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My Farming Week - Dan and Briony Wood, Somerset

Dan and Briony Wood run Blackacre Farm, North Cheriton, Somerset.


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Dan and Briony Wood with their children
Dan and Briony Wood with their children

Awards: Our family has been farming for more than 35 years, but this last year has been particularly exciting, with our flocks now achieving critical acclaim. Our newest ranges of Rambling Free hens’ eggs, Waddling Free duck eggs and Foraging Free quails’ eggs have collected a Great Taste three-star award, a Great Taste one-star award and three Taste of the West Gold Awards over these past few months.

 

Quality: Our award-winning eggs supply the likes of Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, as well as a host of independent farm shops, grocery stores and delis in the UK, so quality has to be at the heart of everything we do at Blackacre.

 

Rambling Free: We are proud to say we keep up with consumer demand for our hens’ eggs, while staying true to traditional farming methods and flying the flag for other independent producers.

 

Our rambling hens are free to roam the pastures every day of the week in small flocks, soaking up the benefit of those all-important daylight hours. At night, our hens get tucked up for bed in single-tier sheds, like all our birds on the farm.

 

Prices: Even with growing demand for free-range eggs in the UK and continuing pressure from supermarkets driving down the average price of eggs, we are still producing the finest quality free-range eggs without implementing multi-tier sheds.

 

Instead we have partnered with other like-minded family-run farms in the South West, establishing our own little community while further supporting the traditional independent farmer and setting an example for other farms to follow.

 

Back in October we welcomed a new mixed flock of white and brown hens to the farm, our first white egg-laying girls and we are pleased to announce their eggs will be out and about in the shops from this week onwards.

 

Ducks: Our first paddling of free-range ducks joined us last year and it was not long before they started laying delicious eggs with a vibrantly yellow yolk. Our duck eggs were one of just 130 food and drink products to receive a three-star Great Taste award out of 10,000 entries this year, demonstrating how our values have elevated a simple and traditional product into one of the standout foods of the year.

 

We recently added some one-day-old waddlers to the mix, who are starting to come into lay this week and have joined the other waddling girls in their laying sheds. They seem to be settling in just fine and are all happily splashing around in the rain and ponds, enjoying this colder, damper weather.

 

Love, care, freedom and fresh air are the key themes of every week at Blackacre Farm, as we know truly happy and free-range birds lay the best of the bunch.

 

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