A couple of weeks ago the husband and I were invited to spend a day at Yeo Valley, the people behind the delicious organic Yeogurts, milk, butter, cream, compotes and rice puddings, on one of their farm tours. We jumped at the chance as we love Yeo Valley and, more importantly, the children weren’t invited.
Yeo Valley is perhaps best known for making yogurt which started back in 1972. Today there are four production dairies (at Blagdon, Cannington, Crewkerne and Newton Abbot) and the company employs over 1500 people. It is an independent, family-owned farming and dairy business and the largest organic brand in the UK.
I was expecting a long day walking around muddy farms but it wasn’t like that. We started off with tea and cake at the very glamorous Yeo Valley HQ and were taken by minibus to the restored Wills Barn where we had an introduction to Yeo Valley and organic farming from Les Davis.
Our group were taken for a walk along an ancient drovers road then on to admire the view from the top of the Valley. There was plenty of time to ask questions and we learned lots about how the land is farmed.
After working up an appetite we were treated to an amazing lunch made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients back at Wills Barn. There were fresh raspberries and lashings of Yeogurt for pudding too!
After lunch a tractor appeared outside and I was allowed to see the view from the tractor seat and made my husband take some picture to show the toddler. A bumpy tractor and trailer ride followed and we arrived at the dairy farm to see the 160 British Fresians in the huge cow shed. The cows produce a whopping 8000 litres of milk every year. We also learned how each cow has 3 names!
Our final part of the day was a breathtaking walk along the top of the Mendips where we saw how the land had been cultivated to provide areas of habitat for smaller animals and birds and also helped raise the temperature (and gave us some very welcome relief from the chilly wind!). After all that fresh air I must admit this City girl was very pleased to see the minibus which took us back to HQ for more tea and cake.
As part of the tour we (both of us!) received generous goody bags filled to the brim with yummy Yeo Valley products which we have been working our way through ever since (with a little help from the recipes on the Yeo Valley website!). Yeo Valley run regular farm and garden tours during the summer months. For more information take a look at their website.
Did you know that Jamie Oliver is a huge fan of Yeo Valley? A new on pack offer has just been launched to win 10,000 new Jamie Oliver cookbooks – ‘Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals’. Just look out for the Yeo Valley Natural pots which feature an instant win for your chance!