Kingarth Farm Dairy
The Barbour family have been milking cows at Kingarth Farm in Burton Overy for more than 100 years. They milk around 100 pedigree Holstein cows and manage 900 breeding ewes and a small beef suckler herd.
Caroline and Peter Barbour are fourth-generation farmers at Kingarth Farm. They started ‘Kingarth Farm Dairy’ – selling milk directly from the farm gate – in June 2016. At the time they were receiving as little as 19p a litre from their milk buyer. They began by bottling milk in plastic bottles and selling via an honesty box. The venture was an immediate success, with sales exceeding 100 litres per day.
In June 2018 they invested in two milk vending machines so they could sell their milk in glass bottles. Kingarth glass bottles cost £1.50 each and they have sold over 2,000 already. Milk sales currently stand at over 180 litres per day.
Kingarth milk is free-range. The cows graze outside for at least six months of the year. The dairy pasteurises the milk on-farm using a low and slow method. “This adds to the taste and gives a velvety texture,” says Caroline. “We do not homogenise, so the cream rises to the top. This has many health benefits including making it very easy to digest. It’s very different from the milk you get in the supermarkets. We call it ‘real milk’.”
Kingarth Farm Dairy produces whole milk, semi-skimmed and double cream – all are on sale in the “Milk Shop” – the old bulk tank room. The milk is never more than 24 hours’ old and costs £1.10 per litre.