Gill Wing Farm was formerly Cobbarn Farm, a very pretty old Sussex farm with a long history in hops and cattle. The farm, after years of total neglect (and attempts to turn it into a golf course!) came up for sale and was bought by Gill Wing in 2004.
As the farmland had lain untouched for over a decade it was already in an ‘organic’ condition i.e. completely free of chemicals and we decided to keep it that way. Contrary to most modern specialist farms we decided to go for a totally mixed farm growing the largest range of original produce we could. We aim to offer, direct to the consumer via our farm shop, the best and biggest range of foods this small piece of Sussex land can produce.
We now have pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, turkeys, wild rabbits, pigeon and venison, eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, squashes, leeks, lettuce, spelt, wheat, barley, beans, apples, pears, plums, cobnuts, blackcurrants, gooseberries, quinces and vines. We rear and prepare all our own meat, stone grind our home grown spelt into flour and make all our own breads, cakes and pastries, as well as jams and conserves. We are growing as much of the animal feed on the farm as we can and all our animals are free range, roaming the land.
The results are on offer in our farm shop. Our farm produce has been grown here on Gill Wing Farm, with no chemicals, no transport miles, and is picked daily. We also offer some other local produce including milk and yoghurt from Northium Dairy and at least ten types of local cheese! We are now working to produce a complete range of Gill Wing Farm meals preserved through fresh freezing and jams, chutneys and more through traditional bottling.
So what next?
We aim to start rearing squabs, young nutritious pigeons which will be fresh and tender and not riddled with 12-bore shot.
We’ve set ourselves the challenge of farming an altogether different animal…bees! We are setting our own hives this spring and hope to sell our own honey.
Our 2000 vines are growing and in about three years we should have grapes. The next step will be Gill Wing Wine.
In addition to food, the farm has many seams of good clay. Gill Wing has a history in pottery and we would like to produce a range of thrown tableware from the farm clay. We would also like to develop turned wooden bowls made with wood sourced from the farm. Maybe!
Watch this space!