Andy Clarke believes in low-intensity farming, rearing his herd of Sussex cows and Romney sheep on traditional grasses – a slow method which works to create tasty, healthy meat. Low intensity, however, doesn’t mean less toil, and Andy and his son William work long but enjoyable days on Park Farm outside the small, friendly village of Hawkhurst in Kent.
As well as the cows and sheep – all bred and nurtured by the family – Andy buy in Gloucester Old Spot Weaner pigs from neighbouring producers and give them free run of the farm’s roomy paddocks. Much of the rest of the farm is dedicated to environmental schemes, with hedgerow management and 30 acres of wildflower meadows, where vetch, clover and ox eye daisies provide a colourful home for bees and insects in the spring and summer.
There is also a patch of ungrazed grass given over to owls from the neighbouring woodland. “We don’t cut the fields for hay until very late in summer to let everything go through its process of life,” says Andy.
On long summer evenings Andy loves to light a barbecue on the farm, cooking his home produced burgers and sausages, and relaxing as the sun goes down.
‘I love Farmdrop because it’s an easy way for people to be able to buy good, honest food.’ Andy Clarke, Park Farm
● Park Farm is part of the Farm Assurance Scheme, which supports farms that work with the local ecosystem
● Regular award winners at Cattle Shows and in South East club competitions