e5’s organically certified Fellows Farm produces a wide range of vegetables, fruits and herbs, as well as the grains which are milled into flour at our Mentmore Terrace arches. This produce will often be found for sale in our shops along with other produce from local organic farms. Crops are harvested once or twice per week, depending on the season, before being delivered to London in the company’s electric van. (We also stock a small shop at the farm.) We are passionate about seed sovereignty and source a diverse range of plant varieties. The site was conventionally farmed for more than 100 years, and as a consequence the soil is compacted, has very little organic matter and lacks soil microbiota.
When e5 bakehouse purchased the farm in 2014 Ben had the idea to grow heritage cereals for the bakeries bread in turn offering him an excuse to spend more time in the countryside getting his hands dirty. But as it transpired, growing cereals needs big expensive equipment and so calls for contractors to spend a handful of days per year, at most, on a field like this. There had to be something more involved which would need more time to be spent in a muddy wind swept field in Suffolk and then he had it, a market garden. Despite there being no running water on the site, and knowing nothing about growing fruit and vegetables Ben began. Garlic, rhubarb and artichokes were early attempts which were soon engulfed in the voracious couche grass. Ben called on help in the form of Sofia Figueiro who had experience growing at Organic Lea, London. Sofia camped at the farm for almost a whole year and made good progress but with no running water or electricity it was an up hill task. So in 2019 Ben and his family built a small cabin on the site, drilled a bore hole and picked up from Sofia, doing their best to progress the garden.
It took until the spring of 2020 and the arrival of former chef / baker turned regenerative gardener Lughan Carr to really get things happening. The Fellows market garden is now comprised of 80 raised no-dig beds along with a double polytunnel, caterpillar tunnel, pumpkin, brassica and soft fruit zones. The crop plan is designed to supply the e5 bakehouse cafe and for retail to the bakeries customers. Crops are harvested once or twice per week, depending on the season, before being whisked to London in the companies electric van (we also stock a small shop at the farm). We are passionate about seed sovereignty and source a diverse range of plant varieties. The site was conventionally farmed for more than 100 years and as a consequence the soil is compacted, has very little organic matter and lacks soil micro biota. Lughan is focused on regenerating this soil by applying fermented plant teas, eliminating tillage and planting cover crops in rotation. We tend to have one long term volunteer staying on the farm and also welcome local volunteers to join to learn about the methodologies employed in this organic and regenerative farming practice.