Goats milk ice-cream-making farmers near Corby to feature on BBC programme

Ian, William and Lauren Horton
Ian, William and Lauren Horton

A couple of first-time farmers near Corby and one of only three goats milk ice-cream producers in the UK will feature on a BBC1 programme next week.

The Farmers’ Country Showdown on January 21 will document Ian and Lauren Horton's efforts to make and sell their sweet treat at Kelmarsh food festival.

The couple had never been farmers before they bought the 11-acre Ganders Farm in Rockingham Road, Cottingham, at an auction in 2012.

"You never know what you are going to wake up to," said Ian, 33.

"I’ve never stuck at a job for more than two years until this. I love the constant change in farming.

"If we didn’t have the passion for it we wouldn’t do it.

"It’s a hard lifestyle, there’s no let-up.

"We’ve lost relationships with friends over it; we can’t go out, we’ve got milking to do.

"The hardest thing about farming is the financial burden and risk.

"You put a lot in and don’t get a return for a long time and that can put a strain on family relationships."

The Hortons started experimenting with goats milk for fun after being given an ice-cream maker.

"We started playing with it without much success," said 32-year-old Lauren.

"I blamed the useless ice cream machine.

"I realised we could make a full-time business from this if we played it right."

The Hortons developed a recipe for their produce with the help of a company who sold them commercial ice cream making machinery.

After the first year, Ian quit his job and both Hortons have been full-time for two years on the farm.

They have 12 flavours of ice-cream, including ginger, vanilla, chocolate, raspberry ripple and strawberry.

Other guest flavours include fresh mint and chocolate, gooseberry and elderflower, rhubarb and honey, blueberry, blackcurrant ripple, blackberry and apple, and spiced plum and honey.

The Hortons grow or forage for all the additional flavourings that are used in the ice-cream; the only ingredients they can’t get are strawberries and raspberries, which they buy from a farm 10 miles down the road.

"Our ice-creams are always met with some scepticism as people think it will have a strong taste," said Lauren.

"When people taste it they are surprised. It is so nice to get the feedback from the customers when they like it."

She added: "I think it’s the healthy option, it doesn’t have a goaty tang. The flavours speak for themselves with proper ingredients."