Welcome to Kricklewood Farm, where sunshine grows in the fields, and the animals all have names.
Yes, it seems like a magical place because it is. From the big black friendly dog that greets you in the driveway to the Nubian goats playing in the barn yard, it's a world of happy critters and blooming sunflowers.
"I found this little girl next to the road, injured," says Dale, pointing to a chicken strutting around nearby. "I thought she had been hit by a car and maybe had a broken leg. She couldn't walk, so I put her in my car and brought her back to the barn. I put food next to her to see if she could eat. The next day she was up running around."
There's a story about every animal on the farm. Daisy, the pot bellied pig, came from Mel's Farm All Animal Rescue, as did Emma the dog. Daisy arrived with a crate, toys and fluffy blankets. Dale put her in the barn with her crate, but Daisy had other ideas. The joys of fresh hay were a revelation to her. She never slept in her crate again.
Dale and Brad partnered up first to make goat milk soap, and were keen to find the perfect old stone house with 25 acres on which to raise their herd of goats. They found the beautiful house, but it came with 90 acres and a question: what to do with all that extra land?
"We decided to grow sunflowers," says Brad. "No one was doing high quality, cold-pressed, organic sunflower oil. We planted our first field of sunflowers, and the business took off."
Dale and Brad have just introduced a new line of bread dippers made with their heart healthy sunflower oil. They took their time crafting the recipes to come up with the perfect combinations: Garlic and Lemon, Roasted Chili and Herbs, Maple Balsamic and Sundried Tomato and Basil.
The incredibly fresh, nutty taste that is the stand-out feature of these dippers comes from small batch production of the sunflower oil. "We cold press it just a batch at a time to maintain the fresh taste." says Brad. "We call them bread dippers, but you can use them for anything, including dressings and marinades."
Call them what you will, these oils are perfect for summer eating. We think there's a little sunshine magic in every bottle!
The beautiful table that graces their kitchen was created from old barn board.
There is a feeling of appreciation for all the heritage aspects of their old stone house. "We left the kitchen alone," says Brad. "It's just the way it was when we bought the house."
Their sunflower field. They plant about 15 acres every year and rotate the fields to keep the soil healthy