Church Farm Ardeley 

The Farm is 170 acres and includes:

New orchard of 8 acres, 130 varieties of fruit: apples, gages, plums, cherries, quince, medlar, pears, damsons, mulberries and more

Vicarage Field: 2 acre soft fruit enclosure, a little bit of ‘every berry’

20 acres of permanent grassland and 80 acres of grass clover leys

10 acres of field vegetables

2 acre walnut orchard

4 acres of wild bird seeds and pollen/nectar mix

30 acres of woods, including: 3 acres of ancient hornbeam coppice, 7 acres of established 60 year old woodland and 20 acres of mixed, mainly hardwoods, planted over the past 10 years

2 acres of rough nesting ground along a line of old clay pits

2 ponds established in 1996, two more flood ponds and a new pond in the vegetable gardens

Beards Oak Kitchen Gardens: 8 acres growing vegetables and herbs

A Farm to Produce Food for People.

Church Farm Ardeley is a “community interest company” set in order to innovate and create sustainable small farm enterprises. It took us 6 years of huge losses and a steep learning curve to get to full production and to break even! It is still a work in progress and a never ending challenge.

We produce every cut of meat, every vegetable and fruit we can here. Value is added through doing our own butchery and processing, making ready meals and we are reliant on people eating our food to sustain the farm in the pub, cafe, and direct farm retail.

To produce such a wide range of food, without using fungicides and pesticides, and in a manner we are proud of takes a lot of people. We have a core team of full and part time people who help across the enterprises, we provide supervised work experience for adults with difficulties and education, have volunteers, students and interns contributing to getting the huge amount of work done to grow food and bring it to market. In all there about 48 full and part time staff on the payroll to run the farm, cafe, shop & pub.

We grow..

Orchard:

 

Apples, Pears, Plums, Damson, Gage, Cherries, Nectarine, Apricots, Medlars, Peach, Quince

Soft fruit:

 

Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Tayberries, Blackcurrant, Gooseberries, Red currant

Vegetables

Tunnels:

Tomatoes, Carrots, Leeks, Orientals salad, Rocket, Pak choi, Tatsoi, Chinese cabbage, Spinach - Leaf beet, Spinach annul, Parsley, Lettuce, Corn Salad, Peppers, French Beans, Runner beans, Cucumber, Mangetout,  Shallots, Garlic, Chilli Pepper, Aubergine, Spring onion

 

Kitchen Garden:

Courgette, Marrow, Summer squash, Winter Squash, Leeks, French Beans, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli purple sprouting, Celeriac Rhubarb

 

Field:

Carrots, Parsnips, Swede, Turnips, Potatoes, Sweetcorn, Beetroots, Radish, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce, Orientals- Mizuna, Onion red, brown, white, Pumpkins, Cabbage Red, Cabbage Savoy, Broccoli purple sprouting, Broad Beans

Herbs:

 

Fennel, Parsley, Nasturtium, Sorrel, Basil, Borage, Chives, Horseradish, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Coriander

Livestock includes;


British Lop, Large White & Berkshire breeding sows, boars, weaners & finishers (120)

Red Poll and Red Poll Cross Cattle & Followers (80 head)

Llyen, Suffolk, Texel, Black, White & Badger Faced Welsh Mountain sheep and fat lambs (140 head)

Light Sussex, Cuckoo Maran, Black Rock, Rhode Island and Hybrid Laying hens (750)

Outdoor reared table poultry – we produce 50 a week

Norfolk Black turkeys, Embden geese, Aylesbury ducks, Bee hives & Apiary Garden

In addition we coppice and produce over 1500 bags of logs, make kindling, host 15 bee hives and grow some Christmas trees.

The happy co-incidence is that we are also a haven for all kinds of wildlife, keeping and enhancing hedgerows and planting 5 new woods, 8 acres of orchard, walnut trees and 3 ponds makes for pleasant countryside and encourages a diversity of flora and fauna.

The farming is directly dependent upon people, customers and a great team of all abilities who contribute to growing such an amazing variety of food.


The wildlife and countryside here is enhanced through the Higher Level Stewardship scheme in partnership with Natural England.

Our Rural Care & Education programme provides training and work experience for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues on a fully working farm. We also work in partnership with North Hertfordshire College to provide accredited training for their students with learning disabilities on the farm.

Co-farmers work in small mixed ability teams in a variety of jobs to suit individual interests, needs and abilities. Co-farmers are supported by fully qualified and experienced staff.

We hope you have fun visiting us and enjoy connecting with the land and food.

“Eating is an agricultural act” – Wendell Berry