Riverford on Home Farm
The story began when local farmer Peter Richardson, whose family has farmed at Home Farm in Newby Wiske for three generations, met Guy Watson, who started the Riverford box scheme in Devon.
Peter and his wife Jo-ann had always grown cereals and potatoes and kept pigs at Home Farm. In 1996 Peter converted the farm to organic, renewing his love of producing food and caring for the land. He also began to grow more vegetables. Meanwhile, Guy was looking for a like-minded farmer with a passion for veg to set up a box scheme in Yorkshire. He knew he'd found the right partner in Peter – and so the box scheme began. Peter turned his old pig shed into a box packing barn and Riverford on Home Farm was born.
Peter is also on a mission to reduce his reliance on fossil fuels, and was named Green Farmer of the Year at the Northern Farmer Awards in 2014. The award judges were especially impressed with his use of renewable technologies to meet the majority of the farm’s energy needs, which include the installation of a 50kw solar panel system which can meet up to 25% of the box scheme’s energy requirements. This was followed with the installation of a 200kw anaerobic digester which creates clean power by taking existing farm waste – including pig waste – and generating gas to produce heat and electricity.
Peter said, “I feel really honoured to have received the award. Overall I think it proves that we can produce tasty, homegrown food here in the North with a very small carbon footprint.”
As a result of Peter’s green initiatives he expects to reduce his total energy costs by 60% – and with the addition of heat exchangers to run the farm’s refrigeration system, the energy savings could be as much as 90%.
Our fruit and veg from Home Farm is grown with a small family of farms nearby. Our aim is for farmers to get a decent return while giving you the freshest veg from the fields at an affordable price.