Church Farm Ardeley is a community interest, not-for-profit social enterprise, set up by its founders in order to innovate and create, replicable and sustainable small farm enterprises. Started in 2008, it took over six years of huge losses and a steep learning curve to get it to full production and just break even!
Rural care & education programmes are at the heart of everything we do, providing training and work experience for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues and offering educational trips, internships and programmes to local schools and colleges. Our ‘Co-farmers’ work with our experienced staff in small mixed ability teams in a variety of jobs to suit individual interests, needs and abilities, contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of the farm.
We are open daily to the public and support the 'Field to Fork' movement - growing and producing every fruit, vegetable and cut of meat that we can to then sell through our onsite Cafe, Jolly Waggoner Pub, Farm Shop and food box delivery service. The income from our food production is essential to the sustainability of the farm, Rural Care and our continuing success.
Due to the size and scale of both sites, maintaining them and producing such a wide range of food (without using fungicides, insecticides and pesticides!) takes a lot of people-power. As well as a core team of full and part-time staff, we rely on the support and generosity of local businesses, corporate partners, interns and volunteers to continue the work that we do.
Throughout the year we offer a variety of activities and events to the public and there are also a range of meeting and events spaces, camping and glamping areas, that can be hired for parties and corporate events too. As not-for-profit community interest company, we invest any surplus back into improving the farm and Rural Care to ensure its sustainability for future generations to enjoy.
We pursue our mission, guided by our core values:
People - To care for our people and work collaboratively with partners, fostering a mutually supportive community, on and off the farm
Land - To improve and look after the land, promoting ecological and ethical farming practices
Food - To support safe and sustainable methods of food production that reduce environmental impact, ensure the productivity of the land, and support the economic viability of the enterprise
Place - To ensure a real sense of place for cultural activity, care, education and training in the local community
Church Farm is just over 170 acres, download the farm map here and includes:
Apples, Pears, Plums, Damson, Gage, Cherries, Nectarine, Apricots, Medlars, Peach, Quince
Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Tayberries, Blackcurrant, Gooseberries, Red currant
Tomatoes, Carrots, Leeks, Orientals salad, Rocket, Pak Choi, Tatsoi, Chinese cabbage, Spinach - Leaf beet, Spinach, Parsley, Lettuce, Corn Salad, Peppers, French Beans, Runner beans, Cucumber, Mangetout, Shallots, Garlic, Chilli Pepper, Aubergine, Spring onion
Courgette, Marrow, Summer squash, Winter Squash, Leeks, French Beans, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli purple sprouting, Celeriac Rhubarb
Carrots, Parsnips, Swede, Turnips, Potatoes, Sweetcorn, Beetroots, Radish, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce, Orientals- Mizuna, Onion red, brown, white, Pumpkins, Cabbage Red, Cabbage Savoy, Broccoli purple sprouting, Broad Beans
Fennel, Parsley, Nasturtium, Sorrel, Basil, Borage, Chives, Horseradish, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Coriander
We are also a haven for all kinds of wildlife. We keep and enhance the hedgerows and have planted 5 new woods, 8 acres of orchard, walnut trees and 3 ponds - making for pleasant countryside which in turn encourages a diversity of flora and fauna.
The farming is directly dependent upon people, customers and a great team of all abilities who contribute to growing such an amazing variety of food. The wildlife and countryside here is also enhanced through the Higher Level Stewardship scheme in partnership with Natural England.
We hope you have fun visiting us and enjoy connecting with the people, land, food and place!
“Eating is an agricultural act” – Wendell Berry
Church Farm Ardeley is a community interest, not-for-profit social enterprise, set up by its founders in order to innovate and create, replicable and sustainable small farm enterprises. Started in 2008, it took over six…
|Farm, Horticulture, Events & Marketing Voluntary Internships Available with Accommodation||Stevenage, United Kingdom||February 20, 2021|