Story of Suzie’s Yard

farm-view

“Back to the landers”.

They call us “back to the landers”. People who live in the city, in our case London, and who get an urge at a certain point in their lives to escape… We wanted to escape to somewhere really green, somewhere where you’d notice the seasons changing…We wanted to experience the natural world, directly, every day of the year. And even more than that we wanted air our kids could breathe, a much slower pace of life, a different, less material quality of life, and to be part of a small fully functioning community.
So we did it. We quit our jobs, sold our house, and did up the barn in Tuscany. We’re a bi-lingual, mixed European family. We put our kids in the local schools, began to settle down, and then … we got bitten by the land bug. Once we had bought an olive grove and made our first olive oil, there was no going back: we wanted to produce as much of our own food as possible, organically, and according to our own criteria.

 

Over a decade later at Suzie’s Yard we make our own extra virgin olive oil, our own wine, and soap from old olive oil. We have bees and sell raw honey. We grow our own vegetables and lots of herbs and have planted a fruit orchard for jams.

So, over a decade later Suzie’s yard is a 13 hectares smallholding. We make our own extra virgin olive oil, our own wine, and soap when we have excess old olive oil. We have bees and sell raw honey. We grow our own vegetables and lots of herbs and have planted a fruit orchard for jams. We chop our own firewood and make our own bread. Rotating crop cultivation we grow our own wheat (for pasta & flour), spelt & chick peas.

As well as growing, seven years ago we helped found a purchasing group of families who want to buy all their food from local farms. We’re about 25 families now and we buy our meat, cheese, cereals, flour and pasta directly, cutting out the middleman. The farmers get a better deal, we get a guarantee of quality and safety: it’s a win-win.