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History of Leigh Court Farm

 

 

Leigh Court Farm is based around the historic two acre walled garden originally built at the turn of the 19th century to serve Leigh Court Mansion. The property remained with the Miles family until 1915 when it was bought by the Reverend Burden for use as an institution. In 1948 the NHS acquired the estate and they ran it until the 1980’s. Latterly the walled garden, the orchard, the paddock and the historic pleasure gardens were the property of Freeways Trust, a local charity caring for young adults.

The Leigh Court Farm Project started in the summer of 1998 with our first full season of growing taking place during 1999. Much of our initial focus involved infrastructure works to the walls, gates, paths and orchard, necessary before the growing could begin.   The farm was awarded full organic status in 2000 and began selling its produce via a weekly box scheme, the Bristol Farmer's Market and through a special scheme designed to maked local organic produce available to people who have dietary related health problems and are on low incomes in the Hartcliffe and Withywood areas. 

Since then our focus for growing has extended beyond the walled garden and now includes more mechanised farming on almost 30 acres of certified organic land in the Portbury and Failand areas.  Field-scale farming, tractors and a wide range of innovative equipment (which we develop each year)  have become central to our success and sustainability as growers.  However, as well as being our spiritual home, the historic walled garden at Abbots Leigh continues to be a vital part of our growing operation, offering extra shelter and warmth for a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops.

Leigh Court Farm started its life as a not profit company set up to act as a source and an example of local food enterprise.  Having fulfilled these initial aims, demonstrating that local food production at this scale was indeed viable, and In response to the need to consistently and sustainably supply residents of Bristol with the best quality local organic produce, we now take a slightly more business-like approach to the operation, distributing around 400 vegetable boxes a week.

In 2012 Leigh Court Farm became a fully employee owned and managed business.  The following year we developed a  Home-Delivery service for our customers to partner our long established city-wide Collection-Points. 

In 2014 we launched a brand new online ordering system, offering our customers secure electronic payments and total flexibility for their orders.

To find out more about Leigh Court Farm, head over to our new ordering system where you'll find lots more information about our boxes and our philosophy.