Picking up milk on your way home just got a lot easier thanks to a round the clock vending machine situated at a farm gate on a main commuter route in and out of Exeter.
Mount Boon Farm is just outside Longdown on the B3212 – a key route home for people living in the Teign Valley, Moretonhampstead and East Dartmoor, and a short drive for Exeter residents. Ross and Carilyn Govier have been farming their small free-range dairy herd here for 6 years before coming up with the idea of selling directly to their local area via a farm gate vending machine.
Ross Govier says, “At its heart, farming has always been about providing for communities and we felt it was time to create a more direct link between our produce and the people who live in our local area. With so many households making a concerted effort to cut down on food miles, recycle waste and reuse where possible, our milk vending machine provides a sustainable, environmentally responsible way to buy milk – and support British farming.”
Branded one litre bottles are available to buy on-site for a one-off price of £1.80 which can then be filled – and refilled – by the vending machine for £1.10 per litre of milk. Alternatively customers can bring their own bottles.
The herd is milked by hand twice a day and the machine refilled with fresh milk daily. The milk is “slow pastuerised” at a lower temperature for longer time to ensure the best possible taste. This also results in a more nutritionally rich milk providing a 96% fat free natural source of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and vitamins B2, B5 and B12.
Carilyn Govier says, “We’ve had lovely feedback from early customers who tell us our milk ‘tastes like milk used to’ and we firmly believe this is down to the slower pastuerisation system we’ve invested in, which takes a couple of hours from start to finish. With a food mileage of less than 500 metres and no plastic waste, it’s the best way to enjoy our milk.”
The project was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development which provides grants to help support rural economies, improve rural quality of life and increase the competitiveness of farming businesses.
The milk vending machine will be open 24/7 just off the Longdown to Moretonhampstead road and operates on a cashless system – payments are made using contactless cards or Apple/Google Pay.
The milk vending machine can be found just off the B3212, a few hundred metres outside Longdown on the Moretonhampstead road with parking for several cars. Bottles can be purchased on site for £1.80 and milk is dispensed in 1 litre quantities for £1.10 a litre. All the milk is non-homogenised Whole Milk and the machines operate on a cashless system – taking contactless cards, Apple and Google Pay.
Whole Milk is 96% fat free and a natural source of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and vitamins B2, B5 and B12. Slow pasteurisation involves heating the milk for a longer time, at a lower temperature resulting in the preservation of more nutrients and taste than traditional fast-pastuerisation.
Mount Boon Farm is part of the Culver Estate in Longdown and the small herd of Holstein cows have been farmed there for 6 years by Ross and Carilyn Govier and their three young children.