Welcome to Trefresa Farm, a tumbledown farmhouse and outbuildings with 114 acres sitting less than a mile from north Cornwall’s rugged coastline, close to Rock. It’s a beautiful haven but we are under no illusion that we have a great deal of work to do. Probably the smartest sight is our lovingly restored 1970’s ex RAF fire service Land Rover that sits in the ancient yard, often a terrier or two snoozing in the warm cab.
From fire service to essential farm hand.
Once you leave the house you arrive in the old yard which meets a public footpath that cuts a line through our farm. This takes walkers on a weaving journey all the way to the sea and skirts the many fields that make up our small piece of paradise. Thanks to this footpath we know that our agricultural choices will always be on show and while this may present challenges it will forever hold us to account. We are first generation farmers and we want to do the absolute best job that we can. Each day we gain a little more understanding of regenerative practices that rebuild organic soil matter and restore the biodiversity of soil, plant and animal life at the farm. As the months go by (it’s written on our planning calendar) we plan to grow the ingredients and botanicals for distillation here. We know that this will in turn provide us with countless new ideas and flavours to experiment with. We once saw an estate that had a blackboard with the week’s bird and animal sightings written on it, we plan to do the same here and have no doubt that ours will be even fuller once we give nature a little more control over herself.
Another dose of ideas and flavours to experiment with.
As you explore Trefresa you’ll notice the Cornish hedges. These are ancient- if you haven’t seen one before they are a work of art. They are built of stone and earth and form their very own ecosystems. The stones, sometimes laid in a herringbone pattern, are a patchwork of lichen and moss and you’ll find them abounding with numerous fruiting trees. This month we’ve been picking elderflower to make small batch of champagne and will put aside a family sized batch of elderflower cordial. The hedges also provide a home for small mammals and right now are alive with nesting birds. Work will eventually begin on coppicing and laying these living borderlands but we must be patient and not disturb the wildlife. They’ll be repairs to the stone work too as many sections have collapsed, and we are excited to one day witness the work of the Cornish crafts people as they set about their task. The possibilities of flavour and inspiration that come from these living walls is incredibly exciting.
Our ancient Cornish hedges. Art and ecosystem in harmony.
Heading back home for a cup of tea you can see a herd of young bullocks in the fields behind the farmhouse. These belong to our neighbouring farmer who is using our fields for grazing. When you speak to growers, they’ll tell you how livestock are an essential part of a regenerative, closed-loop system and without them, it’s very difficult not to use chemical fertilisers. We are ready to engage in the discussions around our food system and the many ways to do things — not only in terms of carbon emissions but for the whole ecosystem, which begins and ends in the soil, where microbes and insects renew life.
Our guest herd. Nature’s finest fertilisers.
Words and pictures can only convey so much, for that reason we hope that in time you may experience the magic of the farm first hand. In the meantime we have begun gathering together a collection of drink recipes from a year at Trefresa Farm. Recipes inspired by nature and the seasons with detailed instructions and tips on how to make cocktail bar worthy drinks at home.
Explore the recipes here