Gazegill has been farmed by the Robinson Family for nearly 500 years and the current custodians Emma Robinson and Ian O’Reilly often look back at their ancestral past to influence how they farm today. Species rich hay meadows, medieval ridge and furrow, dew ponds and even a roman road form some of the farms archaeological features although it is the species rich hay meadows which have a direct impact on today’s produce. Our biological heritage meadows have over fifty species and in some areas orchids and other gems can be found, we believe that every plant species has a food chain that stems from it and this in turn is what builds a rich, diverse and healthy local ecosystem.
The farm has a number of traditional and indigenous breeds which better suit our low input, low impact attitude to agriculture. Our dairy herd of Old English Shorthorns are the cow that would have been the mainstay of the UK dairy herd up until the late fifties and early sixties when continental high yielders took their place, the shorthorn is a smaller dairy cow with a natural ability to turn average feed into beautiful creamy milk. Likewise our pig herd is a traditional favourite and great all-round pig, the Oxford Sandy and Black is naturally placid, great to work with and a versatile porker and baconer. Fantastic fat layer with that pork taste most have forgotten, in all a firm favourite in the home kitchen and restaurant alike, probably attributable to its slow growing. Our sheep are a mixed bunch but our main flock are the Hampshire Downs, a breed that produce a strong lamb which in early spring are up and doing well whatever the weather, again a great and versatile breed.
The Farm plays host to a number or different projects outside of the farm shop and dairy, as an approved farm visit centre it hosts over 250 school and group visits per year which are focused on sustainable agriculture, healthy lifestyle and learning about environment and farming. The Education Centre is also the governing body for our CIC Care farm, a project that champions day activities for adults with mental health and learning difficulties. The core activity is a growing project that produces herbs and edible flowers, these are sold to sustain the project and all the fresh herbs used in our sausages are grown by the Care Farm.
A trip to the farm is not just about the farm shop but we like our visitors to take in the whole picture and spend time experiencing at first hand what we do and why we do it…
Welcome to Gazegill….