THE SMALLEST dairy farm in the country has added another little feature to its production service – one of the smallest commercial delivery vans.
Trenow Cove Dairy has recently acquired the Piaggio Ape van to deliver milk, cream and butter to customers around west Cornwall.
The minute three-wheeled vehicle has a 50cc engine and has only clocked up 330 miles since 1999.
Owner Karen Wall leaves the farm at Perranuthnoe in the van delivering to B&Bs, delis and campsites every day of the week.
Being the colour of clotted cream, the van is perfectly fitting for the business it represents, said Mrs Wall.
She added: "It's like a scooter inside but with a reverse gearstick. I can do 15mph going uphill and 30mph coming down. People have had time to stop their car, park and walk by me."
Despite its petite frame, it can hold five 25kg bags, along with milk crates, allowing Mrs Wall to deliver more than 50 litres of milk at one time.
The daily delivery round in the 14-year-old van may take slightly longer for Mrs Wall than other commercial drivers, but she is happy to take her time and enjoys a slower pace of life.
"I think people have got in to a thing where you have got to get there in the fastest time. Why is the world so keen to rush? Slow down, you have time to see things as you go by," she said.
Explaining her decision to purchase the van, Mrs Wall said she was persuaded by the fuel efficiency and the low levels of carbon emissions.
The two-seater Italian vehicle does 75 miles to the gallon and costs just £17 for the MOT. Although it is small, it certainly does not go unnoticed.
The tiny van is making a big impression on customers and visitors in the area. "I think if I had a tenner for every time anyone takes a picture of it I'd be loaded by now. More often I get thumbs up from all sorts of people. It seems to put a smile on people's faces, mine included," said Mrs Wall. Trenow Cove Dairy is the only commercial dairy farm in the country selling products from a rare breed of whitebred shorthorns, which, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, are in the "critical" category with only 150 registered females in the world.
Mrs Wall has 10 of the cows, which are all individually named after she read a study by Exeter University which showed that when cows are given proper names they can yield up to 500 more pints a year.
Having recently secured a dairy health mark, Mrs Wall can now sell milk to anywhere in the world, but she has decided to remain local for the time being.
To find out more about the tiny dairy farm, you can view updates online at perranuthnoe.blogspot.co.uk