I am a 35 year old arable farmer from Ashford, Kent, England. I live with my partner Philippa and two children Rose and Charlie.
I work on the family farm with my parents. We farm about 360ha of arable growing wheat, barley, oats, beans and oilseed rape. We currently have a solar farm under construction too.
We have been direct drilling for 8 years and pure no-till for the past 4 years.
For the last 4 years we have been growing mixed species cover crops which are grazed by my cousins sheep.
For the last three years I have been experimenting with companion cropping of Oilseed Rape after being inspired by Frederic Thomas of BASE France who spoke at a meeting I attended
I have also experimented with some intercropping on the farm growing spring OSR and Spring Peas together (Peola)
It was through all this experimenting, trialling and speaking to people like Frederic Thomas and Jill Clapperton, that I thought studying companion cropping and intercropping through a Nuffield Scholarship would be a great idea. First I had to get permission!! From my other half who was five months pregnant at the time and who would be left and home with all the children while I travelled the world. Also I needed my parents to be on side as they would be doing all the work while I was away. Luckily they all agreed, I applied and now I am starting my Nuffield Journey!!
I am also a committee member of BASE UK (www.base-uk.co.uk), which is a group of farmers who are interested in Conservation Agriculture and share knowledge and experiences through speaker meetings and farm walks.
I also in my spare time I play hockey for Canterbury
I am the mad one in Black and Orange in goal!! I also in my spare time enjoy cycling and running if I have any time spare left from spending time with two children and Philippa, who says she is a “harvest widow” in the summer and a “hockey widow” in the winter. She can now add “Nuffield widow” to the list!!