Case Study - Farm 11
Church Farm, Bedfordshire
Farm details:Total farm size: 20 ha
Organic area: 6 ha
Organic veg area: 4 ha
Farm type: Intensive vegetables
Vegetable production once thrived in Bedfordshire, but now Church farm is one of very few producers in the area. David Catlin, the grower on this small (20 ha) family owned farm, decided to convert to organics in 1999 in view of falling prices and a decline in market as the number of traditional vegetable sellers dwindled. During conversion the farm was involved in the HDRA Defra funded Conversion to Organic Vegetable Production project.
Catlin now produces a range of high quality vegetables including potatoes, Brassicas, leeks, beans, sweetcorn and celery for wholesalers, box schemes and a weekly farm shop.
Being a small farm it has not been economically viable to buy extensive new machinery for organic farming; instead innovative use of old machinery such as an old garret hoe has proved just as successful. A predominantly zero spray approach to pests and diseases was taken partly due to high costs involved in spraying and also the grower
Business type: Family run
Markets: Supplies produce to wholesale box schemes and a small farm shop