Sunday, 14 December 2008

One blog ends another begins...

Welcome to The Lost World of Mr Hardy blog. We're involved in a new project so this blog is now complete. Everything is still here though. To read the story of how and why we made the film its best to go to the archive box on the right and read the earliest entries first - otherwise you'll be reading the story back to front!

We've also started a new blog for "The Moo man", our new film, to give it some space of it's own. We want to follow up some of the raw milk and farming issues as well as the whole slow food / local food thing which seems to be surfacing in the making of that film. Read more about this and life on a small farm over on the moo man.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Onwards to a new film

We Trufflepiggers have fallen for a new story. It's set on a local farm. Funny how stories are so much closer to home than we often think; our door step delivered milk comes in lovely old retro bottles with pictures of each cow on the bottles, the whole notion seems somehow impossibly outdated. Kate was my fave but when I visited the farm and met Ida, I just knew she was a film star in the making. She was out on Eastbourne beach early in the morning recently, and goodness she really did pull in the crowds (more on this later). 

Kate and Ida are part of a small herd on nearby Longleys farm which is run by farmer Steve Hook and his dad Phil. It's such an interesting set up. Steve milks the 55 cows. His wife Claire bottles the milk in the kitchen and Phil delivers door to door in Hailsham. It's a great little family business and it's just so ridiculous that dairy farms like this with a fantastic provenance find it so impossible to operate in modern day UK. Steve's herd is about one third the size of what would be expected to be the absolute minimum for an economically viable herd. But he's surviving!

What's the USP? Well for one, Steve sells his milk raw, completely unadulterated, its natural goodness intact. However because his milk is unpasteurised, it's unsellable in supermarkets. Is this avoidance of supermarkets how he manages to survive in an impossible market place? 

Raw milk is really contentious though, it's banned in many countries including Scotland, Germany and the U.S. In the States it's fine to pump cows with bovine hormones to increase milk yield yet the selling of unpasteurised milk is outlawed. Why? Big business of course, raw milk is very much a small scale, local farm thing which the big dairies hate. Och there's millions to tell and I could go on for ages, and no doubt will. 

Suffice to say that the farm and what it represents is so interesting that we are now making a new feature length documentary all about it. Watch this space and the website for news and clips coming soon.