When I first met Kate, and her husband Ludo, it was at their working farm in
Monmouthshire where rural skills and animal husbandry are taught. They moved to
Monmouthshire in 2007 when Ludo, a BAFTA winning TV producer, went to work for
the BBC in Card
i
ff. Kate was delighted to have the opportunity to move to the
countryside after years of being a ‘frustrated bumpkin’ in London! The initial plan
was to rent a house, but they fell in love with the Wye Valley and ended up buying
an old stone farmhouse with four acres of land. Chickens came first, then Badger
the dog.
Then they got slightly tipsy at a neighbour’s dinner party and woke up to find they
had agreed to take on two Kune Kune pigs! Two donkeys and several ducks and
geese followed. Then a hive of bees, a veggie patch, Bella (another rescue dog)
and a small flock of Badger Face Welsh Mountain ewes. More by mistake than
design, they’d become smallholders and created
Humble by Nature.
For at least four generations
Humble by Nature’s
home was owned by the local
council and tenanted to young farming families who had no farm of their own. In
2010,
when the last tenant retired, the council decided to sell the farm, broken up
into lots. Kate and Ludo felt it was too important an asset to the area, so they
persuaded the council to allow them to take it on, keep it tenanted and run a
business that in turn would support other rural businesses.
By Jane Howorth