St Giles Farm is a small farm on the western escarpment of the New Forest. It is set in the National Park, a short distance away from the open Forest with its unique landscape of heath and grassland, woods and marsh, its internationally important wildlife habitats and rich cultural history. The farm boasts a beautiful view of Hampton Ridge, a high point in the New Forest, which - combined with the wide horizon and a big sky - is spectacular to look at in every season.
The farm is situated in the village of Godshill and consists mostly of undulating grassland with pastures and meadows, which form a self-contained valley. There is additional land in the water meadows in the Avon valley, about a mile away.
A small team stands around St Giles Farm, and we all value our environment highly. We see ourselves as stewards of the land and are committed to sustainable agriculture.
Our vision for the farm rests on three pillars:
- Production of high quality organic/ biodynamic food
- Enhancement of the natural environment and the creation of more biodiversity
- Involvement of people with the land
We actively work the land using organic and biodynamic principles. The biodynamic approach in particular regards a farm as a self-contained organism and the aim is a system where the farming elements are in balance, taking the wider environment into account, and where little is imported from outside.
The soil beneath our feet is our greatest asset, and great care is taken with building soil fertility. We make compost from the manure of our animals and sow species-rich grass mixes and green manures.
Our livestock is kept extensively. We use rotational grazing with small numbers of cattle, sheep and horses and alternate this with haymaking to have a winter supply of fodder.
There is also a garden area where, until recently, we grew seasonal vegetables, fruit and flowers. We are now dedicating this area to growing open-pollinated vegetables seeds, thereby contributing to the availability of seeds that have not been tampered with by hybridisation and biotechnology. We also grow old grain varieties of wheat, oat and rye.