Finding Farming By Liberty Nimmo
Part Two, Kite's Nest Farm
22nd September 2022
For Part One Click Here
I started working at Kite's Nest Farm near Broadway, Worcestershire, in June 2020. The farm is a partnership between brother and sister Rosamund, Richard Young, and Rosamund's partner Gareth. They have been certified Organic for the best part of 40 years and were the inspiration for many of the first Organic farmers. Rosamund is the author of The Secret Life of Cows and Richard is a vital part of The Sustainable Food Trust along with Patrick Holden, while Gareth is a remarkable Cabinet Maker. What a brilliant bunch to be learning from. I was there to work, learn, and help out while Rosamund was recovering from a leg injury. Naively, I assumed that my learning was going to be all about driving tractors, reversing trailers, haymaking, JCB tooting and improving on my skills with stock.
Little did I know that I would accumulate all of these skills in a very natural and gentle way, without being berated for being too slow or for making a mess of the lawn or for taking 2 or 3 goes to get something right and nearly tearing a barn down in the process. However, the overall lesson was not about how to work but how to live.
Rosamund, Richard and Gareth are full of joy. They tell jokes about Shakespeare, recite poetry, Rosamund makes bread with joy, and the animals are treated as individual characters, with their character traits being admired, even if they are not always liked. They look at the landscape. They study the birds, the caterpillars, the moths, and the water. They appreciate the tradition of haymaking, they take their time. Everything is savoured and enjoyed and done with humour, and work is a privilege. Judgements are not made. The farm is a way of life.
It strikes me that they have unlocked the key to life. To live and to work and for the two to be so inextricably linked that there is no end and no beginning to these odd constructs we, outside of the world of Kites Nest Farm, are subject to. And so it was, here at Kites Nest, that I felt truly inspired and happy.
Animal welfare takes on a whole new being at Kites Nest as all of the stock live and remain in their family groups. That means mothers, daughters, cousins, aunts, second-cousins twice removed, brothers, and half-siblings all milling around together, having a chat at the water trough, talking about the grass, the sky, hatching a plan to break out into the next field where The Grass is Always Greener.
Customers at Kites Nest are loyal. Many of them were once vegetarians and buy the meat because of how the animals are looked after and because of the love and respect the animals are shown. Of course, this is very much a la mode, Kites Nest has in fact, been ahead of it's time. Most of the clients are excellent cooks – they appreciate Nose to Tail Butchery and get the point of Tongue, Liver and Kidneys but also don't mind a Steak or two.
Yet, what struck me was this business of Waste and Waste products. How can we go to all of this trouble to produce The Best meat, the highest quality, butchered beautifully and then to have a great sock of it go to waste, just because 'We', no longer see certain items as being valuable.
I wondered if a farm is not just a place to work but a place to live; what else can be garnered from the land? It's not just meat, but what about wool, grain for milling, wood, clean water, herbal medicine from species-rich meadows, honey, dyes and other fibres? Why can't farms be self-supporting, complete systems with many revenue streams, possibilities, health benefits and environmental benefits? Enter Regenerative Agriculture.
The third part of Liberty's story will be shared next week. If you'd like to keep up with Liberty's going ons follow @nimmo.skincare.
If you would like to know more about Kite's Nest Farm, click here!