A little bit of our story
We started as a small, family run, mixed farm in Atherington, in the heart of North Devon, specialising in producing quality wholesome foods and exploring and sharing sensible, sustainable methods and approaches to farming in what are changing and challenging times.
Over the years we have grown into a wide ranging food brand, specialist consultancy service and internationally known fire based cookery circus! We are very lucky to be involved in collaborations with amazing farmers, chefs, restaurants and producers, both here and abroad, helping launch new methods & products as well as developing our own farm from a small single site operation to what is now a network of sustainable small farms producing high quality produce in a natural way. This has allowed a focus on developing relationships with our partners, many of whom now derive their own livelihoods from growing our produce.
As the farms reputation grew John has gone from producing charcuterie on the farm to consulting and partnering various international cured meat ventures, promoting the highest quality British products around the world. He has also helped head up the global meat curing phenomenon ‘Salt Cured Pig’ functioning as an open source teaching and knowledge sharing group involving some of the sectors best Chefs, farmers, writers and food scientists. More recently, he has gone on to become the Head Judge at the British Charcuterie Awards at BBC Countryfile Live and latterly Director of ‘The Charcuterie Board’, an international association for the independent cured meat sector, championing small producers and promoting excellence in the field.
The farms early ‘farm to table’ approach also led to it becoming a well known fixture at Food festivals and other events throughout the UK where live cooking demonstrations and catering stands showcased Quiet Waters produce within globally inspired fire cooked dishes.
Over and above all this though was a love of the land, a desire to give our five children a naturally based upbringing and a healthy and secure future. We are passionate about good food, and good food needs good farming, so that’s what we are all about.
When we started here in 2003 the farm was some 26 acres of ancient Culm grassland, treacherous bogs and lots (and lots) of reeds and rampant regenerated woodland. All our interventions with the natural flora and fauna have been minimal with careful and patient observation informing any activities before they start and continuing to inform all present and future plans. This way negative impacts are avoided wherever possible and the benefits of working with, as opposed to against, the natural systems at play are fully realised. The entire farm is run on an entirely chemical free and largely un-mechanised basis. This naturally leads to a healthy and diverse mix of inter-related schemes running on the farm.
Fundamentally though we continue our primary work as farmers, putting ideas to a true test by exposing them to the markets we work and trade within. The result is the whole Quiet Waters network as it stands today, encompassing a range of products, services & community relationships that are the real fruit of the farm and a reflection of its journey.