Happy Roots Farm – A family run farm selling fresh produce and cut flowers
You can find us on the historic Oxcroft Estate between Bolsover and Clowne.
Hello! 🙂 We are Happy Roots farm.
Whether it’s fresh food to nourish your body, or flowers to brighten your day, we’ve got you covered for healthy, beautiful and sustainable fruit, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers
Our seasonal produce is available from our driveway farm stand, for collection / delivery and we also sell to local outlets / restaurants.
In May 2021 we took on Local Loop Clowne – to offer weekly collection / delivery of our produce along with zero waste / eco friendly home and personal care products, Welbeck Bakehouse breads, and products from other small / local businesses that share our ethos. You can read more about our weekly Local Loop here, or read on for more about who we are…
We fell in love with growing when we got our first allotment…
We are Gaz and Laurenne, we run and live on the farm with our 4 children, Lissy, Caitlyn, Marley and Rory, plus 3 cats and an assortment of chickens – yep, it’s pretty hectic around here, but we love it!
Neither of us come from a farming background, but we fell in love with growing when we took on our first allotment. We decided we wanted to spend our life growing and working on the land, so we saved every penny we could, Gaz quit his high stress, long hours job in IT and we bought the farm!
We moved here in 2017 with the vision of restoring our tiny patch of the historic Oxcroft estate to its former use – of family growers running small scale market gardens, providing food for the local community.
Gaz is in charge of building, infrastructure, irrigation, wheelbarrowing copious amounts of compost, and generally doing all of the sensible and important things, whilst Laurenne tackles the seed sowing and the creative things – being obsessed with finding, trialling, cooking and photographing the most delicious and beautiful edibles, and growing and arranging flowers!
Our 4 little helpers love getting involved with planting, picking and keeping the farm stand stocked up too.
We grow with the most wonderful team of volunteers / friends who share in some of the work and the harvests with us – Vikki & Kate, Kim & Mark, Rob & Hannah, Sue, Ash, Clair and Adam (and all the little ones who visit to help too!)
Is Happy Roots Farm Organic?
Our produce is grown in harmony with nature, without any harmful pesticides / sprays / chemicals or artificial fertiliser, focusing on nurturing our soil to be healthy enough to feed us for many generations to come.
Healthier for you, and for the planet.
Currently we are not registered organic, as the price of registration – several hundred pounds per year – is prohibitive for tiny growers like us. We might become registered in the future, but for now we’re confident that we’re growing to organic standards and beyond.
Our children pick fresh fruit and veg straight from the ground for breakfast, lunch and tea – so if we wouldn’t feed it to our kids, we won’t put it on our plants!
What is regenerative growing?
We farm regeneratively because we want our family and our customers to have the tastiest, most nutritious food for our plates and beautiful, seasonal flowers for our tables, without doing harm to the earth.
Regenerative farming means putting more back into the earth than we take out.
Growing a carrot, raspberry or lettuce leaf takes nutrients from the soil. Non-regenerative practices replace these with artificial fertilisers, which can end up polluting waterways and result in nutrient-poor, depleted soils.
We support healthy soils by using organic matter from our own homemade compost and our lovely neighbour’s helpful horses!
This feeds the soil life – all those lovely earthworms and other creatures who naturally replenish nutrients – which gives us super healthy produce, feeds the wildlife around us, and ensures our soils can carry on producing food for generations to come.
What is No Dig?
No dig is just as it sounds – we don’t dig our soil!
Digging releases carbon (soil is amazing at storing carbon) and harms the soil life, which means fewer creatures to help our plants grow healthily – and a less healthy atmosphere for our planet.
Instead of digging, ploughing or rotavating, we build up the soil with our compost, disturbing it as little as possible, and leaving the soil life to do the hard work for us.
What is polyculture?
Polyculture just means lots of things growing together.
So rather than 1 field of potatoes, 1 field of beans and 1 field of pumpkins – which can lead to a build up of pests and diseases – we grow a glorious multitude, all nestled in together. Our strawberries grow alongside thyme, rosemary and sage, our garlic lives along with our carrots, and our salads and edible flowers happily share their space.
Growing in this way (known as companion planting) is best for wildlife – the bees never have to fly too far before finding a tasty flower to feed on – and best for the plants. Carrot fly hate the smell of garlic, so by growing them together we never have to use chemicals to save our veg!
We’ve given over 2 acres of our 6 acre plot entirely to British trees, creating a woodland that will support thousands of species of birds, mammals and insects. We also have 2 ponds which create habitat for newts, frogs and toads (great for keeping the slugs off our lettuces!).
What is a food forest?
Perhaps our favourite part of our little farm is the food forest.
Unlike our woodland, all the trees and shrubs in the food forest are edible for humans! Alongside native and heritage varieties of apple, pear and plum we have more exoctic species like sea buckthorn and asian pears.
Food forests work on the polyculture principle – that plants grown together will be healthier and more productive. Our sea buckthorns – as well as producing delicious, highly nutritious berries – naturally fix nitrogen in the soil, which our nitrogen hungry apple trees use to grow bumper harvests of tasty apples.
The wide variety of different species is confusing for pests – the aphids that would normally feed on plum trees can’t find ours because they’re hidden among the other trees! (and the ones that do make great food for our goldfinch and ladybird populations)
Visit our farm and see how we do it!
Have questions? Or want to come and see our little farm for yourself?
We love visitors at Happy Roots, so drop by our farm stand, pick up some fresh, seasonal veggies and browse our free community library.
We’d love to meet you.
Love Gaz, Laurenne & Family