About the Farmers
We are 600 ft up at Cefn, Pennant, Llanbrynmair. About 500 sq.m of beds and a medley of polytunnels picked up secondhand produce anything from Aubergines to Zuccinis, carrots to cucumbers. It works on the basis that I don’t know anything so every week there is something new. Jo finds new varieties to suit our north facing site, I find the space to put them in. I may have double dug and rotovated for fifty years but I don’t think I learned much.
Now with crops to harvest and plans to improve, “Don’t get bigger, get better”(JM Fortier) we have the part time help of Pippa and Tilley, students on CAT courses whose enthusiasm is essential. As a team the aim is year round vegetable production to which end a mobile polytunnel is the current project.
Free Range Foods
Free Range Foods was established in spring 2020, when we first started turning the sheep fields next to our workshops into a thriving market garden. A branch of Free Range Designs - the furniture and composting toilet side of the business - the vegetable gardens are located on Glandyfi Farm near Machynlleth, overlooking the river Dyfi.
With large amounts of horse manure from a neighbouring farm, we have created around one-acre of very fertile growing space and aim to have produce to sell throughout the year, with a particular passion for pumpkins!
Through the new vegetable-growing enterprise we hope to inspire more market gardens to spring up in the Dyfi valley area, with our ambition to have far greater local food resilience.
Melindwr Farm is a smallholding near Machynlleth in the Dyfi Valley. In former lives it has been a grain mill, a saw mill, a dairy and sheep farm. 30 acres of pasture and oak woodland; the farm sits at the bottom of the valley next to the beautiful Afon Melindwr. We are developing arable, fruit and vegetable production. We farm for biodiversity and conservation to agroecological principals and we pay a living wage. We farm to enrich the land so it can sustainably and proudly continue to produce food for the locality and to conserve and manage the ancient oak woodland so it can flourish.
2021 is the 3rd year of production in the new market garden and productivity is building. It takes 3-5 years for a new organic growing site to find its natural prey / predator balance, to build up soil fertility and reach it’s full potential. I’m hopeful the slug war is tipping in our favour.
We started growing oats and wheat for human consumption at Melindwr in 2019, we have anecdotal records of fodder oats being grown here in living memory. This year we are experimenting with a grain and vegetable polyculture and bees and ducks are exciting new arrivals on the farm. The Welsh Silver Harlequin ducks are reputed to be excellent slug eaters.
John Ann have gardens....