About Us

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Please note our COVID 19 arrangements - at the bottom of this page...

Hill Top Farm lies within the North York Moors National Park, just four miles north of the town of Kirkbymoorside. The farm has only 100 acres of land and a right to keep sheep on Common land. It produces organic lamb and about 20 acres of cereals (milling-wheat, barley or rye), which have been grown intermittently since 1975. After a good harvest in 2005, we decided to try milling our own organically grown wheat with an 80 year old wood framed mill, using Derbyshire grit stones. We soon found ourselves sourcing grain from other organic farms in North and East Yorkshire and then eventually discovered the very special Astrier mills (see below). Thanks to these, we are able to mill and distribute the best quality flours in what we hope, is an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way. By milling local produce we minimise food miles, reduce transport costs, and create a mutually beneficial trading network between farmers, millers, bakers and customers. The enterprise is entirely organic (see Yorkshire Post article in Latest News).

Today, we run four updated, yet essentially traditional mills, which in 2005, were the first of their kind to be introduced to this country. These were designed in France by the two brothers André and Pierre Astrié, who were engineers and thinkers. As well as insisting on organically grown grain for their mills, they would also say that ‘Good bread should always be at the centre of community life’. Determined to succeed in milling the best possible flours, they are now celebrated by many artisan bakers right across France, and increasingly, the UK.  Our particular mills were built for us on licence by “Aster” of Brittany, who have adopted all the Astrié brothers principals and working beliefs.

The Astrié mills have several unique features:

1. The mill-stones are cut from a particularly hard type of granite and are over one metre in diameter. They are uniquely dressed and patterned in unusually shallow grooves (‘trilles’), and are almost smooth at their outer rim. This greatly helps to incorporate the germ and the inner layers of the bran, into the 85% extraction flours. When this action is combined with the gentle turning speed of the mills, it means that the 'whiter' flours retain much more of the grain’s nutritional value.

2. Unlike traditional mills, the revolving top stones are cleverly mounted on heavy springs, which can be compressed or released in gradual turns of a handle. This allows an exact control over the particle size of the flour.

3. Our grain is first cleaned, using a traditional aspirated seed cleaner that removes the dust, chaff and other light material whilst separating grains by size through a series of reciprocating sieves. Further separation into lighter and heavier fractions (e.g. for the wholemeal flours) can then be achieved by using our gravity table. We currently mill 6 tons of grain a week, which is enough to keep about 10,000 people comfortably supplied with flour.

For all orders, please enquire at hilltoporders2@gmail.com Or you can telephone us on 01751 417351 or 01751 417799

COVID 19 Arrangements
We are sorry, but we are currently too busy to send to individual customers or deal with callers at the mill while Coronavirus is with us. Apart from our bakers, we are supplying the following local shops and distributors. Could you please try ordering through them ? Please see our Bakers & Outlets page

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