Sunday, 8 June 2014

Made in Sheffield: Open Farm Sunday 2014 - Our Cow Molly Farm

It was only last weekend I was discussing visiting the Our Cow Molly farm with other Sheffield'iers.  Despite it being open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday's and Sundays 11-6 and less then half an hour from our house (on the bus) we've never been.  Sure I've THOUGHT about going but then something has cropped up and it's never happened.  But with it being Open Farm Sunday (#ofs) I didn't really have any more excuses.... did I?

What is Open Farm Sunday?

Open Farm Sunday is a fantastic project which has seen hundreds of farmers across the UK opening up their farm for one Sunday each year since 2006! It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to discover at first hand what it means to be a farmer.

The farms are left to plain their own activities - based around the farm’s own individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, activities for children, a mini farmers market or picnics.

Click here to go to the Open Farm Sunday website

Meet Our Cow Molly

Located in Dungworth in 1947 the Our Cow Molly dairy farm was born delivering fresh bottled milk to local residents.  The machinery hasn't changed.  Most working dairy farms have fancy milking equipment but not Our Cow Molly, it still does the job in a reasonable amount of time..... for now.  There are exciting changes planned as more and more Sheffield business want to 'buy local' and the current equipment won't be able to keep up with demand.

60 years later the farm is still family run by the Grandchildren..... and their families.  With milk price so poor Our Cow Molly turned to dairy ice cream in 2007 with great reception.... and it is no wonder (more on that in a bit).   The benefit of having all their own milking equipment on site means they ice cream uses nothing but
fresh milk and cream which many ice cream producers cannot afford to do.

Click here to go to the Our Cow Molly website

Milk Production

The milk, available from the farm or  local shops comes fresh from their cows the same day, it’s not mixed together with other farms milk or put in a van to cover hundreds of miles getting to the shops.  In fact if you are fortunate enough to be on the milk round in the morning the milk is literally on your doorstep within hours of being extracted (is that the correct term?) from the cow.   It is AMAZING.    As we toured the various sheds and heard about how Our Cow Molly milk is much better then the store bought brands I found it hard to believe.  It was explained to us how milk generally travels a few days before reaching the shelves, during which time it looses natural sugars and sweetness only obtained by drinking within a couple of days.   So........... we bought some.   And I am converted (well I would be if I could by it closer to home).  The Semi-skimmed was super sweet and creamy without being overpowering (which is the reason I'm not keen on whole milk).  The boys couldn't get enough of it and drank the whole pint between them in a matter of hours.

Ice Cream

With it being open farm Sunday we were fortunate enough to be given a tour of the ice cream parlour.  We got to see and smell the ice cream being freshly prepared using fresh milk and explained how it will be moved into the churning tub and blended with different flavours such as cherry, gingerbread, strawberry, Rum and raisin,  lemon and ginger, honeycomb, blueberries, honey.   Or some of their most popular flavours....

Cora's Chaos - Dairy ice cream with cookie pieces in chocolate sauce, mini malteasers and mini marshmallows

Bakewell Tart - Roast almond flavoured ice cream with biscuit pieces, rippled with raspberry jam.
Liquorice - Smooth liquorice flavoured ice cream.

Whilst a list is on their website they are constantly creating new flavours ... yes Tomato Sauce has been trialled and yes it was vile.  However if you are wanting ice cream for an event and cannot see one you like just ask, if it can be done they will attempt to make it ........ the other day Carrot Cake was requested for an event ........ and 100+ litres of carrot cake ice cream was delivered.  They are currently tyring to design a Tour De France special....... *watch this space*.

Well we couldn't leave without trying the ice cream could we so we kicked back in the sunshine and devoured some Cora's Chaos.  It was very very nice, rich and full of flavour, just wish we'd had enough room in the freezer to bring some home.

What else can I say?

The first building you encounter houses the baby calves, and these really are babies (the date that remains in my head is 27/5).  The brown ones were definitely not shy coming up for photo's, strokes and licks (them not us)
   The older cows were in the big field so we just looked at them from afar.

The boys loved getting in the big tractor, tho rather disappointed they weren't the ones to discover it had a horn (I wasn't!).

The bouncy castle was very inviting but the unsupervised tweens/ teens climbing on it (and over it) meant it was unsafe for the boys to play on so we headed to the playground where they had a fab time on the slide.

If you read my post about the farm we went to in Essex you'll know the boys loved the caterpillar barrel ride .... and of course they spotted the Our Cow Molly one immediately.  I must admit that at £2 a head (more expensive then when the funfair comes to town...or an ice cream) it was pretty pricey and would deter me from returning (who likes to say no to their children).

A local brewery and BBQ had set up to support the farm on the Open Day, however we didn't sample either so I am unable to comment.

Views and walks

Based on one of the seven hills of Sheffield there are brilliant views from the farm.  It's also really easy to get a bus to Bradfield or walk around the local area.

The boys are already asking when they can return to get more milk and ice cream and I'm sure we will......probably when the Tour De France arrives.

The next Open Farm Sunday event is Sunday 7th June 2015 - wonder where it will take us?

Please note this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Our Cow Molly or Open Farm Sunday, I just love blogging about our adventures, especially when they are local.


  1. Sorry you thought the land train was expensive, the £2 covered the cost of Dan & Josh's wages & the diesel used by the UTE to pull the train plus went a little way to covering the extra insurance we bought for the day

  2. Sorry to hear that things did not work out as planned. Things are very expensive these days. You have a lovely family by the way, you should be ver proud. I appreciate reading your blog and so does my husband. You are an inspiration to many. A lot of work goes into farming so I know when things are tough.

    Heidi Sutton @ Ag Source Magazine