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Pure Kent 

Eckley Farms

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RECIPES

Wheat and Barley make up our majority crops

Farming in Staplehurst since

Different Products Produced

About Eckley Farms

History

Jim and Gladys Eckley moved their farm business from Herefordshire to Staplehurst in 1953 with their two sons, Edward and Michael.  They brought Guernsey cows, Clun Forest sheep and a desire to grow more hops and apples with them.

Since then, the cows, sheep, orchards and hops have gone, and the farm has specialized in arable crops since the 1980s.  Mike was joined in the business by his wife, Vera.  They moved from Staplehurst to a rented farm near Charing in the mid 70s, returning in the mid 2000s.  Their son Guy joined the business after going to Harper Adams to study agriculture in the mid 90s.  The farm expanded, renting land from the Leeds Castle Foundation, which is still farmed by Eckley Farms today.  The base at Saynden Farm has grown to encompass land at Great Pagehurst Farm and Bletchingley Farm.  Guy’s wife, Claire, joined the business in 2008.  A farm on Sheephurst Lane, Marden was purchased soon after, and Pure Kent was established.

Eckley Farms won the South East Farmer Magazine Farming Family Business of the Year in 2017, and was Highly Commended in the Kent Countryside Awards at the Taste of Kent Awards 2018.

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Our Products

Buy and Collect Online Store

We operated a buy and collect online store and you can collect your product using our unique locker system.

Sustainable Farming

We use as many organic and natural methods of farming to make the soil excellent to grow in and the produce even better.

Modern Technology

Our tractors and combine harvester are fitted with technology that uses satellites to steer the tractors in set tracks all around the farm.

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Farming Now

We are arable farmers, so the main crop we grow is wheat. The plan is that in every season half of our land grows wheat and barley, and the other half grows break crops such as oilseed rape, field beans, peas, oats or linseed. That’s the plan, but quite often, the weather changes the plan.

On some of our fields we grow cover crops in the winter. These are mixtures of crops like mustard, fodder radish, vetch, sunflower and oats, which improve the soil for the following crop. Our friends bring their sheep to graze the cover crops in the winter. They make nice fertiliser, and even spread it themselves! They also trample the crop down to feed the soil biology. We plant straight into the ground using a low disturbance direct seed drill, without the need for ploughing and cultivating. This saves fuel and time. It’s also really good for the soil, disturbing the soil micro flora and fauna less, and reducing carbon loss into the atmosphere.  This is called regenerative agriculture, and is on the rise all over the world.

Another way we save fuel and time when we are planting, protecting and harvesting our crops, is by using precision technology. Our tractors and combine harvester are fitted with technology that uses satellites to steer the tractors in set tracks all around the farm. There is less overlap when we are planting, spraying or harvesting, saving fuel and time. We also use our technology to reduce compaction, helping protect the soil.

Most of our wheat leaves the farm in lorries to go to mills in the South East to be made into flour for the likes of Kingsmill and Hovis. We keep some of our best grain and turn it into our own Strong Stoneground Wholemeal Flour, and strong Stoneground Wheat & Barley Flour (sieved flour).

All of our rapeseed crop is pressed into Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, and marketed under our Pure Kent brand.  Most of our oil goes into the catering sector.  We are proud suppliers to COOK, the frozen food company.  We love their ethical policies, and they like our farming philosophy.

The field beans are either exported or go to feed mills to be used as an ingredient in animal feed.

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If you would like to keep up to date with the farm, please follow @no1farmerguy on Twitter and www.facebook.com/PureKent on Facebook