Close farm located in Tetbury, Gloucester, is managed primarily by me (Fred). Whilst assisted by some able volunteers, I work as the solely employed grower, so I tend to be quite busy. The farm is an extensive affair with a bank of polytunnels supplementing a 3-acre market garden and a further 4 acres of field crops where the likes of potatoes are grown. The market garden is also the location for an extensive collection of traditional and rare apple trees – arranged to create crop alleys that enable crops to be grown between the trees, feeding on the leaves and other detritus that falls and fertilises the ground.
HRH Prince of Wales’ belief in the advantages of organic farming resulted in the decision in 1985 for Duchy Home Farm (of which our farm is the fruit and vegetable section) to be turned into an organic farm – both for livestock as well as crops. This endeavour took place back when organic was still a relatively new concept – so a bold move at the time. In becoming organic, the Prince of Wales has worked closely with organisations such as Soil Association, Sustainable Food Trust, Garden Organic and Organic Research Centre. At the same time, organic farms have been promoting education and research into the links between food, farming, health and the environment.