The story of Fordhall Farm is an inspiration of what can be achieved if you set your mind to it.
Many years ago when I lived in Manchester, I bought my organic meat from a butcher in Bolton. This was in the days when organic meat wasn’t readily available and Farmers’ Markets hadn’t been dreamt of. The butcher used to travel down to Shropshire to obtain his meat and told me wonderful stories about Arthur who ran the farm and practised a way of farming that allowed the animals to stay out all year grazing the land. He grew specific crops that could withstand the winter weather and so his animals and therefore his meat had a higher proportion of good-for-you Omega 3 fats than most meat.
Eventually Arthur died (at a ripe old age) and the farm was taken over by his two children, then only 19 or 20 or thereabouts. The farm was rented and sat next to a Muller yogurt factory which wanted to expand and buy the land. The two youngsters rather than give in to the big giant next door, decided to fight for their farm. They set up a national campaign and sold shares with the intention of the farm belonging to the community. They appeared in major newspapers and on television and spread the word through the internet. The campaign was a massive success and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about the enormity of the task they undertook.
At the 11th hour, the farm was saved, and work began on raising more money to improve its facilities to make it suitable for visitors. Since that time, a shop and café have opened, meat can be ordered online, and a yearly calendar of events takes place. Look them up a www.fordhallfarm.com
There is now increasing evidence that grass-fed meat is better for us. So much meat production (especially in America) relies heavily on fattening animals with grain. Arthur worked intuitively and naturally and his ideas are being proved right after all these years.