Phone: 01494 863 566
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A family farm located in the heart of the Chiltern Hills…
Roger is the fourth generation of the Brill family to farm. The family business was started by his great grandfather, Edward Brill, in the late 1880s. They were mixed farmers who farmed pigs as well as growing fruit and vegetables, which were then sold in the old Covent Garden market. The original family farm was based near Maidenhead, but was subsequently developed, and so after studying Horticulture at Writtle College, Roger started afresh at the current site, Peterley, in 1982.
Roger and his wife Jane developed the current site from a derelict turkey farm, beginning with seasonal sales of homegrown produce at the farm gate, and gradually expanding to the current business which includes a thriving farm shop, plant nursery, PYO and café.
Three generations of Brills still work together on the farm. Roger’s parents, Margaret and Jeff, have been invaluable, and now Roger & Jane’s daughters are becoming involved with the business. Katy, formerly a freelance chef, opened the Wild Strawberry Café in 2014. Gemma has helped implement new office systems and marketing between other jobs; and Philippa hopes to return to the farm once she completes her Geography degree.
Close to the Chiltern villages of Prestwood and Great Missenden, and located in the beautiful area of outstanding natural beauty, the Chiltern hills.
Peterley Manor Farm is an ideal site for selling direct to the public. It has not been without its drawbacks- located at 600 feet on a bed of chalk and flint, the ground and climate has proved problematic for certain crops such as asparagus and sweetcorn.
Christmas trees now make up 50% of the land farmed, whilst soft and orchard fruits, particularly raspberries, seem to flourish in the colder conditions. Furthermore, stringent planning controls have hampered the development of the retail area, but patience and hard work has now enabled us to create a substantial yet characterful farm shop and nursery.
Whilst we are not a certified organic farm, we continue to use traditional farming methods and where possible organic based fertilisers.
We pride ourselves on our traditional cultivation methods, for example much of the planting is still carried out by hand. Natural windbreaks, hedges and trees are regularly planted and maintained, ensuring plenty of areas for wildlife. Roe and muntjac deer, ducks, red kites, buzzards, woodpeckers and owls are all spotted regularly around the farm.
The beehives located by the pond help to pollinate the fruit, and the honey collected is available in the farm shop. Our alpacas are constant sources of amusement for children and adults alike.
Over our 30 years on this site Peterley has very much become part of the local community. Many local people work on the farm and the shop is seen by many as a place to meet. We pride ourselves on the personal service offered by our friendly and knowledgeable staff.
The shop has long since outgrown the farm’s capacity to provide 100% of the produce, but we take extreme care to stock only the most local, fresh and seasonal produce, sourcing much from farmers and producers in the local area.
Our vegetable box scheme run in conjunction with Wren Davies dairies has also proved extremely popular. We support local school fetes and contribute to many local charity initiatives through raffle prizes and vouchers etc. In the summer months, local school trips often visit, encouraging children to pick their own fruit and vegetables and learn about food provenance.