Percy Bowtell set about creating a family farm with 12 cows, pigs and sheep and 60 acres of corn at Home Farm in 1910.
A Traditional Farming Philosophy
Our farming philosophy is not to use any modern anti-biotic growth promoters or medicated food. We farm in a traditional, free-range mode, with animals grazing on semi-permanent grass in rolling parkland, with trees for shade.
In the coldest part of winter the animals are housed in the barns on straw, with the main diet being our own grass silage and hay with minerals.
At the end of the cycle we minimise any stress on our animals with short journey times and familiar handling: we take them in our own trailer to a family-owned abattoir at 7am on a Monday. They arrive at 8am and are processed immediately. We know the men well, and are 110% satisfied with their high skills and hygiene levels.
You can assess the results of our farming practices through the range of high-quality products available to you and enjoy the taste of food produced in the traditional way.
The sows and boars are run outdoors. At 8 to 10 weeks the piglets are weaned to an outside rearing unit. This all happens at our family friend’s farm – Jannaways at Odiham. Here they are fed on a specially made diet containing no medicated feed or growth promoters. They then come back to the farm to finish growing in the barns by the shop.
We can supply a full range of superb flavoured pork with crackling, and every week we dry-cure our own bacon the old-fashioned way, and produce our own sliced cured ham.
All our beef animals are Hereford-cross, born on Chris Snow’s farm at Stroud, and brought to us at about 10 days old. Their mothers are milked by Chris, (he and David Bowtell went to college together in the 60’s), and the calves are hand-reared at Home Farm by ‘Fourth Generation’ Toby Bowtell. Chris Snow traditionally farms his cows with grass sileage feed and natural grazing.
Calves are kept in the great barn and fed milk substitutes, calf nuts, sugar beet shreds and hay and reared in family groups until they are 12 weeks old when they are moved on to haylage, sugar beet nuts and molassed minerals. After this you will see them grazing in the parks until they are 20 months old. They will then be housed in our barns where they are fed on our own grass silage balanced by beef nuts (containing no medicated feed or growth promoters) to the end of the cycle.
We offer a full range of beef products, traditionally hung to improve flavour and tenderness.
We need lambs all year round to meet the demand in our farm shop. We have hired a contract shepherd, Louise who takes care of rearing all our sheep. Louise starts lambing in December with Dorset ewes, then continues with the later-lambing Suffolks, and finally the speckly-face Beulahs in April and May. Our sheep are grass fed from March to December, then come into the barns for lambing, where all are fed on hay and non-medicated sheep nuts for extra energy while they have young lambs.