Farming in South Devon and Dartmoor
The farms that you can stay on range from large commercial operations of 1000 acres or more to smallholdings with, say, a small flock of sheep and some hens in the yard. What their owners have in common is a deep love of their animals, the countryside and its wildlife, and a determination to look after it well.
By a combination of sound agricultural education, hard work and experience handed down through many generations, the farms of South Devon are the source of much of the high quality fresh food in the country. We encourage visitors to buy locally from the fantastic range of produce on offer, knowing that they are reducing 'food miles' and supporting those who maintain our beautiful countryside. On display in many of our farmhouses can be seen a fine collection of rosettes and even silverware won at the agricultural shows held from spring through to autumn . (Why not go along to a show while you are here?) These award act as a tangible record of the high standards of husbandry demanded, and achieved. Most of the farms are farm assured, and some organic - further evidence of high standards.Farmers and their families have a busy life, made no easier by the mountains of paperwork and administration required by government departments in Whitehall and Brussels . Despite that they love the farming way of life, and are delighted, time permitting, to share the details of their life and work with guests and holidaymakers.
Key events that you might be able to see, dependent on the farm, include lambing, calving, hay making and harvesting. Many of the countryside management tasks are done outside the normal holiday period when visitors can watch rural skills such as woodland management, hedge laying, stone walling, Devon Banking and maintaining ponds and ditches. (You may get asked to help!!) You may also see arable work such as ploughing and sowing of next years crops in both Autumn and Spring. And all year round you can watch the husbandry skills of the farmers as they look after their livestock. This is what makes staying on a farm such a unique experience - not to be missed by children of all ages!