Yogices, Yogtails and other inventions
This year we are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Arthur Hollins who was born in May 1915. Arthur the father of Ben and Charlotte was an innovator who, when he found a problem, was able to think his way around it. His love for Mother Nature and the natural world led him to help pioneer organic farming. As a dairy farmer in the late 1940s and early 1950s when milk production made very little money, Arthur decided to develop new and exciting ways of making the farm pay. When war-time restrictions ended he opened the dairy on the farm to make clotted cream and cream cheese using the rich, creamy milk from his own pedigree Jersey herd.
To cope with the ever increasing demands from the dairy Arthur adapted an early milking machine to milk four cows at once instead of the usual one. He even devised a system to carry the milk straight from the milking parlour to the separating chamber in the dairy which improved hygiene. Later on Arthur turned the shippon into a modern milking parlour.
Arthur also experimented with the dairy food he was producing. Using a recipe from America, he started to produce cottage cheese. Although it originated in the United Kingdom cottage cheese disappeared from our shops and market stalls. Arthur, after reintroducing it in 1958 began to experiment with different flavours, (something never tried before) which became a big favourite with his customers.
By 1967 Arthur was already producing at least 12 different fresh fruit yoghourts. He had converted sausage making machines to fill yoghourt pots quickly and more efficiently producing thousands of pots each week. He was also beginning to experiment with and then started to produce Yogice. Yogice was a blend of Fordhall Live fat Free Yoghourt and fresh Jersey cream. It was said to provide a refreshing alternative to modern ice cream with the extra benefits contained in live yoghourt. Some of the varieties on offer were: Yogice with fresh vanilla and lavender honey, Yogice with pure chocolate and fine ground Swiss hazelnuts, Yogice with pure emulsified lime, Yogice with fresh strawberries and Yogice with wild blackberry liqueur and fresh blackberries.
Arthur had also developed Yogtail. This was described as ‘skilfully blended Live Fat Free Yoghourt, citrus fruit, and fresh berried fruits, Advocaat, red wine and rum.’ Yogtails were advertised as ‘a new approach to your party, slimming diet and a mid-morning break, it also makes an excellent pick-me-up.’ The advocaat used in the Yogtails was made on the farm, from free range eggs, Barbados sugar and brandy.
By 1970 Arthur had patented his ‘Pulvo-seeder’; in 1973 he had patented his own display refrigerator designed to keep his dairy products fresher longer in shops and health food stores.
Ben, Arthur’s son is a farmer who carries on the organic traditions of Fordhall Farm but he is an entrepreneur in his own right. He is establishing his own Fordhall Pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd, and he is busy with the ‘Gloucester Old Spot’ pigs and grass-reared sheep. He also works hard to sell the farm produce in the farm shop and through ‘event catering’.