An open-gate policy
Tim is the son of Yeo Valley Organic co-founders Roger and Mary Mead; in 1961 they bought their first 30 cows at Holt Farm in the pretty village of Blagdon, Somerset.
The family still lives there today – but it’s now responsible for over 2,000 acres of land, including 600 acres of woodland. It’s easy to see how, prior to the pandemic, the Meads welcomed up to 50,000 people a year to their home.
The team likes nothing more than opening up the farm gates, and staff are gearing up to welcome visitors back to the valley for experience days ranging from farm tours to cookery and gardening demos.
The Yeo Valley Organic Garden, run by Tim’s wife Sarah, is one of the only ornamental gardens in the UK to be certified completely organic. This is where a lot of the magic and education around organic takes place, and Sarah loves nothing more than sharing growing tips with visitors.
This year Sarah will also be at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with renowned garden designer Tom Massey. They’ll be bringing a slice of Somerset to SW3 with the dairy brand’s first show garden, which features Mendip stone, biochar logs from the woodland and a rich tapestry of flowering plants that support pollinators and nurture soil health.
A stone’s throw from Hyde Park, the Yeo Valley Café in London also re-opened in June, serving up delicious food and a fridge stocked with goodies.
A growing family
The last year has been a challenge, but it hasn’t stopped everyone at Yeo Valley Organic from nurturing a sense of connection to the outside world and the food we eat.
The team has added a new circular walk on the Mendip Hills to visiting experiences, plus a new luxury stay in an old converted stone barn with
panoramic views of the valley. Yeo Valley Organic also sponsors Valley Fest, the South West’s best-tasting music festival.
‘What’s so wonderful’, says Tim, ‘is that we started as a family farm and we still are – but over time our family has slowly grown to include so many more people, from everyone who works with us to those who supply us or shop with us. We love nothing more than welcoming people through our gate.