Diversification Award for Park House Farm
The last few months have seen a whole host of awards bestowed upon Torpenhow organic cheeses, including a Gold at the International Cheese & Dairy Awards, but Park House Farm itself was the recipient at the 2022 Cumbria Farmer Awards.
At a rather glittering ceremony at the Greenhill Hotel, near Wigton, Park House Farm was chosen from 15 nominations for the Farm Diversification category, with the Torpenhow Cheese Company being the primary reason for the award.
The awards were judged by a panel of respected agriculture and farming experts, along with business specialists from land agency, legal, financial, veterinary and academic backgrounds.
Jenny Lee of Park House Farm and the Torpenhow Cheese Company: “With the help of other family members, my grandparents were able to buy our farm when they were just a young couple. They passed it along to my parents, and they to my generation, and we’re hoping that one day we can do the same for our children.”
“But the farming landscape is very different from when my grandparents worked the land and to ensure the farm – any farm – is a viable business, there needs to be a degree of diversification.”
“Here at Park House Farm we have the Three Hills Wedding Barn, accommodation in the five shepherd’s huts, there’s the forest school and, of course, there’s the Torpenhow Cheese Company.”
“Our investment in the dairy and cheesemaking is undoubtedly the most notable of our diversification activities but, like everything else, we’ve diversified in ways which are sympathetic and don’t detract from the day-to-day operation of the farm.”
“When people visit, they see that we are first and foremost a Cumbrian dairy farm and the different business strands that we have introduced sit alongside. It’s never been a case of ‘farming or making cheese’ or ‘farming or wedding venue’, it has always been ‘farming AND the dairy, farming AND the shepherd’s huts’. Farming has always come first.”
So, are there any plans for further diversification at Park House Farm?
“Well, we did hold our little festival this summer and we’re hoping that becomes a regular addition to the calendar but, for now, I think we have enough on our plates!”