About the farm

Summerhill is a mixed organic farm owned by the Soil Association Land Trust and is farmed by Ben and Alice Moseley who live on the farm with their two daughters Rosalind (5) and Natasha (1), Bracken the dog and Thistle the cat.

Summerhill Farm lies in the heart of the beautiful mid Devon countryside, 2 miles from the village of Yeoford, on the Two Moors Way near Crediton. As the name suggests the farm is perched on a hillside at about 550 feet above sea level, falling to 300 ft where the river Yeo flows through the farm's species-rich meadows and woodland.

farm map

A small farm at just under 100 acres, Summerhill is a patchwork of meadows, hedges, arable fields, woods and orchards. An old drover's road runs along the valley floor close by the river and forms part of our farm trail. The farm is entered into the Organic Entry Level Stewardship Scheme which enables us to protect trees, manage our hedgerows and farm in way that benefits the diverse wildlife and habitats at Summerhill.

Our aim is to produce quality food from sustainable farming.

We have a range of enterprises that interlink to form a whole farm system. The suckler herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle graze the pasture and produce premium quality beef, which is grass fed and fully traceable. The Black Welsh Mountain sheep are another traditional breed well suited to an organic system and they do a great job of tidying up after the cattle and produce lovely lean and tender lamb. The geese are also grazers playing their part in managing the grassland as well as producing a delicious succulent bird for the Christmas table. Ben's hens complete the mix, enjoying the freedom of the range, rewarding us with their award winning eggs. Oats are grown to provide feed for the animals and our straw is used for winter bedding. The manure from the cattle and hens helps keep the soil fertile and enables us to grow some vegetables.

farm view

 

Photovoltaics and solar thermal energy.....the power of the sun

photovoltaics

The photovoltaic system on the farm uses solar radiation to generate electricity. Generating our own electricity cuts our CO2 emissions, helping to reduce our impact on climate change and export excess enegry back to the grid, making more renewable energy available for the wider community. The solar thermal system generates heat using the sun's radiation which allows us to produce our own hot water.

celtic sun

The Celtic Sun

The sun was an extremely powerful symbol for the Celts, associated with healing, fertility and a source of life. The meaning of eternity is symbolized by the circle that has no beginning or end, the eternal re-birth of the sun rising every day. The interlacings of the celtic art tradition also denote this idea of infinity. Within the farming year the sun was celebrated at Beltane (around the spring equinox) through the lighting of fires to signify the rebirth of spring coinciding with the movement of cattle onto summer pastures. The Romans mentioned human sacrifices to the sun by the Celts by the burning of wicker men.

The Celtic Sun image is used with kind permission by Picchio at www.tattootribes.com

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