Moo-ving on up!
Devon Life|August 2020
Moo-ving on up!
Most of us are unaware of where our daily milk comes from. ANNE BRUNNER-ELLIS visits an enterprising dairy in South Devon and tastes milk as it should be
ANNE BRUNNER-ELLIS

Doorstep deliveries are seeing a resurgence and perhaps none more so than the humble milk round. If you are lucky enough to live within a ten-mile radius of Ugborough, South Devon, you can order milk straight from Ladydown Farm.

As owner Oliver Lee enthuses: “Grass today will be fresh milk on your breakfast table tomorrow – you cannot get better than that.”

Whilst only in its third year of trading and Oliver still in his mid20s, the How Now Dairy is going from strength to strength.

Even before Covid-19, sales were strong, but following lockdown, his doorstep customers have more than doubled to 680 and rising.

With his herd of 26 pedigree Ayrshire cows, Oliver produces, processes and delivers – there is no middle man.

He explains: “My aim has always been to created fresh milk for the local area – organically certified and carbon neutral.”

All fields are planted as herbal leys, comprising a mix of Devon grasses, clover and herbs beneficial for both livestock health and soil fertility.

Importantly, it helps the environment by storing more carbon in the soil.

Environmental issues are central and include electric delivery vehicles.

And in 2019 he was the first supplier to use 100% compostable milk packaging.

All this is paying off and it is the first dairy in the country to be carbon positive – storing more carbon that it is producing.

“This is tremendously heartening,’ says Oliver. ‘Something I am incredibly proud of.”

Whilst farming is in the family –his grandfather ran a small dairy herd – Oliver was initially tipped as a professional swimmer. At 18 he was ranked third in the country for 50m Butterfly. But a chlorine allergy put paid to his ambitions.

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August 2020