DCSIMG

Trials of old-fashioned family farm

Paul Inkley and his roadside vegetable stall at Donington. Photo: SG210113-144TW

Paul Inkley and his roadside vegetable stall at Donington. Photo: SG210113-144TW

Most growers have found the past year hard work, but it’s been particularly tough for small, old-fashioned mixed farms.

Paul Inkley never thought it would be so tough when, as a young lad, he persuaded his dad to let him sell swedes at the farm gate 30 years ago.

He was hugely successful, making £90 that year, and went on to run the family’s mixed farm at Donington with his brother Jim.

Recently, however, the brothers have struggled to get enough vegetables out of the ground to satisfy their regular customers, such as the shoppers at their roadside stall.

Paul said: “It’s been disastrous from the start of the summer and now we have had a fortnight of cold weather and that’s put the top on everything.

“Things have dried up, but with the frost we are not able to cut cauliflowers because they are frozen. We haven’t been able to get the leeks out for a few days because it’s that hard you couldn’t get a fork into the ground.

“Most vegetables will recover but the cauliflower won’t stand too much and hard cabbage, though most of that is in the shed.”

The farm also buys in cattle at six months to grow on and sell for beef, growing their own fodder beet for feed.

The brothers still report daily to their father Les who lives on the other side of the farm but who, at 94, is as interested as ever in the daily goings on of the family farm.

 

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