The sustainability of our farm is extremely important to us and underpins everything we do. For this piece in our Earth Day series, we’ll be looking at how and why we use cover crops as part of our annual rotation. Co-Founders David Thompson, an expert in crop science and Tom Mellor, a farmer, are always improving their understanding of crops and evolving their thinking about how we farm the land and what is grown. Since 1945, when the Mellor family bought Hunmanby Grange, the farm has been primarily arable with... Read More
In celebration of Earth Day this year, over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be doing a number of pieces about what we’re doing to help the Earth here at Spirit of Yorkshire. We’ll be stripping our field to bottle process right back, expanding every step with substantial detail. Starting at the very beginning, this piece is an insight into the history of our farm. For us, at the home of Filey Bay Yorkshire single malt whisky, it’s about doing things properly. That’s why we’re obsessed with every... Read More
In the last fortnight we’ve planted all our barley for this summer’s crop (and next year’s whisky). As discussed in our previous post, 130 acres of this have been direct drilled straight into the cover crop that was drilled into the stubble after last year’s harvest. Around 75 acres has been planted conventionally. Here’s a video of Tom talking about direct drilling in more detail (click here to view).
Field to bottle isn’t just a phrase we use. As one of the few distilleries around the world who farm all the barley they use in their whisky, we not only get to choose which varieties we grow, we also determine how we grow it. This is really important to us and something that our co-founders know and care a lot about. Tom has lived on the farm for his whole life and has been farming (or working on the farm) since he was young. David’s area of expertise is... Read More
Co-founder Tom has long been an advocate of wind power – he first put in an application for a wind turbine in the early 90s but the farm’s proximity to an RAF base meant that it wasn’t feasible to have one then. Tom kept researching the prospect though and in the late 2000s, T1 and T2 were installed. Between them, they generate 400,000 kw electricity a year and whenever the wind is blowing, they are in motion. When they’re moving, they provide all of the power needed for the farm, brewery... Read More
Field to bottle is a really important phrase for us. It’s one of our most crucial points of difference and it’s totally authenticate because we’ve been farmers and connected to agriculture for far longer than we’ve been making whisky. In fact, we’ve been growing malting barley here on our farm on the Yorkshire Wolds since 1945. We understand our land and we’re always looking for new ways to farm more sustainably and ensure the farm continues to thrive long into the future. In this weekend’s Yorkshire Post, Tom and David... Read More
Growing: Harvest August means one thing for farmers: harvest. The culmination of a year of growing. Here on our farm at Hunmanby Grange, harvest began little later than most, as all our crops this year are ‘spring’ varieties, meaning that they’re not planted until the spring. A bit of background The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English haerf-est which meant ‘autumn’ and/or ‘august’ and signified the period in the calendar when the crops had reached maturity and were ready to be gathered in. The main principles behind the harvesting... Read More