Marshal Mills came from a long line of farmers in Wymeswold and grew up on Clay House Farm in Clay street with his parents and brothers. Instead of carrying on the family tradition, Marshal decided on a different career at the Brush Falcon Works in Loughborough and after a short time he was a master wood carver, decorating Edwardian train carriages.
Marshal married Ada, a cheese maker’s daughter, and moved with her into Wysteria on Wide Lane which had a large orchard at the rear. Under instruction from Ada, Marshal spent a lot of time when not at work with a scythe, cutting the grass in the orchard to keep it tidy. However, he soon fell back on his farming ancestry and purchased one cow from his father to graze the grass instead of cutting it, which also provided milk for themselves. It was soon apparent that one cow was not enough to keep on top of the grass so he purchased another, these kept the orchard nice and tidy but also meant there was an abundance of milk!
Ada, falling back on her family’s roots decided to turn the surplus milk into Colwick cheese which was sold locally. Ada, however, could not keep up with demand, so in 1914, Marshal left the Brush and with Ada moved to a part of the present farm that we grow fruit on today, to expand the dairy herd and also raise free-range hens.
In 1964 the decision was made to sell the dairy herd to concentrate on the production of cereals and vegetables.
In 1973, Kenneth with the help of his son Michael decided to plant 1 acre of strawberries which pioneered the soft fruit pick your own enterprise that we see today. The popularity of this was staggering and word spread across the whole country and also led the way for other fruit such as raspberries, gooseberries and currants.
Michael expanded the area to what we see today with an emphasis on tasty, healthy, fruit, produced in a sustainable and affordable manner.
Not much has changed, although now at the helm are Edward (Marshals great grandson) and his wife Rebecca. Our focus is still on the production of healthy and tasty fruit, produced in an environmentally sustainable manner which provides a great traditional and affordable family day out.
2017 saw our first crop of PYO pumpkins grown on the farm. These proved just as popular as Ada’s Colwick cheeses and Kenneth’s strawberries!!
A visit to our farm makes a fantastic day out with the family. Please call 01509 880230 in advance to check up-to-date opening times and crop availability, especially in bad weather. This will help you make the most out of your visit.
We look forward to seeing you soon!