From an early age I lived and grew up on a Hill farm. First on Exmoor and then on Dartmoor. It shaped my love of adventure and wilderness. At 18 I left home and did a BA Degree in Landscape Architecture at Leeds, which informed much of my environmental knowledge. Wanting to pursue more the practical side of life, I did many gardening jobs including work at Stone Lane Gardens (Birch and Alder Arboretum), learning many skills along the way. At this time I also got work as a photographer and did a second degree, BA Hons in Graphic Design at the London College of Printing.
After a few years life took a different turn, I returned to Dartmoor to help take on the farm. At that time is was primarily beef and sheep, using the common land for grazing.
Many years later I found myself farming on my own with two young children. I continued with sheep but changed to rearing turkeys for Christmas. By this time the farm had converted to being fully organic with the Soil Association, so I was rearing Turkeys for Riverford.
The farm was entered into environmental agreements, under which a lot of work was undertaken to restore hedges, banks and walls. The hedge planting I did myself, planting thousands of indigineous trees. The trees were planted onto banks, my main concern was that they would dry out in the summer. Over the years I used my entire wool clip on mulching the trees that I had planted. Even in the driest times, the earth under the wool would still be damp. The wool mulch also helped to supress weeds and gave the trees a natural boost of slow release nitrogen and other nutrients. Even at 1200' the trees grew well, the last two winters I have begun the process of laying the hedges.
Once again I find myself at a crossroads and needing to change what I do. No longer wanting to produce hundreds of Turkeys for Christmas I am starting out on a new venture. Using my accumulated skills I want to start an Organic Herb Nursery, using wool in the propogation process to cut down on the need for plastic.It would be a wonderful acheivement to be plastic free.