A fourth generation Somerset farmer left with no farm to inherit is keeping the family tradition alive, by running a geese farm in his spare time. Young Oliver White is the operations manager at Hestercombe Gardens at Cheddon Fitzpaine, but farming is in his blood, so he has rented 22 acres nearby and has been using it to fatten up 65 free range Legarth geese ready for Christmas.
The geese wander at will over the lush meadow at Grove Farm and dine on herb-rich grasses, and he is slowly expanding having started with just five acres.
“It’s tough trying to get into farming these days, it is such a capital intensive industry but my dream is to eventually develop my farming enterprise into a full-time business,” he said.
“I’m trying to be as low input as possible and to concentrate on animals kept outdoors all year with grass feed at the heart.”
Goose has enjoyed a renaissance as a Christmas dinner choice in recent years – with numerous celebrity chefs recommending it as alternative to turkey.
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