OXEN PARK FARM 

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Oxen Park Farm in May
Oxen Park Farm in May

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Oxen Park Farm is 55-acres of land that is home to On The Hill.

At the heart of the farm is our abundant market garden and orchard, spread over about 6 acres of ecological fruit and veg growing. All our produce is grown in harmony with nature, with no chemicals or other nasties. We're in conversion to Organic and Biodynamic status under Demeter, and will achieve full organic status in July 2021.

As well as our ecological local vegetables, we sell small quantities of cider and cider vinegar made on the farm with locally-grown apples as well as the first fruits from our new 200-tree orchard. We also produce free range eggs from our happy rare breed hens. There is also meat from our small flock of Shetland Sheep which roam the hillside here, sold as 'hogget' or year-old lamb.  In the summer we're inundated with sunflowers and other beautiful bouquets. If you're interested in any of these please email us.

We have a barn full of quality small bale hay for sale. Much of the land is being managed as wildflower meadows, and we have just started a DEFRA environmental stewardship scheme covering many aspects of our land stewardship.

The young people, families and volunteers who visit On The Hill play an active part in creating this produce, from sowing seeds to hoeing weeds and harvesting binfuls of apples in the autumn.

Through taking part in the process of producing real, healthy vegetables we hope to educate and inspire people to live and eat healthily, in harmony with nature.

ABOUT THE FARM
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All the Oxen Park land was once part of the Ashton Manor estate which dates back to medieval times. The northern boundary was the boundary of a Deer park and hosts some beautiful ancient trees leaning over onto the Oxen Park hill.

 

The 'hill' is a 19 acre field known as Ryecroft. Here there are extraordinary views towards Dartmoor and right across South Devon. The team pioneering this project felt that a great deal of activity would take place on this very special hill so 'On the Hill' became the name of the community interest company.

The farmhouse and buildings were built in the 1970's. Much of the 55 acres of surrounding land was previously arable, but for the past 23 years it has been farmed in an excellent manner by Jerry Horsman and his wife Rosemary, along with a substantial suckling herd of South Devon cows which have grazed the abundant, fertile pastures, leaving the soil in great condition.

We have already planted 3 acres of  orchard and nearly two acres of new woodland and whilst we are determined that the land will be used for social and educational purposes, we are still considering the role and extent of farm animals and the possibilities of field-scale crops.