We are busy little bees here at Hallwood there is lots to see and guests are always welcome, we are passionate about our farm and local food and always keen to chat to those who are interested. Hallwood is a beautiful traditional mixed farm growing seasonal vegetables and rearing Heritage breed pigs and Jersey x Ruby Red Devon Beef cattle. The different enterprises in the farming business all complement each other. ‘Waste’ vegetables are never wasted as they are fed to the pigs, valuable dung is used on the veg fields to replace organic matter and improve grassland quality; valuable traditional methods of farm husbandry which unfortunately are sometimes lacking on intensive farms today.
Richard and Ruth run the farm between them with the help of some valued local part time employees. Richard is a farmer’s son and has been farming himself for 36 years. The main part of his working life was spent growing vegetables for the large supermarkets, some 5 million cabbage and 15 million spring onions per year! An unease with the imbalance of power in the trading relationship with the supermarkets and the intensive methods of farming necessary led us to look for an alternative market for our wares which lead us to Devon and the birth of our local veg and meat box schemes.
We grow a huge range of seasonal vegetables which are harvested and packed then delivered out to local households and catering establishment – most of the good food pubs in this area serve our veg! We also provide a full greengrocery service so we can supply a ‘one stop shop’ everything from a potato grown here to a paw-paw from Peru!
We are not registered as organic growers but, like to think we are a sensible ‘half way house’ between organic and conventional farming. We adopt many organic plant Husbandry methods to reduce our reliance on pesticides. For example; with the aid of a sophisticated ‘on farm’ weather station and a technically advanced computer software programme we can predict peaks and troughs of pest populations which largely reduces the need for pesticide application. Many of our crops receive no pesticide at all.
There is a ‘honesty box’ shop here on the farm so you can pop across the farmyard at any time to get the ingredients for your tea!
Hallwood Farm Meat
Our beautiful Ruby Red Devon x Jersey cattle contentedly graze our south facing herb rich pastures around the farm. Welfare comes before profit and these animals are slowly and kindly reared on a diet of pure grass.
The calves come to us when they are just a few days old and they are bucket fed milk until they are old enough to be turned out onto fresh grass. Ruby Red Devon cattle are the local indigenous breed for this area and thrive well on our pastures. The Jersey cross calves mean we make good use of what effectively would be a biproduct of the dairy industry. Jersey breed cattle are not usually kept for beef but, although not the fastest to fatten when crossed with the Ruby they provide exceptionally high quality meat with lovely rich yellow fat, fine grain and excellent marbling.
We make good use of some of our old farm buildings, housing small batches of breeding and fattening pigs. The pens are light and airy and there is plenty of room for the pigs to run around. The 2 breeds we keep are both on the endangered list; Gloucester Old Spot and Tamworth, these produce the most delicious flavoursome pork and the sausages are second to none!
Nothing goes to waste at Hallwood and the pigs have a lovely varied diet of home milled barley with a selection of ‘waste’ vegetables from our fields and an occasional special treat; spent brewers grains from our village micro brewery.
Our 2 breeding sows have several litters of piglets throughout the year so there will usually be some dear little ones to see when you are here.
We have batches of fresh meat ready approx every 4-6 weeks but in between times we keep a nice range of frozen cuts for you to select from if you so wish.