Behind the Scenes - How we Produce our Oil
We often get asked about the process that our rapeseed oil goes through before it ends up as the product that you buy from us through our online store, in one of our stockists or at the fairs and events we attend. We have to say, this is something we delight in answering.
We are incredibly proud of the process that our rapeseed oil goes through. From crop to bottle every part of the process is handled by us at our purpose built premises in Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire. Our oil seed rape crop is grown on our family farm. We are Chatsworth tenant farmers.
Our oil seed rape crop is harvested around August each year. The harvesting of crops often causes upset due to the chemicals used in the process. We share consumers concerns about the use of glyphosphates such as round up, and because of this we never use them on our standing crops of oil seed rape. Some farmers use them to speed up the maturing of the crop so that it dries quicker meaning they can harvest earlier. We don't agree with this method, so we use a Swathing machine, which is essentially a mower which cuts the crop and leaves it in rows (swaths) which then dry out naturally. Once the crop has reached the optimum moisture level we then “pick up” the crop with a combine harvester.
However we only use the swathing machine when the crop is slow to mature. Last year (this years seed) the weather was fantastic in the run up to harvest and it wasn’t necessary to use the swathing machine, and we combined the standing crop as it was dry enough.
Although the sprays are “safe” we don't like the idea of spraying the standing crop just before we harvest it, we also don't use any pesticides on the crop as we have some bee hives on the farm, and the bees forage in the oil seed rape when it is in flower.
To extract the rapeseed oil we use a technique called cold pressing. Cold pressing is the simple and traditional method of producing oil. The seed is simply pressed (or squeezed) at a low temperature, which means that the oils natural rich golden colour and nutrients are preserved. Once the oil has settled, it is filtered and then bottled. It really is as simple as that. No heat, no chemicals just pure and healthy home grown oil. We only press our seed once, this ensures that we only produce the highest quality, undiluted cold pressed rapeseed oil.
Once pressed, our oil is then bottled at our purpose built premises, which is literally a stones throw from the field it was grown in. We also add in our natural flavourings here too, to create our delicious flavoured rapeseed oils.
If you order from us online your chosen rapeseed oil will be sent to you directly from this location. This means the only miles your rapeseed oil will travel is from us to you. You don't get much lower food miles than that!
We are immensely proud of our process and the way that we care for every stage of our crops journey. It's this passion and attention that we think shows through in our rapeseed oil and gives the best flavour possible.