‘ I absolutely love my job. Having a farm is an incredible privilege and I am so pleased that I am able to share the farm with others.
Only three generations ago, the majority of the population had a connection to the countryside and growing food.
I find that both children and adults love experiencing what the farm has to offer. In a world full of technology and ambitions of perfection, it is increasingly important that children (and adults!) can have the simple pleasure of running through a field of long grass, stepping into a muddy puddle or feel the wind blowing their hair’ Emma
Rob and Emma Harrison married in 2005, bringing together two farming families and two family farms. They work in partnership within the company JE Harrison. The core business is dairy farming with additional activities in the form of a Caravan Club CL site at Greystone Farm and group visits at Sandfield Farm.
Rob grew up at Greystone Farm, Chipping Campden, where today Rob milks 250 cows and supplies milk to the farmer owned ‘Arla’ www.arlafoods.co.uk
Greystone Farm is largely grassland. The cows calve in the springtime and produce milk mainly from the grass they eat. The cows are milked in a milking parlour which has twenty machines and takes one person about one and half hours to milk all the cows. When the calves are about eight weeks old, they leave Greystone Farm and move to Sandfield Farm.
At Sandfield Farm there are grass fields but also crops for the older calves and cows to eat such as barley, wheat, fodder beet, stubble turnips and kale. The calves spend two years at Sandfield Farm and then they go back up to Greystone Farm, to have their own calves and become part of the milking herd.
Emma (nee Holyfield) is a fifth generation farmer at Sandfield Farm. The Holyfields have been farming at Sandfield since 1895. There are lots of family stories which are great examples of how life was in the 1900’s.
Betty Holyfield Nee Scott was my wonderful granny. Betty, born in London was living in Coventry at the outbreak of World War Two. Her father didn’t wish her to work in the Munitions factory in the city and encouraged granny to join the Land Army. Betty was posted to Red House Farm in Sedgeberrow where she learnt to drive a tractor, attend the crops and feed the animals. During this time Betty, met Dennis Holyfield a local farmer who had not joined the forces on medical grounds. As a farmer he was also needed to stay at home to produce food. Before the war food was imported from all over the world and as Great Britain is an island the food arrived by ship. During the war the food carrying ships were attacked and there was great concern about food shortages and so farmers were encouraged to grow as much food as they could. At the end of the war Betty and Dennis married. Although born in London, Betty developed a great knowledge and love of the countryside.
Like Rob, Emma went to university to study Agriculture. After university Rob moved into practical farming, whereas Emma worked in industry and completed a Masters Degree. Emma worked for several years within the fresh produce industry and then with the NFU.
In 2009, Sandfield Farm entered into Natural England’s Higher Level Scheme. This allowed the recreation of two traditional orchards, formation of a pond, planting of hedgerows, creation of a beetle bank, reinstatement of a Saxon Saltway, sowing of wild bird mixes and opening up of the farm for educational visits.
Emma completed a CEVAS course (Farming and Countryside Education www.face-online.org.uk), is DBS checked and is paediatric first aid trained. Emma runs the group visits at Sandfield Farm and loves her job!