Riverford Wicked Leeks

Ian & Alison Samuel

Ian and Alison Samuel Ian and Alison Samuel farm around 100 acres of rolling countryside in south Devon. “On a clear day we can see across to Dartmoor,” she says. “It’s a very beautiful - if slightly exposed – spot!”

They run a traditional mixed farm, with both livestock and vegetables, which minimises outside inputs because the muck from the stock can be used to fertilise the crops, and the crops feed the animals.Alongside fields of carrots, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot, leaks and broad beans – all of which find their way into the boxes - they have a small beef fattening herd and some free-range chickens.

Although both of them studied agriculture at university they didn’t have their own farm until a study tour of continental organic farms funded by a Nuffield Scholarship convinced them that organic was the way forward, and when they returned to England they took on their present farm outside Rattery. They converted it to organic status ten years ago, joined the Countryside Stewardship scheme and began coppicing the hedges and planting trees.“We’ve always tried to look after the environmental side of the things,” says Alison.

"It’s very important to us. We always want to farm sustainably and viably and conservation is at the heart of things for us."