Hafod Farm, as it was known then, was purchased by mum and dad, Mr and Mrs Saunders (senior) in 1991.
A farmer’s daughter and a farm labourer, it had always been their dream to own a farm and after moving in we set up a partnership.
The farm started out with some sheep, cattle, chickens and a few years later we began to plant the orchard of apple trees you are now staying in.
The Hen’s Dens were built by ourselves and housed one hundred hens each.
In 1995, long before ‘organic’ was fashionable we began the conversion to achieve the organic status we have now held for over twenty years.
Although I had always been a partner in the farm I also worked full time as a structural engineer, juggling farm commitments at evenings and weekends.
Then, in 2010, I decided to make farming my full time career and Orchard Organic Farm was born.
Together with my wife, Emma, we began in the Spring of that year with our first batch of 500 hens and the business has been steadily growing ever since whilst still upholding the strong organic principles that have always been the foundation of the farm.
We now have 5,000 laying hens with 1,000 chicks following on in our chick rearing sheds.
A small herd of South Devon cows graze the fields and the apples produced by the thousand apple trees are sold for eating or juicing.
Recently we have begun to grow vegetables as part of the Riverford vegetable growing co-operative, making full use of the fertile soil that is uncovered when we move our mobile chicken sheds to their new positions with every new flock.
Life on Orchard Farm is never dull.
We work with the rhythm of the seasons and are constantly inspired by the beauty of the environment we are lucky enough to work in.
We are so pleased that we are able to share our little piece of South Devon with you and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Jerry and Emma Saunders