‘When I’m far from these beautiful lands, the memories tumble like an unceasing waterfall. When I’m here, they fade and are replaced with blissful contentment.’
10/09/16 – Wildflower Meadow Campaign page updated with progress pictures. We’ve also begun a new biodiversity list. You can see it here.
I’m from farming stock. In 1921, my grandfather, at the age of 10, herded the family’s sheep several miles along the quiet, winding roads to their new home at the Farm. Seventy-nine years later, the reigns were passed to my father when he died. The decrepit buildings were sold but the land retained, and the fields have been worked by local farmers ever since. The only building remaining is a solitary animal dutch barn (picture above). As a young man, I wanted city lights and London called me with its bustling, diverse and open arms. Had history been a little different and my grandfather still alive after I completed by zoology degree, I may have well returned. Now, however, a decade on since leaving Queen Mary university behind, I’m desperate to re-kindle my lost love, and the soft call of smallholding beckons me.
Alas, my husband and I are in no position to pull out the throttle and head to the countryside just yet. With no farmhouse we can’t even contemplate keeping animals and growing organic produce- we need to apply for planning permission, tear down the old barn and building a house first (and that’s a lot of if’s, but’s, maybe’s and stress). Unfortunately, to live a self-sufficient and low-cost lifestyle, one needs money in the first place. BUT, the dream is very much alive with the Farm and I hope that I can return to those fields as a 4th generation farmer.
‘I pad over the grass lightly, softly calling for the dog. She races into the field ahead with the glee of a small child being let loose into a playground. Only, this is our amusement park, this farm is the place of my childhood, the constant in my dreams and the future I long to reach.’
But What of The Farm?
To realise our dream, we’ve started the farm already , despite not even being in the same county. We have several projects underway to return the land to it’s former glory. Those few acres are nestled in an arable desert of vast fields, GPS driven machinery and a disregard for the patchwork landscape the area is known for. We’re planting woodland, a bluebell grove, and a wildflower meadow, not to mention re-laying the hedges, dredging the mud-filled natural ponds, putting up barn owl nesting boxes and trying to create beautiful, wildlife-friendly place that both my grandparents and the current (and future) creatures will be proud of. We champion organic. We call for conservation and diversity.
At our current suburban home in Essex, we have a small plant nursery, grow organic veggies for farmers markets and breed chickens – all with the hope that, one day, we’ll return to my homeland and give a little something back to Suffolk, the root of my past and future.
- Browse our Hens (Limited Selection Available)
- Browse our Nursery (coming soon)
- Biodiversity List
- Wild Flower Meadow Campaign
- Bluebell Grove
- Owl Nesting Box Campaign (LIVE NOW)
- Buddleia Grove (coming soon)
- The Lookout (coming soon)
- Woodland (coming soon)
- Pond Dredging (coming soon)
- Hedge Laying (coming soon)
- Self-Build Farmhouse (coming soon)
- The Tropical Gardens (coming soon)
- The New Pond (coming soon)