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 leafy vegetables across 741 acres (300 hectares) in Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. They grow coriander, rosemary, mint, dill, chervil, chives, flat and curly leaf parsley, kale, cavolo nero and spinach on a field scale and basil, chives, tarragon, thyme, lemon thyme, oregano and sage on a smaller specialised unit. Everything ends up on supermarket shelves or in London’s fresh produce markets.

The vast majority of herbs are grown in open fields like any other crop, though Herbfresh also has 25 acres of polytunnels and a one acre glasshouse. Mark is in charge of almost 170 eastern European seasonal workers, almost all of whom live on site.

Mark has worked in fresh produce for the last 10 years, working with root vegetable, 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. 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 fattens cattle and has a flock of 30 ewes.

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'.