Anthony & Mary Lou Coker
Anthony Coker, his wife Mary Lou and their family have been farming in Rattery, a village a few miles from Riverford, since 1897 on their own land called Home Park Farm. Anthony farms 100 acres, all of which is organically certified. The soil is a medium loam on "steady south facing slopes" and it gets around 75 inches of rain a year. Most of the land around him is used for dairy and as pastureland.
Anthony farms organically, because in his words "organic farming comes from the heart" he adds that in his view we have gone too far down the chemical road and it's time to turn back. He has a passion about working with nature and this passion comes through.
The main crops grown at Home Park Farm are the great Brussels sprouts we provide at Christmas, kale, parsnips, leeks, squash and courgettes. He loves growing all of them, but the sprouts are his favourite. Anthony claims he wouldn't grow anything he doesn't like to eat and has been working with Guy as part of the South Devon Organic Producer co-op right from the start.
He thinks one of the main reasons for the box scheme being a success is down to the short route the produce takes from the farm to the door and that it introduces people to food they may not otherwise eat, creating a more varied and healthier diet.
Aside from the veg, Anthony and Mary Lou have 250 turkeys, 200 sheep and a dog (pictured). The turkeys are grown for the Christmas market and they are hard to beat.