The Empire Farm is a 100-acre Soil Association certified organic farm on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, just south of Wincanton in Somerset. Sally and Adrian Morgan moved to Empire Farm in 2004 from a 3-acre smallholding in Hampshire. They keep mostly poultry (chickens, geese, ducks), together with sheep and pigs, and they also grow fruit and veg. The farm is the venue of Farm School where they run a wide range of butchery and smallholder courses. Here you can learn how to set up a smallholding, keep pigs and poultry, butcher a pig or lamb, pluck a pheasant or skin a deer, discover the delights of charcuterie or join them for our whole hog weekend.
They are very keen to help promote rare breeds, and they do this by choosing traditional and endangered breeds wherever possible. And to help native bees, there are now some bee hives. All the produce raised on the farm is used on the courses.
The range of butchery and smallholder courses run by the Farm School take place in the Coach House and are led by Sally Morgan, David Coldman and Alan Berry. The courses, including Sausage Making Day and Living on One Acre or Less take place throughout the year. The theme running through all the courses is ‘From Field to Plate’.
There is also a cider making course run by local expert Alan Berry of Blackmore Vale Cider. Alan’s cider is sold through local farm shops, pubs and clubs and it does well at local shows. In 2016 he was named Supreme Cider Champion at the British Cider Championship held at the Bath and West Show, with his medium cider, beating 600 other competitors – a once in a life time achievement.
Click here to see course dates in 2019
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get there :
BY ROAD : Located in Somerset, Empire Farm can be found on Google Maps. The Postcode is BA8 0HR
BY TRAIN : Templecombe railway station is only 800m (7 minutes walk) from the farm, with a regular service to and from Sherborne. From the station, walk down the hill to the main road. Cross the road and turn left under the railway bridge. Immediately after the railway bridge, turn right, and immediately right again into Throop Road. The Empire Farm is 100m beyond the hump-back bridge on the left. Look for the yellow sign.
Sally Morgan, editor of the Soil Association’s Organic Farming magazine and Kim Stoddart, editor of Garden Organic’s The Organic Way magazine have teamed up to write a practical gardening book that takes an in-depth look at the ways climate change will impact on our gardens and how gardeners can adapt to create a resilient garden, based on organic principles.
James Campbell, CEO of Garden Organic said: “Gardeners are finding themselves battling against drought, flooding, heatwaves, high winds and extreme cold on a regular basis. This positive and practical book not only gives growers valuable insight into how to deal with extremes when they occur, but also the simple steps that can be taken throughout the year to build a garden resilient to these challenges”.Follow me!