About Whitehall Farm

THE FARM: 

We mainly produce cereals: spring wheat (1.6 – 1.7 tonnes per acre, 13.5% protein for milling), winter wheat (2 tonnes per acre), spring barley (malting), winter oats, spring oats (2 tonnes per acre). Spring wheat is sold via direct sale to a local windmill producing Cambridgeshire grown and milled bread. Our spring oats are produced for breakfast cereals. Oats are sold via direct contract to an organic dairy farm. Clover is grazed by sheep. Cover crops grown include mustard and phacelia.

In addition to cereals we have fruit trees, all apples. We grow 15 varieties (6 heritage, the rest modern). 90% of the fruit is sold wholesale, 10% is pressed into juice by a subcontractor who produces 750ml bottles for sale. In the future we would like to move into self-retail.

THE FARMSHOP:

We opened Harvest Barn Farmshop in January 2018, providing locally sourced produce including locally and home grown vegetables, local meat and deli items as well as a wide range of locally produced dried goods, chocolates, alcohol and more.

We sell a huge range of gluten free products too, including flours, cake mixes, pasta, cakes, condiments, fresh bread, biscuits and so much more.

We also stock a range of sugar free and vegan products too. We’re always on the lookout for new and exciting products so keep your eyes peeled in store to see what we have coming next!

Muddy Boots Farmyard opened in Summer 2018 and has undergone quite a transformation during lockdown – it provides wonderful outdoor seating for the cafe, overlooking the beautiful Fenland countryside, as well as various play areas for children, animal pens and so much. (Plus, there’s alot more to come too!)

STEPHEN BRIGGS

I have always had passion for farming, for nature and for the soil. For a long time I have been concerned that we are taking more than we are giving from one of the earth’s most precious resources, the soil. I started life as an engineer, but realised that my love for farming was greater. I retrained via an HND, BSc and an MSc in soil science. I spent a number of years overseas in Africa and India, working with farmers on soil and water management.

After getting married, my wife and I returned to the UK and worked in agriculture and advisory positions. In 2005 we purchased some farm land, followed by securing a 15 year tenancy on a farm in Cambridgeshire in 2007. Alongside my role as Director of ‘Abacus Agriculture’, providing farm management advice, I manage our farm land in partnership with my wife Lynn, who is also a Soil Association inspector and provider of environmental management advice to other farms. In addition I have recently been appointed as ‘soil and water manager’ at Innovation for Agriculture based at Stoneleigh – in this role I am bridging the void between research and practical farming, translating messages on soil health to an industry wide audience.

Growing crops on our farm and advising other land users on how to grow crops and manage their land and resources provides me with immense satisfaction and purpose. However I have deep concerns for our future. Industrialised farming has risen to the challenge of producing more ‘output’ over the last 40 years but at what cost to the soil, water, biodiversity and landscape resources that for too long we have taken for granted? This is partly why I farm organically

FARM FACTS

FARM SIZE: 
254 acres (Whitehall Farm), & additional 20 acres (Rutland)
FARM TYPE: 
Silvo-arable
REGION: 
Midlands
RAINFALL: 
24 inches per year
ALTITUDE: 
-1 to 1.5 metres above sea level
SOIL: 
Whitehall: peat, 23% organic matter. Rutland: Cotswold brash
APPROACH: 
Organic
OTHER APPROACH INFORMATION: 
Agroforestry
KEY FARMING PRACTICES: 
Soil monitoring
Agroforestry
Cover crops
Direct selling
Habitat creation