EXCLUSIVE tour of family-run vineyard on the outskirts of Honiton

  Posted: 24.06.19 at 11:17 by Hannah Corfield

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How many people are aware that Honiton has its very own vineyard?

Situated in Weston, on the outskirts of town, sits Heron Farm - a 17 acre plot of land dedicated to the cultivation of vineyards, orchards, among many other intriguing crops that fair well on the south-facing slopes.

The site was acquired by Peter and Christine Helliwell, along with their two young children, back in 2018.

Since then, the family has been busy developing the land and premises to accommodate a soon-to-be cafe and farm shop, tours of the extensive, somewhat exotic, range of crops on offer and a large kitchen garden with polytunnels - the produce of which will help to supply the cafe and shop.

The site was initially established by River Cottage's then Head Gardener, Mark Diacono, back in 2010 and was called 'Otter Farm'.

In 2016/17, the site was featured on an episode of Channel 4's ‘Grand Designs’. It followed the building of a striking plough-shaped house constructed out of cob - a traditional building material in the South West that is predominantly made out of mud and straw.

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The original vision was to create a so-called ‘Climate Change Farm’, populated with food-producing trees and plants more traditionally associated with warmer climates, but which have the potential to grow sustainably in Devon as the impact of climate change is increasingly felt.

Examples of produce grown on site (in addition to the vineyard) include; quince, medlars, persimmons, apricots, walnuts, sweet chestnuts, almonds, pecans, cherries, Asian pears, to name but a few.

Since taking on the project nine months a go, Peter and Christine have worked hard to develop Heron Farm as a visitor destination, whilst establishing a brand that is synonymous with their ethos of sustainability and quality.

For more information on Heron Farm and the Open Day taking place on Saturday 6, July - click the red button below for their Facebook page.

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