Bruern Farms recently bought a flour mill and sunflower oil press, ensuring that flour and sunflower oil were being grown, milled and pressed directly on the farm. Here, Henry Astor tells us more about it.
When did you start milling your own flour?
Henry: “We started milling flour at Stanway Watermill and selling the flour in our shop in 2021.
In 2023, with the help of a FIPL grant we bought our own mill. This was a New American Stone Mill made from New Hampshire granite and is located on-site here at Bruern Farms. This means that we grow and mill the grains and bag the flour on-site. We sell it through the farm shop or wholesale to bakers from Bath and Bristol to Bermondsey and beyond.
What do you mill?
“Mostly we mill heritage grain wholemeal and our Bruern Blend which is either wholemeal or a strong white flour. We also mill rye, oats, spelt and einkorn.”
Do you mill other grains that have been grown elsewhere, not at Bruern Farms?
"All our flour comes either from Bruern Farms or from farms who are part of the Cotswold Grain Network. This network was set up to encourage farmers to sell direct to the consumer and thus eliminate the middle man. Provenance is really important to us and we want you to know where your flour came from, even down to the field it was grown in. That’s why we have printed “Where does you flour come from?” on all our bags. Just because the mill is local, doesn’t always mean the flour is!”
Are there any additives in your flour?
"Absolutely none. Because we mill under 500 tonnes a year, by law we are not required to put additives in the flour. Our wholemeal flour is full of nutrients such as fibre, calcium, iron and magnesium. We don’t need to add anything to make it taste great or for it to be good for you. This is the absolute best you could get."
Who do you sell your flour to?
"We sell all of our flour varieties in our farm shop in 1.5kg bags.
We also sell it wholesale to bakers and chefs from Bermondsey to Bristol, Oxford to Bath and throughout the whole of the Cotswolds (in either 16kg or 25kg bags)."