Warborne Farm is a 180 acre mixed family farm and has been certified organic by the Soil Association since 1996. Our Grade 2 deep sandy loam coupled with high light levels provide us with ideal growing conditions; it’s a great place to live and a great place to farm.
When my father took over from his father in 1951, there were still 5 working horses in stalls and cows were milked by hand in the loose boxes. Grain was lugged around in sacks and hay stored loose. All this was going on in these buildings, just as it had done for more than 100 years previously.
Now I like to think that we have moved on a bit, but I still hold dear his passion for organic farming, his belief that healthy soil is necessary to produce healthy crops and livestock and in turn to nourish healthy humans.
A good crop rotation is the key to the success of the whole farm, and we build fertility more than we exploit it. Over the years crops have included peas, beans, lupins and other pulses; hemp and flax for fibre; hemp, linseed, sunflowers and oilseed rape for oil; wheat, oats, barley, triticale and maize for grains and protein; and field scale vegetables for supermarkets, in particular sweetcorn, purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflowers and courgettes. In fact more than 300 varieties of vegetables have been grown here recently, and 100 varieties of fruit, including figs, melons and peaches. Cut flowers and herbs are grown too.
Livestock have included every breed of sheep imaginable, geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens (all for eggs and for the table), beef cattle, dairy cows, pigs, horses, New Forest ponies, and I’ll try not to mention the chinchillas (all the rage in the ‘50s!), oh and don’t forget the bees – perhaps the most honest, hard working and generous of them all.
We have won many awards for our produce, and none more so than for our fruit and vegetables – I somehow won the Marks & Spencer “Organic Grower of the Year” not too many years ago. We still grow a wonderful array of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, for family and for the benefit of guests in our barns.