Chitcombe Farm, Devon
Chitcombe Farm in Devon has been organic for over 50 years. It was originally farmed by organic pioneer Hugh Flatt, the founder of what is now known as the Land Trust, and his wife Doris.
Edwin Kennen and his wife Jenny have been tenants at Chitcombe Farm since 1972, and now share the tenancy with their son Sam, who hopes one day to pass it on to his children.
Chitcombe Farm is a 98 acre farm in the Brendon Hills, 335 meters above sea level on the edge of Exmoor. Together the Kennens produce organic beef, lamb and chicken. Edwin sells his chickens at Bristol Farmers’ Market. He believes in making the most of a whole bird and finds there is high demand for leftover carcasses from his pies and sausages which customers use for soups and stock.
The family has shared the farm with over 80 teenagers they fostered over twenty years. Edwin believes that being on the farm gave them space to be children again.
He describes how when they come back to visit now, “The memories they have are of having the runt of the litter to fatten for pocket money, or being able to drive the tractor.”
Edwin and Jenny have been passionate advocates of organic farming since they first questioned what they were taught at agricultural college. They believe in promoting good animal welfare, local markets and the ongoing stewardship and care of the land through three generations of their family.