HISTORY OF GREAT CLERKES FARM
Brian Hughes, Simon’s Grandfather (pictured in the middle), first started rearing poultry in Surrey 1917 and then on his small holding at Pharisee Green, Great Dunmow.
He moved the farm and his family onto Great Clerkes Farm during the early 1950s to expand his farming enterprise. A move which greatly pleased all involved, as the parish of Little Sampford is a jolly splendid place indeed.
The farm has always been an arable farm and until the late 70s beef and pork were also reared here. It was around this time that, Brian and his son Paddy (pictured above) began to raise a few geese for the Christmas market. Being a temperamental bird, they started off with small numbers to gain a full appreciation of how the birds fare on the chalky boulder clay that North West Essex provides.
Buoyed by their success, and the delicately scrumptious taste only a goose can provide, the humble beginnings of 50 birds in the first year has gradually increased. Now we produce around 1,500 geese each Christmas. To the geese, we also supply the finest free-range turkeys, chickens, ducks, and guinea-fowl.
Today, the farm still has 200 acres of arable crops surrounding the lush green meadows where Simon, Paddy’s son, now rears poultry all year round.
Simon and his workaholic puppy, Morph (pictured above), spend their days looking after all the birds on the farm with broad grins on their handsome faces.
The sun is out, the flora and fauna in this particular corner of Essex are cock-a-hoop as they boisterously strut their hedgerow stuff and the radio is tuned to the cricket on long-wave — agricultural perfection.
Of course, you may have noticed that all other farmers are crying into their mead or moaning about the state of world economics — this is due to the unhappy combination of rubbish yields from the harvest coupled with suppressed prices — this does not bother us here at the Great Clerkes Farm as eating goose once a week is enough to keep even the most cold-hearted in fine spirits and pretty much on the verge of untold joy.