North Downs Organics produces beef and cereals at Perry Court Farm near Canterbury. This is a family run farm that was established by the Brockman family in 1953 by Jesse Brockman and his son Alan Brockman. It was initially a fruit farm but soon introduced livestock and a range of crops as well. Conversion to organic and biodynamic methods started straight away with the whole farm being fully converted by the 1970’s.
Alan Brockman became a pioneer of biodynamic and organic farming putting into practice a wealth of knowledge from his studies. Alan Brockman was inspired by the philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner who was a friend of his in-laws, bringing Steiner’s ideas to farming and also education by helping found the Canterbury Steiner School in 1976. Alan Brockman was also a long standing member of the Anthroposophical Society of Great Britain and the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, which gave him a Life Time Achievement award in 2008.
Through the 1950’s and 1960’s the farm was a mix of top fruit, pigs, sheep, chicken, cereals and vegetables. By the 1970’s with competition from large scale farming and cheaper imports it became difficult to compete with such a diverse range of products and things had to be simplified. It was decided that the farm would concentrate on producing high quality cereals and beef from the newly introduced cattle herd.
Since then the farm has steadily expanded and improved through investment in infrastructure and machinery and establishing methods that best suit the farm.
Today North Downs Organics is run by Alan’s son Leo Brockman who continues with the beef and cereals using the same farming methods introduced by his father in the beginning. This now covers an area of around 250 acres with up to half being cereals and the rest grassland to support around 100 cattle.