AT THE SIDE OVEN BAKERY ALL OUR PRODUCTS ARE MADE ON OUR ORGANIC FAMILY FARM IN THE HEART OF EAST YORKSHIRE.
Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, Carr House Farm is the home of the Side Oven Bakery, where the Sellers family have lived and worked for five generations.
A wide range of cereals are grown on the farm, which following harvest are taken to the mill house where they are milled using a traditional stone ground mill.
The farm is situated on one of the upper headwaters of the River Hull and is an area designated a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI). Our traditional methods and involvement in an environmental stewardship scheme have created a wide range of wildlife on the farm.
Carr House Farm became Organic in 1999 and we are today accredited with OF&G. Farming organically means a very different way of working than on a conventional farm; very simply we grow cereal crops on our land without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers.
Our organic farming methods not only have environmental benefits but they are also suited to growing Ancient and Primitive Grains. We have gradually moved into growing these grains as part of our farm diversification. We were one of the first growers in the UK of organic spelt when it first came to market ten years ago. We are pioneering once again as one of the very few growers of einkorn wheat.
Ancient grains (spelt) and primitive grains (einkorn) are adept at growing without the support from pesticides and herbicides – this is because these plants have not been selectively bred like modern varieties of wheat so their natural adaptations to survival are still intact.
Both einkorn and spelt have more water-soluble gluten which is easier for us to digest and have a delicious nutty flavour and soft texture when made into bread.
The next logical step for us was to build on farming organically by working with Natural England on the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Being part of this scheme means that we are doing things that enhance our farm to wildlife. Examples of projects we have undertaken are hedge planting, hedge laying/coppicing, and having wildflower strips of land on the end of fields. These strips of land have wildflowers planted in them to encourage both birds and insects, leaving a small part of the field unharvested as food for wildlife.
As part of these schemes we have been monitoring our bird populations and we have seen significant increases in both bird population and diversity of species. Ultimately it is about working alongside the natural environment to ensure that we are creating habitats for birds, animals and insects alongside growing crops.
From year to year, we rotate the different crops we grow – oats, milling wheat, spelt wheat, einkorn wheat – and also have a year where we use green manure, which means we grow a crop to put nutrients back into the soil. We tend to use varieties of clover and vetch which are very good at getting nitrogen back into the soil, which is essential for plant health.
Our farm orchard
Our organic apple juice is made from apples grown here in our farm orchards. The total journey from branch to bottle is a short walk from the orchard to juicery and takes just 24 hours ensuring a delicious crisp fresh-tasting juice!
Once picked the apples are pulped and pressed, then after being allowed to settle for about 12 hours the juice is bottled and pasteurised. The combination of some wonderful blends of old varieties eg. Green Balsam, Beauty of Bath and Ellison Orange, Peasgood Nonesuch, and freshness all contribute to a juice to remember.
We already welcome a number of schools to visit the farm and would love to welcome more schools. Visits can be tailored to the schools’ requirements and the season but can include a walk around our nature trail, picking and making apple juice, and pond dipping. Our farm school visits are fully funded and don’t include baking in the bakery. Baking sessions can be arranged for schools but there is a charge and they are separate from farm visits