Meet Milly Fyfe. Like so many women, Milly wears many hats: farmer, food producer, inspirational women award winner, rural communicator, friend. With her husband Andrew, she manages the family farm of cattle, sheep, pigs, arable crops and a market garden in rural Northamptonshire. Milly is also an ambassador for Ladies in Agriculture, a network championing women in farming. Such an important role when only 28% of the farming workforce are women.
We caught up with her to find out how she got started and what her advice would be to others.
How did you start growing food?
My father introduced me to growing vegetables when i was 5 years old. I would spend weekends in his greenhouse helping him prick out seedlings and watch them grow. Both my father and grandfather inspire me when in the garden growing fruit and vegetables. My father is also a member of the heritage food library and I have been introduced to some unique varieties of crops over the years.
What is the most unexpected joy you get from what you do?
I enjoy cooking and so it is very satisfying to grow crops and produce lovely meals. The most unexpected joy is when I cook for friends who are use to eating processed food and can really appreciate the fresh flavours that homegrown produce has. The best crop for me is sweetcorn. You can't beat the fresh taste straight from the cob.
What's the best piece of advice to someone starting out?
Do what you can with the garden / ground you have. Even if you live in a flat you can grow herbs / tomatoes from your window ledge. If not make sure you look out for and support independent producers who take pride it what they grow.
Finally, we couldn't help but ask - what are your food-waste fighting tips?
I hate waste and so I try to utilise everything I grow in the kitchen. I often have lots of tomatoes left over after the growing season which I have started making into chutney, passata sauce and my own version of sun-dried tomatoes in the bottom draw of the Aga. All of these techniques will see you through the colder months and they still taste so great, packed with wonderful goodness.
Follow Milly to find out more about women in agriculture over on Twitter.