considers specific issues with regard to goat farming and is an opportunity for us all to share best practice and experience.

onthefarm-3.jpgEncouraging wildlife

As farmers, we have a responsibility to look after the environment and we adopt a farming philosophy that seeks to achieve those aims.

Over the years, we have developed many acres of woodland in partnership with the Farm Woodland Scheme, planting new trees and hedgerows and have also established non-cultivated areas of land (field margins) to encourage future wildlife development.

Stoat, foxes and deer are all prevalent in the local fields and woods and  a few years ago we participated in the RSPB Volunteer and Farmer Alliance Project.

We were delighted to discover that there were 63 different species recorded on our land over the few days of the survey. Importantly, about 20% of them were on the RSPB red list, where there is great concern over their declining numbers.

The list included corn bunting, marsh tit, yellowhammer and linnet. Our favourites are the barn owls that patrol regularly near the farm.