La Cornetterie in St. Martin has long been a working farm. The family working the land before us was the Allain's, who helped shape our landscape to what it still is today. Like many small farms there was a mixture of cattle, potatoes and brassicas.
Before buying the property in St. Martin my father, Bill Davies, would work small cotils and other small plots he could get his hands on. The produce he grew he sold to Mr Goaziou in Jersey's Central Market before he had his own stall, Just William. More often than not William would rope my Mum, Frances, in to help harvest leeks or salads to sell at Christmas!
The newly weds bought the property in 1985 and there was a lot of work to do!
My father was always looking for new crops to grow and was one of the first in Jersey to export tenderstem broccoli and purple-sprouting to the UK. Alongside this he grew Jersey Royals, tomatoes, runner beans, chillies, salads, fennel, garden peas, coriander and more! If it intrigued him, Bill would grow it and make it sell.
Growing up on the farm
As children we were always allowed to muck in if we wanted. Try peas and chillies straight from the field, try and help sort potatoes or at least dig spuds for tea. My memories of my childhood are coloured with days learning outside and watching my dad ploughing the fields. Mum and Dad were so patient with us and would take us through every step of the process - from planting through to harvesting. We would see the plants grow and the time it took before we could eat it.
In 2014 our farm went a different direction. We wanted not only to farm organically, but to change the way children value the food they eat by doing so.
We hope our project inspires children to learn, play and to grow. Children don't get enough unstructured play. They need to learn outside sometimes, get their hands dirty and be inquisitive about the natural environment. There hasn't been a better time to inspire and inform the younger generation about where our food comes from and the careful and lengthy process required to get it to our tables. It's time to go outside and play, get dirty and grow! When I think back to my childhood these are the things I remember.