Mark Bowyer

Mark Bowyer

Farnham & Hersham, Surrey

Horticulture and smallholding

HORTICULTURE & SMALLHOLDING, SURREY: Mark wears two farming hats. From Monday to Friday he’s the general manager of Herbfresh, a grower of herbs and vegetables across 1000 acres (400 hectares) in Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The company grows coriander, rosemary, mint, dill, chervil, flat and curly leaf parsley, and spinach on a field scale; and tarragon, thyme, oregano and sage on a smaller specialised unit. Seventy four acres (30 hectares) of Tenderstem broccoli have recently been added, and the company also has a glasshouse producing 125 tonnes of chillies during the summer months. Everything ends up on supermarket shelves or in London’s fresh produce markets.

The majority of herbs are grown in open fields like any other crop, although Herbfresh also has 5 acres (2 hectares) of polytunnels and 3.4 acres (1.4 hectares) of glasshouse. Mark is in charge of almost 100 eastern European seasonal workers, almost all of whom live on site.

Mark has worked in fresh produce for the last 15 years, working with root vegetables, onions and brassicas before his current role with fresh herbs.

At the weekend he’s busy running the family smallholding near Farnham – 49 acres (20 hectares) of pasture and 25 acres (10 hectares) of trees and rough woodland. He also grazes 75 acres (30 hectares) of local grassland. Mark has a small outdoor pig herd and sells the meat locally. He has a butchery on the farm and makes his own sausages, which are sold in local pubs. He also has a flock of 30 ewes and sells the lamb locally.

Contact Mark

Mark is farming seven days a week. It’s a job and a hobby. He's a 2014 Nuffield Farming Scholar. The title of his published study is: 'Knowledge Transfer in UK arable farming: bridging the gap between research and application'.