Pimhill Farm is a 770-acre organic farm and milling business located in the heart of Shropshire, producing some of the finest oats, wholemeal flour, mueslis and oatcakes. Pimhill Farm has been farming to organic methods since 1949, when Richard Mayall took over the farm from his father, Sam, and was inspired by the book, ‘Humus and the Farmer’ by Friend Sykes.
A short history of the farm
In the early twentieth-century just after the war, father-and-son, Sam and Richard Mayall, had been concerned about the direction of the farm due to a breakdown in fertility in the cows. This coincided with a time when nationally there was a great push for agricultural production as a result of food shortages during the war. Richard and then Sam were so impressed by Friend Sykes’ book and his emphasis on the importance of soil health that they took the decision not to use artificial fertilisers and chemicals - effectively, not to follow the conventional route.
In 1949 they went ‘organic’ (though at the time it was not known as such). This was not done with a market in mind: it was a decision taken on the strength of their belief that this was the best way forward for both their land and for their animals. Sam Mayall then met Lady Eve Balfour and became involved with the recently formed Soil Association, becoming Vice President for a number of years.
It was during the 1950s that they decided to invest in a small hammer mill. They reasoned that if the cereals they were growing were better for their animals, it followed that they should be milling their own wheat into flour for the farmhouse. Word gradually spread about the flour, mainly via Sam’s Soil Association work, and due to demand Pimhill Mill evolved into an important farm enterprise. Sam and Richard added oats and then muesli to the range in the 1950s.
About this time, Sam Mayall wrote an article called ‘An English Organic Farm’ and it still makes extraordinarily relevant reading today. In 1958 Richard Mayall married Anne Crow and they had two children, Ginny and Robert. During the 1960s and 70s Pimhill Mill flourished, supplying early wholefood shops, bakeries and restaurants across the country. It was at a family picnic in the late 1970s that Ginny took the picture of her father Richard jumping in the air and clicking his heels, which you can see on our packaging...
Pimhill Farm produce a range of organic mueslis, oats, wholemeal flour and oatcakes. Their wheat and oats are sold through Pimhill Mill which is situated on the farm. Ellie is their Head Miller, alongside Yvonne, Cynthia, Sally, Jenny and Emma, who pack and mix the mueslis, whilst Jacqui runs the farm and mill office.
Pimhill Farm is situated on land first bought by the Lee family in 1196 from the monks of Lilleshall. The Lee family motto was “ Always mindful of the future “ which we think is just as fitting a motto for the farm today.
Find out more about their farm and products here.