'It's great to hear from people who care' - Daisy Snow

North Devon Gazette

Last week there was a great response letter to the dairy article I wrote a few weeks back, the writer explained how they would be happy to pay a 50p+/pint increase, and how factory farming must be banned - it’s so positive to hear from people who obviously do care about where their food comes from and the impact it has on animals and wildlife in the process. I felt the need to clarify that I am of course in no way an advocate for intensive or factory farming, quite the opposite, I just think it’s important to explore how we have got to this point and don’t like that the finger is always pointed at farmers. It’s us, the consumers that vote with our wallets, and it’s the governments that subsidise the practises that none of us want. There are people who can afford to buy better yet don’t, but they’ll still happily blame farmers.Â

            I often do feel like there is no hope and know a lot of what I write can be pretty doom and gloom so I thought this week I would focus more on the positives and talk about some of the incredible local places where you can buy milk from cows that raise their own calves and are milked just once a day, eggs from chickens that have a great life and vegetables that aren’t soaked in chemicals. We are really lucky in this area, as the Southwest is a real hotspot for small scale farms, regenerative agriculture and holistic husbandry.Â


            For Veg: Â

-Marshfords Organic, based between Bideford and Appledore, this is my go to for all fresh vegetables (and most of my food shopping to be honest), they specialise in organic produce and ensure everything that can be grown locally is grown locally, with much of their produce being grown in Umberleigh.Â

-Down Farm, based in Winkleigh, this farm is a community ran organic market garden which only uses hand tools & minimum tillage.Â


For Meat:Â Â

-Hiron & Sons, based in Bideford, sixth generation butchers specialising in high quality, ethically sourced, free range and pasture fed options, their chickens are reared at an incredible farm in Somerset and their beef either comes from my uncle’s pasture fed herd of Ruby Red’s in Abbotsham or from a small-scale beef herd in Umberleigh.Â

-Verwill Farm, based on Exmoor offers slow grown, organic rare breed lamb raised using regenerative practises.Â

-Higher Hacknell is another great local farm which specialises in Organic, ethically produced meat and offers meat boxes.Â

-The Dartmoor Shepherd are great for lamb, they practise regenerative techniques and offer lamb meat boxes, as well as rugs and woollen products all manufactured in Dartmoor from materials from their own flock of sheep.Â


For Milk:Â Â

-Taw River Dairy, based in Okehampton, this farm produces whole milk from pasture fed Jersey cows that raise their own calves. This farm also offers farm visits so you can really check out their ethical practises for yourself.Â

-Milks Up, based in Croyde, this farm produces organic milk to the soil association standard, and the milk can be purchased from a vending machine in Braunton, using re-usable glass bottles.Â


For Juice & Other IngredientsÂ

-McG Juice, based in Dolton, this orchard specialises in small batch apple juices and apple cider vinegar. Picked, pressed and bottled on site.Â

            -Halls Honey, based in Umberleigh, ran by a passionate bee keeper with many hives across North Devon, this honey is great tasting and is from bees that are kept naturally in the wildlife of this area.Â

            -Appledore Bakery, based in Bideford, this bakery makes artisan sourdough daily in small batches.Â

            -Little Hollacombe Farm, based in Welcombe, this farm sells free range, award-winning eggs from hens that live a life outdoors in a beautiful coastal area.Â


This is just a few of my favourites, I would love to hear from you if you know of any other farms and food producers that are pioneering in regenerative, or pasture fed practises that not only treat animals with respect but also have a positive impact on our soils, water and wildlife. I found since really making the decision to only buy locally and organic, my weekly food shop bill actually went down considerably – you’d be surprised how expensive mass produced, chemically, crap is compared to basic good quality raw ingredients.Â