Helen is the third generation of her family to farm at Longridge Farm in Gloucestershire, which is 100 acres in area. Originally a dairy farm along with sheep and traditional orchards, Helen now runs a 50 head sucker herd with Dexters, 120 breeding ewes, a dairy goat rearing system, a small pig rearing unit, 100 turkeys for the Christmas market, a livery yard and the orchard. She is also a part time lecturer in agriculture at Hartpury College where she mainly teaches livestock production. She has in the past worked there on a full time basis. In 2017 Helen’s dad died after a 5 year battle with cancer, and this was a real turning point for Helen and the business, encouraging her to go full throttle with it, especially the meat box enterprise.
You can follow Helen on Instagram here.
Or search for Longridge Farm on Facebook.
Ben Eagle is a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist and podcaster. He also produces podcasts for a number of other rural organisations. You can find out more at benjamineagle.co.uk
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A-Plan Rural Insurance
This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural.
Produce and Provide UK
00:27 Ben introduces the show
01:58 Helen comes in
02:15 What gives Helen the drive to keep doing what she is doing?
03:00 History of the farm and Helen’s grandfather.
03:55 The farm enterprises.
05:54 Helen and Griff start buying stock.
06:13 Did Helen want to farm when she was growing up?
08:08 Helen went to Hartpury College to do a vet nursing science degree.
09:35 In 2005 Helen and Griff take the leap to farm but Helen also gets a job as a full time lecturer in animal care at Hartpury.
11:24 This episode is being sponsored by A Plan Rural Insurance.
12:08 Helen working with her dad.
12:55 Starting out with selling direct: Helen’s tips.
15:25 It doesn’t happen overnight but gradually you get repeat customers.
16:18 Social media takes time to build.
16:31 Would Helen expand or work with other producers?
18:35 Helen’s day to day depending on the time of year.
20:35 Lambing 2023
22:42 More information on A Plan Rural Insurance.
23:04 The apples and orchards – what does Helen do with them?
24:46 Helen’s dad gets cancer.
26:39 Flooding on the farm and wetter winters going forwards.
28:29 The future for the farm.
30:18 Goat meat is popular.
30:52 Challenges section – profitability and balancing cost of production versus profit.
32:50 Helen’s internal battle of passing costs on to her customers.
33:24 Helen’s message for the public.
34:19 Helen’s message for farmers.
35:28 Helen’s shout out for Produce and Provide UK
36:09 How do you follow Helen?
37:06 Ben rounds up the show and what is happening next week?