Born into a non-farming family but living in rural Clwyd from 13 years of age, Jeff never wanted to do anything other than farm. However, he struggled at agricultural college after reading the ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson, as he found the conventional wisdom of the time disconcerting.
He met his future wife Carey at Seale-Hayne College, and they set off determined to find a farm of their own. With only a small amount of family money, they started out taking management roles until the opportunity arose in 1976 to take on a county council smallholding in Herefordshire.
Jeff and Carey feel privileged to have been able to bring up their children on a dairy farm in beautiful Herefordshire. The pressures of commercial dairying led them into ice-cream production as a diversification and eventually into full organic certification. They were the second organic ice-cream producers in the UK after Rocombe Farm who had led the way. Their pedigree British Friesian cows were paddock-grazed to supply milk for their ‘September Organic Ice Cream’.
In 2003 they lost their entire dairy herd to TB, despite being self contained and home-bred. This caused great distress but enabled them to develop their own off-grid house and living system: ‘The CountrySOLE Project’.
This is now up and running as a LAND learner permaculture project, with a small herd of Hereford cattle and flock of Ryeland sheep. Both are local breeds, and a small acreage of cereals is grown for domestic use.
Pasture-fed fits with their ideas about allowing the natural processes dictate the way they run their farm and lives, and Jeff is proud to have been involved at the start of the pasture-fed movement.Contact Jeff