Situated on the edge of Warborough, eight miles South of Oxford, more than 50 kinds of organic vegetable and fruit are grown throughout the year. The principal field has the remnants of an ancient orchard, planted around 150 years ago. Many of the apples and pears brought to the market are from the remaining ancient trees, some are old varieties yet to be identified. This part of the farm is also run as a County Wildlife Site, home to a rich variety of small, furry, winged and creepy-crawley creatures, as well as hares and owls. Customers buying their orchard produce are helping support the Wildlife Site. About 0.5 hectares is cultivated by hand for the vegetables, there are three polytunnels for the more exotic varieties and to extend the cropping season, enabling the farm to supply salad leaves almost every week throughout the year.

 The Clays Collage smaller

The Clays main grower, Mark Stevenson, came to farming late, a second career after 20 years as a secondary school teacher. Keen on local and organic food, he tried to set up a Farmer's Market in the late 1990's but couldn't because there were no local vegetable growers. Demand was there, but no supply. In 2001 he was able to purchase a half-share in The Clays Orchard (poor quality land, a heavy clay sub-soil with poor drainage) and rent another much smaller field. Over the last 15 years, using organic techniques, he has gradually improved the soil, invested profits in polytunnels and other buildings, expanding their output but still struggling to meet demand. On their stall you will therefore also find a range of organic produce bought in from other growers to ensure a good quantity and range of choice for customers.

The Clays Collage 2