"The pleasure of our farming life lies in the determination to produce excellent food in a beautiful location, and to be happy!"
Clive and I were given the opportunity to take over Perridge farm from my father in the early 1980s, after I returned from Australia. I had no qualifications in agriculture and a husband who wanted to move away from farming, but we shared a passion for preserving the environment and producing good food.
A small herd of 35 Guernsey cows became my responsibility, this was despite the fact that I had never previously set foot in the milking parlour.
With the birth of our two girls, my dairy duties were gradually relinquished as I began to concentrate on developing the processing side of the business.
It was the BSE crisis that really opened both our eyes to what was happening with food production, we felt that the only way to produce safe, healthy food was to do so organically.
We became distinctly aware of the needs of our growing children and our concerns about what the effects of long-term exposure to artificial chemicals and fertilisers would have on their health and the devastating impact of the chemicals on wildlife and flora. The conversion to organic farming under the strict guidance of UKRFROS organic regulations was completed within 2 years.
Some twenty years later, we see our soil rich in worm life and bacterial activity, giving nutrients to the deeply rooted diversity of grasses and herbs grown on which the animals feed.
The wildlife and flora have a haven in our 450 acres; we look across our valleys and see fields that are alive, heaving with insects, humming with bees and rich in a diverse flora.
Our farming methods work for us, and give a future for us all and our environment.
Naomi, our youngest daughter, is repeating history some 35 years later. Naomi left the farm aged 18 and travelled the world for two years. She then returned to study Occupational Therapy at the University of Liverpool and began her working career at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. For many months, due to the pandemic, she was involved in working on the front-line.
Late in the summer of 2020 we spoke with Naomi to ask her if she would like to come back to the farm and Brown Cow Organics - she did not hesitate in saying yes. We are both thrilled that Naomi has returned to take this amazing farm to the third generation.