We are Tim and Sophie, tenant farmers here at Collett's Farm together with our two children, Henry and Isla. We started farming here together in 2010.
Both of us had had plenty of previous farming experience, Tim as a farm manager on a mixed farming enterprise and myself as a farmer’s daughter of a mixed livestock farm.
When Tim left school he attended Writtle Agricultural College and completed a National Diploma and then a Honours Degree in Agriculture, farming was all he ever wanted to do.
Luckily for us in 2010 we were able to take on the tenancy here at Collett's Farm, a 120 acre holding in the Stour Valley.
We started on the farm with very little livestock (just 4 Longhorn cows) and even less farming equipment, but we had huge dreams and lots of determination. We soon bought 40 cross bred ewes as a starter flock and increased our Longhorns to include our first bull, ‘Lionel’. Over the years we have tried lots of different farming practices to try and make the farm financially sustainable, some have been successful and some haven’t, but our beautiful Longhorns have always remained. We are huge supporters of rare and traditional breeds of livestock, they tend to be slower maturing and suited to converting grass to flesh which gives wonderfully flavoursome meat. In 2018 we took a leap of faith and started a Micro dairy. Tim had always dreamed of being a dairy farmer and Jerseys had long run in my family’s farming history, starting with my Grandfather’s Chalkney Jersey herd back in the 1930s. We purchased 2 Jersey cows and Colletts Farm Dairy was formed and grown steadily since then.The farm currently consists of 17 Pedigree English Longhorn Cows plus followers, 14 Jersey Cows, 4 pedigree Middle White sows, 2 boars and youngstock and our flocks of Lleyn and Whitefaced woodland sheep.
We are extremely passionate about our livestock and their health and welfare is our first priority, whilst working with and improving the natural environment on the farm. Last year we experimented with a multi species herbal ley and have established a larger area for this coming year. We will also be creating a wild flower meadow, restoring field ponds with tree and hedge planting planned too.
While many things have changed on the farm our sales ethos has remained much the same. From the beginning we have sold direct to the consumer. This started with beef boxes (as and when we had beef available). In 2014 we stared to make homemade pies with our meat, which is when we started selling at farmers markets and finally in 2018 we opened our farm shop.
We now sell beef, pork, lamb, pies and milk regularly at farmers markets and from our shop which is open 7 days a week.