Name: Gavin Prentice
Where: Nacton, Suffolk
Crops you are likely to find in your box: cabbage, kale, leeks, brussels sprouts, beetroot, swede
With 350 acres of organic land, Home Farm is one of our region's largest producers of organic vegetables. What is really lovely about Home Farm is that the farm estate is so closely linked with the village community of Nacton. Its like farming used to be. There is a strong philosophy of employing workers form the village and many of them grew up around the farm. Farm manager, Andrew, is a local lad and now his daughter, Helen, who spent the summer holidays of her youth working in the fields, has taken over the role of marketing manager. Gavin, (pictured), is the field manager who is most directly associated with the organic vegetable production side of things.
The decision to convert to organic can be acredited to Andrew. When he took over as farm manager in 1998 Home Farm was primarily a conventional, large scale producer of arable crops. Being a believer of the principles of organic farming, and having the foresight to recognise the potential for it, he instigated a programme of conversion from which the farm has never looked back.
Home Farm takes a refreshingly modern approach to the marketing of its produce. For starters they go to lengths to brand their produce, which comes in attractive and informative boxes which leave you in no doubt as to who grew it, and the farm itself which is signposted from the road and even has its own trailer from which produce can be purchased directly. They also seek to market their produce locally and have recently pioneered a scheme whereby they are delivering vegetables directly to local branches of Co-operative supermarkets.It seems like such an obviouus way of distributing fresh food locally but its actually very rare indeed and Helen in particular deserves credit for looking beyond the accepted way of doing things. I think its all brilliant because it demonstrates pride in the food they are producing, and this pride is certainly not misplaced because the quality of their vegetables is consistently excellent.