Meet the Producers #8
𝗡𝗮𝗺𝗲: Natalie Hepburn
𝗕𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗡𝗮𝗺𝗲: Garlic Meadow
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁? We attend the farmers market as part of the Glamorgan Smallholders stall, we sell products from our local smallholding. These products include goats milk soap, moisturiser, wool, sheepskin and goatskin rugs, knitted items and raw fleeces.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁? About a year
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀?
We started our smallholding 10 years ago with the 2 acres of land and 2 sheep and a few chickens just really as a hobby. Over the years it has grown to cover about 15 acres and is now home to chickens, ducks, around 40 sheep, 5 goats, 2 alpacas and 2 horses. The business started to cover some of the costs involved in running the smallholding and began selling eggs and lamb boxes as well as sheep for breeding, it evolved to sell wool and then finally, with the addition of goats, to sell the goat related products.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝘆𝗽𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂?
Outside of lockdown my day starts around 6am with paperwork or working on making products. After I have taken the children to school, I go around and see to the animals. The smallholding is spread over a number of sites to the north and west of Cardiff. I feed, change bedding, check water and check on health. I may need to do extra jobs such as move the sheep to fresh grazing, feet trim, worm etc etc.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂?
Where is our farm? A question difficult to answer because we are spread over a number of sites
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗷𝗼𝗯?
Being outside and looking after the animals but also the creativity in designing new products.
𝗧𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝘂𝘀 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱/𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆:
James is Cardiff born and bred, I was born in Kent and came to Wales for University. Neither of us are from farming backgrounds. James is an engineer and still works fulltime for network rail, I worked in biochemistry before focusing on farming and family.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘅? Sleep!
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗮 𝗳𝘂𝗻 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄? I have a PhD in biochemistry which has proved very useful making the soap.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗶𝘀 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱?
Definitely the soap, difficult to say which type is best-selling
Under-rated the sheepskin rugs, the are a premium, top-end product and the price tag puts people off, However, these sheep were born in Wales and the skins organically tanned in Wales. I like to say that the whole process is done in less miles than the sheep walked in their lives. Most rugs available in the shops have been chemically tanned in China and shipped across the world.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻?
Getting back to normality. Juggling school work with farming and the business has proved extremely challenging. I definitely have a few more grey hairs.
𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲
We have just released our new range of moisturisers and have a number of other product ideas!