Diversity is the watchword on today’s modern farms

In the world of agriculture in 2014 modern family farms have needed to diversify with other ancillary incomes if they are to make ends meet.

One such farming family is the Scarborough family in Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire. The current farm had the first acreage bought in the 1930s, by current family head Bob Scarborough’s father, Frank. This was quickly added to by Bob himself and then grown by Bob and his wife Margaret. 

His two sons John & David have continued developing and expanding the farm, with help from their wives and children, to the size it is today of 1000 acres (from an initial 100 acres). The farm is on two sites either side of the Lincoln A46 by-pass with Lincoln Road Farm (aka Daisy Made Farm) one side and Fen Farm the other side with David & John based in the two farms.

They grow wheat, barley and oil seed rape along with potatoes and sugar beet. They have a herd of cattle 200 strong (with 90 for milking) with breeds of Friesian Holstein, Belgium Blue and Herefords.

A new New Holland combine harvester was bought in 2013 to go with the fleet and tractors and trailers that a modern farm needs. They bale up the waste from the harvested crops, which are used both for feed and powering a heating system for Fen Farm.

Having gone through good times and bad Bob (now retired) and sons John & David have looked to diversify into non-farm activities to bring in extra income, some of which is ploughed back into the farm for new equipment.

The first non-Farming enterprise was the founding of the Daisy Made Ice Cream company by David and his wife Nicola. Opened in 1992, Daisy Made has grown over the years from an initial small hut selling only ice cream, to now providing a fun day out for children and adults alike.

This offers a wide range of home-made, real dairy ice cream flavours on offer, all made on the farm using milk from the dairy cows. There is also a seated cafe, with cakes, hot drinks and various snacks on offer. There is a children’s play area, animals to meet, a 12-hole farm themed crazy golf course, daisy diggers and a countryside setting.

David’s elder son Matthew now has a major role to play in running the business.

On Fen Farm John, and family developed from 2004 Lincoln Holiday Homes offering self-catering accommodation in a mix of old converted buildings and purpose-built new. Now all 5 properties have modern appliances, memory foam mattresses, under floor heating and private Hot tubs of splendid views of the surrounding countryside.

In addition in 2013 they added the option of being to host weddings at Lincoln Country Weddings, in a venue that is multi-purpose as it stores tractors and farm equipment when not being used for weddings.

John’s daughter Joanne took and passed a degree in Fashion at University of Lincoln in 2006 and then researched and setup her Wedding dress (and accessories) company JDezire Bridal Boutique in 2008, housed in converted farm buildings on Fen Farm.

The farm itself is a busy place all year round with John & David being helped by Steve (Milking), Greg (Combine), Brian (Baling/General) and Dan (David’s son) and Dave on general duties across both farm locations.

Diversity is the watchword on today’s modern farms
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 31 July 2014
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