We are Simon and Julia and having lived in Northamptonshire for a number of years, we feel very lucky to have the opportunity to establish our organic market garden farm here in Spratton, Northampton, growing fresh, locally grown organic food and produce such as salad greens, vegetables, fruit and cut flowers for our local community. We very much look forward to doing our bit to support our local rural economy and hope we can add value and make a positive contribution to our local community, employing local people as our farm grows. We want to create a successful and vibrant local business which will provide both for the local population and do our bit for the local environment and wildlife too. We hope to be able to provide long term food security for our community now and for future generations.
We discovered the benefits of organic food for ourselves, not only for its good health and nutritional qualities with its higher vitamin, mineral and nutrient content, but for its exceptionally better taste. Nothing beats vegetables pulled fresh from the ground on flavour or salad greens picked and put straight on the plate!
What frustrated us though was that we just couldn’t find fresh salad and veg that was both organically grown and local. Much of the organic food in the supermarkets is flown in from far off lands, losing flavour and nutrients along its journey! Even the British grown crops in the supermarket have often been picked several weeks before they get to your plate resulting in short shelf lives once you buy them. So whilst we could get the chemical free food we wanted, that was grown in an environmentally friendly way, it was at the cost of huge airmiles and food that wasn’t as fresh and tasty as it could be if it was locally grown and bought. An uneasy compromise was being imposed on the organic food market.
So we decided to take matters into our own hands and set up our own organic market garden farm where we could grow truly ‘beyond’ organic food and produce, using absolutely no chemicals at all, (not even ‘approved’ organic ones) and supply high quality freshly harvested food direct to the people and food businesses in our local communities.
Our farming philosophy
We are creating a small but efficient farm using a low-impact, hand tools and techniques approach, harnessing and nurturing nature’s own abilities and resources to grow high quality organic food for our local communities in a truly sustainable way which goes beyond organic.
Our hand tools approach, similar to pre-war methods, using simple but innovative and creative tools and techniques, provides lower start-up costs but more important ecologically; it reduces the compaction of the soil and allows the microbes, worms, fungi and bacteria of the soil web to remain as undisturbed as possible, creating a more fertile and sustainable environment for growing in, negating the need for using chemical fertilisers and pesticides… and keeping us fit!
Community Focused Farming
Growing fresh food organically for local people, we aim not just to provide better tasting and healthier produce, but also to add value to our local community through provision of educational resources for community groups, schools and organisations. We hope to inspire others and create opportunities for outdoor learning about the food we grow, the importance of wildlife conservation and reducing the environmental impact of farming, and the low-tech, creative techniques we use to make growing food by hand efficient on a small farm. As our farm grows we will be employing local people to join our team.
Nurturing the natural environment
As people with a life-long love for and respect of the wildlife, flora and fauna of our Great British countryside, we are passionate about using this opportunity to create a farm which can provide new habitats to protect and nurture the natural world of the environment around us and show how farming can be productive yet still have a positive impact on the environment.
Soil health is key to growing successfully using organic methods. Our approach will use chemical-free methods to support and improve the natural biology of the soil and its structure to grow our crops in a sustainable way which will build rather than deplete the soil’s natural resources; creating better growing environments and better crops.
We will be planting hundreds of meters of perennial hedgerows around our growing areas, establishing new areas of woodland, digging ponds and creating areas of bee and pollinator-friendly wildflower meadow. Everything we do on the farm will be designed to harness and enhance nature’s own powers to grow food in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner with a positive impact that benefits both people and place, providing a long term solution to the food security of local people both now and for future generations.