A farm in Ingleby Greenhow which has invested heavily in diversification over the last three years, has added a publicly available vending machine selling its own grass-fed meat as well as locally sourced produce - including a click and collect service – in the latest step of its development.
Mark and Louise Day have previously invested over £250,000 in installing shepherd huts to their farm, offering high quality accommodation for those seeking a break away from the hustle and bustle – complete with hot tubs and breath-taking views.
The couple has worked with Rivers Tees Trust to improve water quality in the River Tees from source, with North York Moors National Park on their Farming in Protected Landscapes, and planted a wildflower meadow to provide valuable habitat for pollinators – as well as welcoming five school visits last year with more planned for 2024.
The latest investment of over £21,000 (including £4,000 funded by a Farming in Protected Landscape grant from North York Moors National Park) has seen the old milking parlour turned into a cosy facility for school visits which also houses the innovative vending machine, selling cuts of their home-reared grass-fed beef and lamb as well as local cakes, drinks and other items from suppliers such as Botham’s of Whitby and Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice.
Mark Day said: “It’s really important to us to keep moving forward and also to ensure that future generations understand farming and where food comes from. Like many farmers, we chose to move away from keeping a dairy herd and have found that diversification has enabled us to sustain the farm while also adding huge value to the local ecosystem.
“We are environmentally focused, using a biomass boiler to power the farmhouse, heat source pumps in the shepherd huts, and thanks to a grant, ponds and scrapes and a whole farm Albrecht soil analysis has been funded along with planting hedges.”
The couple have also invested in infrastructure to make 20Mb wifi available to the farm and shepherd huts via local company, Signal Telecom in Catterick, adding additional services such as ordering using QR codes in the accommodation as a result.
Mark and Louise have achieved an overall Visit England award for excellence and four gold awards, one for each hut, as well as being finalists in Yorkshire Post Farm Diversification of the Year in 2022.