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Devon - Rod and Ben's

Rod and Ben's
Bickham Farm,

Telephone: 01392 833833


Rodney Hall and Ben Moseley met while studying agriculture at Seale-Hayne College over ten years ago. After college they went their separate ways, Rodney setting up his own business outside agriculture and Ben working in agricultural development in Indonesia. Rodney spent much of his childhood on a farm in Kent where he developed a passion for farming, especially traditional methods of production and vintage machinery. This transformed into a firm belief in organic farming. Ben became converted to organic agriculture while overseas working with subsistence farmers developing sustainable farming systems that required a true understanding of the environment (soil, climate, aspect).

When the tenancy for Bickham Farm came up in 1998 the two friends were reunited giving Rodney an opportunity to realise his childhood ambition of becoming a farmer and Ben a chance to develop an organic system on a UK farm. The aims and objectives were to create a viable organic system incorporating a vegetable box scheme. The farm was put into conversion soon after arrival in October 1998. The box scheme was started in September 1999 and has grown from 40 boxes to over 300 per week.

Bickham Farm is 106 acres of deep red soil, is a mixed farm, meaning there is a mix of animals vegetables and arable crops. It is the home farm to Bickham House and Garden, one of the finest examples of a traditional Victorian garden in the country.

For up to date information about the farm look at 'The RoundUp' our newsletter which explains the ups and downs of producing your food. It also contains the dates of our Open Days.

The farm is Organic, certified by the Soil Association, the longest established and most stringent certification body world wide. This means we can offer fresh, safer and tastier produce. Food from the soil, nothing more nothing less.

Our vision is to produce high quality food to create healthy living people, we want to do this by making sure that our core values are not questioned,
integrity is important to us.

Variety, freshness and good quality are the most important features of the box scheme and we grow a full range of vegetables with some fresh herbs including protected cropping for more exotic summer crops and to maintain a supply of fresh greenery and salads throughout the winter. It is important to keep things interesting by growing different varieties of vegetables whether it be pink fir apple potatoes or romanesco cauliflower.

We made two important decisions early on, to keep the box scheme going 12 months of the year, putting more pressure on the protected cropping, and to offer choice. Two thirds of our customers receive a choice box which is made to order from a weekly availability list, orders can be phoned, faxed or emailed using the order form on this website. In addition to the choice box we offer a standard box at £9 and a large box at £13.50. All vegetables are seasonal and when we do have to buy in produce we try to source it locally and so avoid buying imported produce. We also have our own hens supplying organic eggs through the box scheme and honey (non-organic) from our hives on the farm.

The boxes are distributed through pick up points, most of which are small shops, with some door to door delivery, all within a 15 mile radius in the Exeter area. Pick up points help support small local businesses and reduce our transport costs and 'food miles'.

We want our customers to feel involved with the farm. Regular newsletters and farm walks help give people a better understanding of the way their food is produced and give us the opportunity to meet our customers. We want people to see the farm in all seasons not just when vegetables are growing in abundance. We have hosted a number of events on the farm including the local youth group, a local theatre group (gaining on farm experience for a play about organic farming), farm walks, we are a member of DOGS (Devon Organic Growers) and have given talks on organic vegetable growing.

We are farmers and we produce food for you directly. We are not a shop and by and large do not 'stock' food which is out of season. The link between the producers of food and the consumers is weakening, we are trying to strengthen it.

Only join our scheme if you want a regular supply of fresh organic produce. Food from the soil, nothing more nothing less.

Creation date : 30/08/2007 @ 21:50
Last update : 30/08/2007 @ 21:50
Category : Devon
Page read 8398 times

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