Indie Farmer is an independent farming magazine dedicated to stories of sustainable food culture in the UK and beyond.
We believe that while there are numerous resources about agriculture, there isn’t a platform for the new breed of “Indie Farmers” – small scale producers, growers and livestock keepers – that are redefining tradition and exploring new ways to farm regeneratively and produce real food.
Indie Farmer was launched in March 2014 by Nigel Akehurst, a farmer’s son and creative entrepreneur, who came up with the concept to showcase the stories of independent farmers and food makers to a broader audience of people interested in learning more about where their food comes from.
In the summer of 2014 Nigel embarked on a six week road trip on his scooter ‘Veronica’ meeting Indie Farmers around the UK. Inspired by the people and places he visited, Nigel decided to give up city life to move back to the small family farm in East Sussex to become a beginner farmer himself, whilst continuing to build the Indie Farmer community of readers, writers and contributors.
In its first few years Indie Farmer has built up a growing, loyal community with it’s unique mix of profiles, interviews and photo stories direct from farmyards, fields, breweries, kitchens and beyond..
In the autumn of 2014 Nigel moved back in with his parents on the family farm where he grew up. He has been learning the ropes ever since and in the first six months persuaded his parents to let him start a herd of native breed Sussex cattle. With the aim of selling beef boxes direct to customers.
From a foundation of six pedigree Sussex heifers, he has grown the herd to over twenty five cows and uses a pedigree Angus bull to produce fantastic native bred offspring that thrive off ancient marshland grass on the Pevensey Levels. Nigel started marketing his beef direct to consumers in 2016 and every year demand has grown organically through word of mouth. Now the majority of the beef raised is sold direct.
In 2017 the opportunity arose for Nigel to build a house on a small farm a few miles from the family farm. Together with his girlfriend (now wife) Hannah they managed to get planning permission to knock down a 70s cow shed and build a modern house from scratch.
It’s a process that has taken them three years (and a few sleepless nights) but the house is now built and they are working on finishing the interior and landscaping the garden. To chart their journey Nigel & Hannah started a separate instagram account @modernbarnfarm. In the future they plan to host small events and offer accommodation on the farm.
Who said print is dead? Since starting out in 2014 we’ve often dreamt about a print version of Indie Farmer. We designed a mock up of what our front cover could look like and can imagine it sat next to some of our favourite independent magazines.
Well thanks to our growing audience and some encouraging feedback in our recent readership survey, we’re planning to pilot a print edition of Indie Farmer. We don’t have the details worked out yet but you’ll be the first to know when we do. Watch this space.