Short history of New Farm
A family business from the 17th Century, changing with the times
The house dates back to the early 17th century; when it was a farm workers cottage and stable. It was later converted into two dwellings. The original oak-beams can still be seen in the dining room and what is now the TV lounge was originally the stable.
That’s how it remained until Mike and Dorothy Hardy settled into one cottage in 1957; eventually converting the two dwellings into one after their children Ian and Susan were born. In 1983 after Ian and Sara married the family decided to diversify and the house was converted for use as a bed and breakfast business, starting with rooms 1, 2 and 3.
Mike’s father, Edward Hardy of Hardy’s dairies in High Street Barry used to deliver milk locally in the post war period. He used the farm’s originally site of 23 acres for grazing the horses which drew the milk cart delivering milk. Mike went on to study agriculture at Harper Adams Agriculture College obtaining a National Diploma and started farming the 23 acres in 1952.
A pig and poultry unit was established and the farms produce of eggs sold to local shops and direct to gate customers. In 1977 due to the minute margins within the pig production Mike and Dorothy set up a farm shop, and using a local slaughterhouse, began selling their pork produce.
Field to Freezer
This new project led to the rearing of calves for the beef market and selling home produced beef packages. Local lambs were bought and sold like the pork, in ½ packs this led to New Farm having a reputation for providing home and locally reared quality products. Over time New Farm employed 5 part-time women within the egg business, 3 part-time women in the butchery, 2 part-time butchers and 6 full-time farm workers.
The late 1980’s saw the opening of seven supermarkets within a ten mile radius of the farm, shortly followed by the ‘Edwina Currie’ egg crisis in 1993 and a steep rise in feed price. This led the family to make the difficult decision to close the poultry units. The demise in the pig industry also meant we had another major decision to make and the pig unit closed in 1995 and therefore also the farm shop.
Building the Business
With Ian and Sara driving the business and adopting a policy of increasing the acreage, by buying neighbouring land they were able to increase the suckler herd and increase crop production. With the success of their suckler herd they converted the pig units to house some of their 350 Blonde-Aquitaine X- Charolais spring calving suckler herd.
The cattle now graze on 200 acres of grassland from May until October/November. The remaining 280 acres of mixed arable land provides the cattle with their winter feed. The cereals that are not consumed by the cattle are sold via a grain marketing group into the home and world market.
A beautiful location
The farm is a close walk to the beautiful picturesque Porthkerry Park a 200 acre valley where you can enjoy nature trails through the woods and open parkland where there is a putting green and children’s play area. The parkland leads onto ‘The Pebbles beach’ and the ‘Heritage Trail’ winds its way through the park and along the cliffs. There is a small café open weekends and daily in the summer months. A large impressive viaduct stands in the park which serves the railway through the Vale.
Barry hosts many beaches. Among them, Whitmore Bay which is a sheltered, sandy ENCAMS Seaside Awarded beach and has an elegant promenade.