Mount Pleasant Farm

Pennine, Pudding Lane, United Kingdom

Mount Pleasant Farm is an exposed Pennine smallholding cared for by Sara Steeles-Yates. It can be wet and wild up there, but the stunning scenery makes up for the challenging growing conditions. Sara and her family have been custodians of the land for 20 years; they have managed it using permaculture ethics and principles since 2006. They want Mount Pleasant Farm to be a place to experiment with growing methods while increasing biodiversity by creating an abundance of habitats. The land is home to many rare waxcap fungi and is carefully managed to conserve this precious grassland habitat. An orchard and a veg plot provide some food, admirably built on an area that had less than 1cm of topsoil before a lot of mulching and feeding. Two years ago, the sight of the first molehill was celebrated – moles mean juicy worms and living soil. They run annual ‘Bio-Blitz’ days to encourage participation. Whether it be rummaging for dung beetles, pond dipping or listening to the dawn chorus, there is always something at Mount Pleasant to instil awe and wonder.

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.