It all started when...
... aged 8, Andrew won a story writing competition run by Westminster Bank on why you should save - he had spent the summer helping a dairy farmer in Wales and wrote about saving to buy cows.
At the same time, Joanne would spend summers staying with her aunt and uncle who ran a pig farm in Yorkshire - Joanne wanted to marry a farmer (or a doctor..).
Andrew studied Agriculture but soon realised that, short of patrimony, matrimony or parsimony he would struggle to ever own his own farm.
Nearly 50 years later, children leaving home - they had a chance. Acres of fields needed fencing, miles of water pipe had to be laid and the latest conservation soil science learnt to improve the permanent Sussex pastures.
In 2015 youngest son, Oscar, moved into the farm manager's cabin and in 2017 our daughter Rachel has joined us!
Restoring the depleted Wealden clay soils is a long term project. Spreading the cattle's manure and thousands of tonnes of green compost from the local council, low input systems and minimum tillage is helping to improve nutrient levels and soil structure. Ensuring our rotation of crops adds further nutrients and selecting long rooted varieties helps build carbon content, further improving soil structure. Virtuous circles - allowing us to make the most of the sunshine and rain and our farm is slowly improving.
Ongoing and travelling hopefully!