Somewhere, on a farm in the heart of County Durham, something is going bump in the night. Lintz Hall Farm, near Burnopfield, is a fourth-generation family business, home to more than 500,000 chickens, which supplies eggs to major supermarkets across the UK. But once a year, at what is undoubtedly the scariest date on the calendar, it also becomes home to the North East’s biggest scream park.
Two years ago, we left the dairy farming business which had been Near Edge Farm’s main income for nearly 100 years. It was a daunting new venture for us as we sought new ways to diversify to make ends meet.
I’ve always loved the shepherd huts, and never thought that one day I would have one, let alone be using it to make an income. John and Dave were fantastic from the start. Despite being all the way down in Wales, they were friendly and very easy to work with.
Local company Baboo Gelato has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Food or Drink Business (South West) at the 2019/20 Rural Business Awards, held in partnership with Amazon. The proudly Dorset artisan ice cream producer will be up against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs and enterprises from across the South West region to secure a place at the national final. This year marks the Awards' fifth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK's rural economy - a sector which employs more than 3.4 million people in England alone.
Baboo Gelato was launched in 2015 by Annie Hanbury, a Bologna-trained gelatiere, who wanted to combine her passion for ice cream making with the glut of fabulous ripe fruit from her kitchen garden. The company also use the finest fresh, local ingredients including organic milk from a South Somerset farm. Annie and her team handmake all Baboo's gelato and sorbet from scratch using traditional techniques.
If sandy beaches, real ales and one of the world’s best-known golf courses close by sounds like your type of holiday, then you only have to wait until 1st June for the grand opening of Wigwam® Holidays Largo Law.
Based in the East Neuk of Fife, six en-suite glamping cabins nestle on this working farm just 11 miles from St Andrews.
Owned by Ron and Sheilann Smith, the couple have diversified their working farm to include glamping accommodation in this stunning part of Scotland bringing brand new glamping options to the region.
Co-owner Ron said: “We are delighted to be part of one of the country’s leading glamping accommodation providers, Wigwam® Holidays.
Rosebud Ranch have recently diversified into a very successful alpaca farm, offering plenty of activities for visitors including Alpaca Yoga and Tai Chi. Farm Diversity had the opportunity talk to Lucy Aylett, to delve into how they created this delightful farm and made it into exactly the venture they had dreamt of...
'Rosebud Ranch is an alpaca farm in North Devon, recently known as 'the wellness ranch', and it is our home along with the Rosebud Alpacas. They are quality alpacas which we breed for fleece, we sell the yarn from our prize winners and we make/sell other alpaca related products. We also sell alpacas to appropriate homes as pets or for breeding and our herd participate in alpaca experiences. We pride ourselves on offering sessions in the alpaca's environment, ensuring our herd are relaxed and interested. Their welfare is paramount but this also provides a more authentic experience to our guests.
A new crisp brand, Two Farmers, is offering consumers a plastic and waste-free solution in 2019 with a delicious artisan range of crisps in a 100% compostable packet. The packets are a first of their kind for the UK crisp market and will biodegrade in just 26 weeks in a home-composting unit.
The crisp range includes four flavours:
Hereford Bullshot- Gently seasoned with spices and the delicious flavour of Hereford Beef- GF
Salt & Two Farmers Cider Vinegar- Lightly salted and flavoured with Two Farmers own cider vinegar, made from apples grown in their Herefordshire orchards - Vegan-friendly & GF
Lightly Salted- Lightly seasoned with Droitwich Salt, which is harvested by hand from natural springs and crystallised using renewable energy - vegan-friendly & GF
Editor Victoria Galligan visits a family business with a long track-record of farm diversification – the Owd Barn in Bispham, West Lancashire.
The Owd Barn has nearly 30 years of diversification behind it – but that doesn’t mean the Ashcroft family are resting on their laurels. Far from it in fact. As I sit down with the owners’ daughter, Helen Charlesworth, she explains that renovations are planned to further make use of the space in the barn which has become a popular visitor destination over the past three decades.
Wheatsheaf Hill Farm is a hill farm located 800 metres above sea level in Lancashire. Originally a sheep farm, the farm diversified in March 2013 to become The Wellbeing Farm – a multi award-winning events and wedding venue. Here, Celia Gaze – who is the founder and managing director of the Wellbeing Farm and also acts as Head Stable Maid for the Llamas – answers our editor Victoria Galligan's questions on taking the diversification leap…
With goat meat tipped as a future food trend, third generation farmersJames and Lucy Hewison are diversifying into rearing their very first herd of Boer goats at their tenant farm on the EnglefieldEstate in Berkshire.
The couple’s investment last year in 10 breeding does, four doelings, four bucklings, and a breeding buck called Bruno, is currently in the process of doubling as kidding gets underway. The farm – Hartley Court Farm – is situated near the village of Three Mile Cross to the south of Reading. It was originally a dairyand arable farm when James’s grandfather first became a tenant in 1953.
Today the couple look after a 40-strong herd of Aberdeen Angus suckler cows and their calves, and two pedigree Angusbulls alongside 214 hectares of wheat,barley, poppies and grass at Hartley Court Farm and on the neighbouring Manor Farm, also owned by the Estate. They are also contract farmers for the Estate’s 111-hectare Great Lea Farm.
When it comes to diversifying it’s best to move into a fresh, new market rather than one at saturation point. It also helps to tap into an existing skillset, even if these skills may have lain dormant for some time.
This is exactly what Gilli and Glen Allingham of Nairn did when theydiversified from potato and cereal farming into growing garlic. They then diversified further by creating a range of garlicky food products that can be ordered online.
Craggie Farm is the only garlic farm in Scotland, and the home of the Really Garlicky Company. Glen took over the family farm in 1999, which has been growing potatoes for fifty years. The Allingham family started selling King Edward seed potatoes directly to ware growers in the South East of England.