Happy Birthday, Huxhams Cross Farm!

Children and adults in Farm School make their way across a beautiful green field at Huxhams Cross Farm [image: Beccy Strong]

Farm School at Huxhams Cross Farm [image: Beccy Strong]

Community-owned farm, Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington, near Totnes Devon, celebrated its second birthday in September at its Friday afternoon Farm Club (pictured).  A good time to review the last two years’ achievements as a farm healing land and people.

With community investment, volunteer help, hard work and dedication, the Apricot Centre farmers have:
  • Built a barn as well as access, fences and gates
  • Planted over 3,000 trees and over 2,000 soft fruits plants
  • Applied biodynamic methods to revitalise the soil
  • Established 100 chickens
  • Welcomed two lovable cows Damson and Daffodil (pictured below).

One of Huxhams Cross Farm's two cows grazing
Biodynamic and permaculture farmer, Marina O’Connell, says: “This is our first year of annual seasonal veg and we are very happy with how that is going – with kale, leeks and carrots stretching as far as the eye can see. But we are only just getting started…

“In September, we put up four polytunnels to maintain a winter supply of greens, early onions next year, and a ‘hungry gap’ supply of early-season vegetables for April to June. We also harvested our first crop of wheat, the yield was low (reflecting a national pattern) but but the quality was very high. We are excited to be working with The Almond Thief and New Lion Brewery to craft our own beer, and with Grown in Totnes to get the milled wheat into the shops as locally-grown flour. Some wheat will be re-sown for next year’s crop.

“We need more chickens! Our eggs are selling out so we are adding to our White Leghorn flock and building a new coop. To improve footpath access, a new bridge will be built over the locally known ‘boggy bit’ in The Long Meadow, and we are reworking a much loved footpath that gets very muddy in the winter to fence off the cows.

“Now we have planning permission, we are starting work on a training centre. We will host permaculture and biodynamics courses, process food into jams, juices and chutneys to make use of the waste stream, and use it as a base for our well-being therapy service.”

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