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If the name of Gilcombe Farm seems somewhat familiar to you, then the chances are that you hail from West London. George Portch and his brothers are a regular fixture at the farmers markets there. Their unpasteurised milk straight from the cow and “eggs with the dirt still on” are organic staples around Barnes and Hammersmith.
Your tent will have virtually 360 degree views of the rolling countryside. Step out and there is Alfred’s Tower on the horizon, an 18th century folly, close by the Palladian mansion and world famous landscape gardens of Stourhead. Sherbourne Castle in Dorset is just half an hour’s drive away too. There are also 30 acres of lovely woodlands for playing in very easy walking distance of the tents if you are happy to chill on-site. There are also streams to dam and dens to build down there too. You can paddle in the stream but only with wellies please accompanied by an adult.
The male side of the Portch family will be your hosts. Apart from George, there is Andrew, his father and brothers, Sam, who you’re likely to meet in the milking parlour and Ollie, a chef who works his magic out the back of the farm shop. The farm tour will take in all aspects of organic farming including chicken rearing. The Columbia Blacktails and Hubbards have a variety of wooden trestles in their barn where they perch in order to meet the exacting standards of the Soil Association. There is also a herd of 100 Friesians, all born and bred here on the farm during the last fifty years. You’ll be able to see the milking at least once during your stay. Calving takes place from the end of June to October so there is a good chance you’ll get to witness a birth then. Around the same time you’ll also meet their free-range geese, ducks and turkeys and no doubt be tempted to put in an order for your Christmas table.
The Portch Family