For five generations our family has been farming this land on the Buckinghamshire/Hertfordshire border.
Today the farm is home to a grass-fed suckler beef herd, outdoor Tamworth rare breed pigs, free-range (sometimes roaming) chickens, geese and just over 100,000 bees. Our hedgerows provide us with a supply of elderflowers, blackberries, apples and plums to name but a few in a long list of natural foods. Other seasonal vegetables are farmed and we also grow a number of potato varieties, some of which are amongst the oldest known. Our seasonal produce includes cordial, pickles, jams and honey. Look out also for our cakes, biscuits and fudge made from our eggs, jams and honey.
Our cattle are mostly Hereford or Hereford-cross cows and have been running with an Aberdeen Angus bull to produce lovely black or brown ‘woolly’ calves. They live outdoors and graze the parkland that runs along the county boundary. During the winter months when grass is in short supply, they are also fed old-fashioned crops like kale and mangels as well as silage (pickled grass) made from fields we have about a mile or so from the farm. (The calves are usually weaned from their mums at about 9 months and then sold to other farmers.)
Our pigs are rare breed Tamworth or a Tamworth-Large White cross. The pure Tamworths are very distinctive with their ginger coats and long noses. They also have very inquisitive characters, so don't be surprised to see little snouts watching you through the fence!
Tamworths are a good outdoor breed and love nothing better than rooting for food or lying in a muddy wallow on a hot summer's day. Their favourite food is the windfall apples in autumn but they are also partial to sweetcorn and beetroot from the garden. We have them professionally butchered and the flavour is how pork should be. Real pork, not just pig meat.
Our poultry include Columbian Wyandotte bantams, Welsummer and Maran chickens and a number of rescued commercial hens that are still capable of earning their keep. Oh, and don’t forget the geese; they don’t like being ignored!
The Bantams are smaller than your regular farmyard hen and lay smallish white eggs; occasionally! The Welsummers and Marans are typical farmyard hens and both lay lovely brown eggs. The rescued hens just keep laying. And as for the geese, one of their eggs would certainly set you up for the day.
Location: Horn Hill, Chalfont St Peter