Your basket is currently empty!
The Handy family have been farming arable and livestock at Hampen for over 220 years.
We are Clive and Lydia Handy and we are the 7th generation custodians of this magical farm high up in the Cotswold AONB. Caring for the environment and creating a haven for wildlife is integral to our mixed farming system.
We farm sustainably, always looking to increase our biodiversity and improve our soil health for future generations to enjoy.
Acres of Farmland
Years in the Same Family
7th Generation Custodians
Environmental Projects (and counting!)
We have a flock of pedigree Devon Closewool sheep, a breed designated as a rare minority breed on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist. They are a wonderful dual-purpose sheep, providing delicious sweet meat and copious quantities of thick, glorious wool. They are a joy to have on the farm, easy to handle and fabulous mothers.
We sell lamb boxes and mutton packs to local customers and process the wool for sale as beautiful woven blankets, throws and accessories as well as yarn. We also sell yarn naturally dyed with plants grown and foraged on the farm.
Diversity and working with nature are the basis for everything we do on the farm. Looking after our soils by not disturbing them and growing crops without artificial inputs and harmful sprays helps to increase biodiversity and resilience for a more sustainable system of farming. Our arable rotations include 4-year species rich herb leys, for building soil health and fertility, which together with winter cover crops and cereals under sown with legumes are all grazed by livestock – their muck adding extra nutrients.
All fields are multi-cropped with different plant families and have floristically enhanced field margins to support a wide range of beneficial insects for pollination and pest control. Diversity above the ground creates greater diversity of soil biology which in turn improves nutrient cycling and the availability of essential minerals.
We grow heritage and ancient grains that are not dependant on high nitrogen inputs and produce our own delicious bread flour and malting barley sold locally. The market garden works to the same principles and produces a fabulous array of nutrient dense vegetables for the local community.
We own a small number of pedigree Ruby Red Devon cattle which we use for conservation grazing and for breeding. Together with the sheep and traditional haymaking, the cattle are an essential element of wildflower meadow management. Their dung is also important for the dung beetles to feed our resident bats. Other conservation crops include herb leys, pollen and nectar mixes, wild bird food mixes and floristically enhanced grassland.
The farm is a patchwork of small fields bordered by wide field margins, hedges and dry Cotswold stone walls providing cover for wildlife to move about safely. There are also mature woodlands and areas of newly planted indigenous hardwoods providing a greater diversity of habitats for wildlife.
We are growing a population of heritage and ancient wheat varieties for bread flour. The original population was developed by an artisan baker in Wales who gathered together small quantities of many different varieties, some very ancient Welsh strains and a diverse range of French regional ‘peasant’ grains. These small quantities were scaled up in plots before being combined to form the Torth y Tir (Loaf of the Land) population.
Population wheats by their very nature build resilience into the crop. Differing growing conditions and soil types coupled with today’s extreme and unpredictable weather will enable some varieties to do better than others. Those more suited to the environment will increase and very slowly the population will evolve and over many, many years will form a landrace specific to the locality. As our population develops, we will in time, be able to call it The Hampen Heritage population! The wheat produces fabulous flour which makes unbelievably delicious bread, the wholemeal being rich, nutty and sweet and the sifted white flour is excellent for pastry (as demonstrated in the homemade mutton pies for sale in the farm shop!) and pizza bases.
Wholemeal tin loaves are available in the shop at weekends and sourdough loaves and other patisserie can be sourced from local bakers using our flour. For enquiries about flour please contact Lydia or Clive by email: email@example.com.
The farm offers an abundance of forage for honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees and a host of other pollinating insects. We are passionate beekeepers and manage our hives to keep the bees healthy and productive so we can harvest surplus honey for sale. Beeswax is used to make wonderful candles, soap and balms.
Sainfoin is a fantastic plant, as a forage crop, a nectar plant for bees, for improving soils and fixing nitrogen as well as being drought resistant. As a forage crop it has many benefits including reducing methane production in stock, anthelmintic properties to reduce the need for chemical wormers and increased growth rates in young livestock. It is also a beautiful flower and should be grown in every garden. We grow it to harvest the seed for selling to other farmers to plant in their grassland and herb leys and we are also selling small packets for gardeners.