Up until now, the most remarkable thing about Hooke – the rather sleepy village outside Beaminster, and my lifelong home – is that it’s surrounded by bottoms.

Aunt Mary’s Bottom to the north – although sadly Hooke was so unremarkable that no one bothered to document what was so good about Aunt Mary or her bottom.

Knights in the Bottom to the south - supposedly previously “nights in the bottom” but renamed by Queen Victoria who thought this rather too lewd, but again no-one ever wrote this down as fact.

And Burnt Bottom to the west. Which Hardy did write about in Far from the Madding Crowd, to him ‘Norcombe’ was the hill farm where Gabriel Oak’s sheep met their rather abrupt end.

But other than that, nothing. Unremarkable. That was until earlier this year when Hollis Mead organic dairy arrived and gave us something worth writing about. Their vending machines have recently sprung up across Dorset with their latest opening at Brace of Butchers, Poundbury, next week.

Westcombe Farm – where Hollis Mead keep their herd – was, for my lifetime one of those dairies that gave farming a questionable reputation. High stocking rates and a poor environmental record made living near the farm a threat.

But then, three years ago, it all went quiet. The hedges grew out and the grass became long because the previous farmer had sold up and left. Today the hedges are still overgrown and the grass still long but inside is an Eden.

Hollis Mead dairy have taken on a ‘do as little as possible’ policy to the land, as the owners try to develop a system of dairy farming that is beneficial rather than detrimental to local wildlife.

Importantly, they do this by keeping a smaller herd, using no herbicides, pesticides, insecticides or artificial fertilisers and allowing the land time to properly recover between grazing.

Oliver Hemsley, owner of Hollis Mead, a family-run farm, has personally helped hand-plant over 10 miles of indigenous hedgerow to create habitats for insects, bugs, rabbits, birds, hares, dormice and deer and more.

The result of this careful succumbing to nature has been an explosion of wildlife: orchids, birds that have faced serious decline on dairy farms since the World War II are on the rise; barn owls screech at night and yellowhammers and skylarks now float above the parlour in a deafening but glorious chorus.

Meanwhile, the cows below are happy. Hollis Mead’s ethos is not just organic but organic fundamentalism. Cows have open land to freely graze, rarely kept inside unless absolutely necessary and best of all they’re milked just once a day.

A big commercial dairy will milk their cows two, or three times a day – the result is effectively white tinted water necessitating them being kept indoors for efficiency. The milk will then be flash pasteurised at high heat over a short time and the healthy fat particles emulsified into the body of the milk through a process called homogenisation. This happens to all regular supermarket milk and means that when drunk these fat particles can pass straight into the bloodstream without being digested. Many believe that it’s this process that can be linked to an unprecedented rise in lactose intolerance in recent years.

By comparison, Hollis Mead milk is made by cows, who are not pushed nearly as hard. Their milk is then lightly pasteurised over a far longer period of time, meaning that the fat particles retain their structure. What this means is that Hollis Mead milk tastes better and according to them is better for you, containing 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and 40% more conjugated linoleic acid which reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity.

It was reported last month by the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy that the world’s largest 13 dairy companies produce more carbon dioxide than the entire UK, while also driving the price of milk down which has effectively bankrupted the rural economy. The Hollis Mead vending machine model pushes against this as it tries to reconnect the public with local farming, while also cutting down on excessive food-mile pollution from transporting milk.

It’s on Norcombe that Gabriel Oak sat and pondered his destiny. And while the destiny of Hollis Mead organic dairy, a company still in its infancy, is yet to be written one thing is certain - they might be surrounded by bottoms but when it comes to changing the face of the dairy industry they’re right on top.