Pigs running free in woodland, hens also in the woods and goats being goats….this is Chagford Community Farm or Chagfarm – and not to be confused with Chagfood, the Chagford Community Market Garden. Apart from the fact they are on adjacent land, with a shared track to both, and the similarity in name, and the fact that the inspiration to set up Chagfarm was the success of the market garden, and the guy who was first inspired was Ed Hamer’s brother in law, Sylvan Friend…….there is no connection or confusion! In simple terms they are two neighbours, Chagfood being veg, Chagfarm being meat and dairy.
Sylvan is a qualified carpenter who seeing what brother-in-law, Ed, was doing decided, with his brother, Davon, to lease some land and give it a go. Land right next door would of course be what was available! Starting up in 2013, they are one of the UK’s first community-supported micro-dairies currently primarily producing goats’ milk but also free-range pork, woodland poultry and honey under a Community Supported Agriculture business model. The aim is to make the local community’s food supply more resilient by working closely with Chagfood and complementing their existing vegetable subscription offer .
I had a fabulous two hours on site, largely in the 3 acres of woods with the pigs. Wonderful experience. If you are going to have animals in the farming system this is the way to do it. Sylvan and Davon combine tradition with innovation. Running pigs in their woods is a centuries old practice, but, until Sylvan and Davon started it again, not within living memory. The chickens are also free to roam, the fence surrounding them being to keep Mr Fox out rather than them in. The goats present an innovative approach to a micro-dairy, very suited to the Devon climate and terrain, and also roam freely across the Devon pasture. Brilliant stuff.
For more see Chagfarm – Chagford Community Farm
For more on Chagford Community Market Garden, see the previous post.
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