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 just 100 acres of land with ‘rights of common’ to keep sheep on adjacent moorland. Today it produces organic lamb and around 20 acres of cereals - milling-wheat and rye - which have been grown intermittently since 1975. After harvest in 2005, we decided to mill our own organically grown wheat with an 80 year old wood-framed ‘feed’ mill, fitted with Derbyshire grit stones. After discovering the very special Astrier mills (see below), we soon found ourselves sourcing grain from other organic farms in North and East Yorkshire. Thanks to these, we are now 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 newly conceived, yet essentially traditional mills, which were the first of their kind to be introduced to this country in 2005. They were designed in France by André and Pierre Astrié, who were both engineers and thinkers. As well as insisting on organically grown grain for their mills, they believed that ‘good bread should always be at the centre of community life’. Determined to see grain milled locally to the highest standards, the brothers are now celebrated throughout France - and increasingly, the UK - by countless artisan bakers. Our mills were built for us on licence by ‘Aster’ of Brittany, who adopted all the Astrié brothers' principles and working beliefs.
The Astrié mills have several unique features:
1.Unlike earlier traditional mills, the revolving top stones are cleverly mounted on heavy springs, which allow downward pressure to be increased or released by gradual turns of a handle. This allows exact control over both the particle size of the flour and the temperature of the slow milling rate (25 Kg. per hour).
2.The mill-stones are cut from a particularly hard type of granite and are over one metre in diameter. They are uniquely dressed, the ‘lands’ being patterned with unusually shallow grooves - ‘trilles’. The mill-stones are almost smooth at their outer rim which helps the germ and the inner layers of the bran to be mixed into Wholemeal and 85% extraction flours. When this action is combined with the gentle turning speed of the mills, our ‘whiter' flours retain much more of the grain’s nutritional value.
3. Our grain is first cleaned, using a traditional aspirated seed cleaner that removes the dust, chaff and other light material, while 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 large gravity table.
For all orders, please enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org 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