Farmer: Ralph Grindling
Address: Russell Smith Farms, Grange Road, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QF
A 3000 acre family run farming business growing both field vegetables and combinable crops. All crops on the farm are grown using Integrated Crop Management systems. Potatoes and Onions are grown and supplied to a range of major retailers. Crop production methods are both technically advanced and environmentally sensitive.
Russell Smith Farms is a family partnership which has been farming in this gently rolling part of Cambridgeshire since 1938 and now specialises in high quality vegetable production alongside combinable crops and Sugar Beet. We have always tried to grow high-quality food in a profitable way, whilst providing employment for local people and conserving the countryside. We hold LEAF Marque accreditation for our products. We also belong to a range of other certification schemes.
The farm is also a Waitrose Demonstration Farm and regularly conducts trials looking at new varieties.
Crops for food
All the vegetables we grow at College Farm are for the supermarkets. A range of potato varieties are grown including King Edward, Desiree, Charolotte to name a few. We also grow Winter Wheat, Sugar Beet, Onions and Oilseed Rape.
We make every effort to reduce the need for crop sprays. A well balanced rotation helps to prevent weed, pest and disease build-up with Winter Wheat, Oilseed Rape and Sugar Beet acting as breaks between the vegetables.
We take every opportunity to engage with the local community through Open Farm Sunday, hosting visits to the farm and giving outside talks wherever possible.
We are working hard to increase the wildlife value of the farm. For example, we are working closely with the RSPB to increase bird populations. Hedgerows are trimmed every 2 or 3 years. Wild bird mixes/Pollen and Nectar mixes/Beetle Banks/Overwintered stubbles etc. are used to provide wildlife habitats. We are members of several environmental schemes and an increasing area of the farm is managed for wildlife.
College Farm hosts visits for a broad range of groups throughout the year by prior arrangement through the LEAF office. We believe we have something valuable to share with others and want to show how integrated farming is good for the farm business, the local rural economy and the wildlife on the farm. Come and see for yourself. We regularly participate in LEAF's Open Farm Sunday and are a host site for Let Nature Feed Your Senses.
About LEAF Demonstration Farms
LEAF Demonstration Farms are commercial farms, which show the beneficial practices of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to a broad range of audiences, through organised visits. They communicate an understanding of IFM in order to encourage uptake by farmers, support from the industry and political awareness of sustainable food and farming. For more information, visit archive.leafuk.org.
Visit this farm
Click here to arrange a visit to this LEAF Demonstration Farm.