It had always been our dream to buy our own press for the farm, making Lovesome Oil a truly local product and minimising our food miles.
After using a contract presser in Northumberland at the start of the journey, we applied for an RDPE grant to help us fund that dream.
Shortly before David (Olly’s Dad) passed away, we found out that we had been successful in our application and although he never got to see the press, one of his final acts on the farm was clearing the area that the press would stand on In his honour we have named it The David Lawson Press.
Having the press on the farm means that the seed sourced from Lovesome Hill Farm and a couple of local County Durham farms, is pressed at the farm and then bottled here too – keeping food miles to an absolute minimum.
We are on a journey to become as organic as we possibly can be, this is difficult with oil seed rape however we have implemented several principles which are getting us closer to that goal.
We have implemented two year legume fallow into our crop rotation, this is helps to fix nitrogen (which oil seed rape loves) into the soil naturally and reduces the use or artificial fertilisers.
At Lovesome Hill Farm, to reduce the use of chemicals further, when conditions allow, we mechanically swath our crop to get it ready for harvest, this is very risky for us as the ‘swath’ (long rows of the crop piled on top of itself) needs to dry out for a couple of weeks before it can be harvested. If it gets wet during this period, it makes harvesting very tricky indeed.