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Meet the food pioneers BEHIND THE SCENES AT GOODWOOD

This month sees the start of ‘the season’ at the famed West Sussex estate. But behind the racing and razzmatazz is a working organic farm and a team who have long pioneered better farming and eating in Britain. Susan Low unearths the story
THREE AMIGOS, FROM LEFT Chef Darron, butcher Jon and farmer Tim provide farm to table eating at Goodwood


The name Goodwood evokes images of fast cars and sleek horses, but there’s far more to the estate than glitz and glamour. The nearly 12,000 acres of rolling countryside in the South Downs have been in the hands of the Dukes of Richmond since 1697. The current (11th) Duke is Charles March, formerly Lord March, who created the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival (see p50). He’s also put an enormous emphasis on the food produced at Goodwood’s Home Farm, launching the farm-to-table restaurant Farmer Butcher Chef in 2016.

Where do you get such dedication to quality and innovation? The Duke was inspired by his mother, Susan, Duchess of Richmond, who’s long been a leading light of organic farming in the UK. She in turn had her passion ignited decades ago when she read Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring, which helped to launch the environmental movement. The Duchess became one of the Soil Association’s earliest members and now, at 85, she remains dedicated to traditional farming methods. The Home Farm team prioritise looking after the welfare of their animals and the health of the land, without using pesticides or chemical fertilisers. That approach was very much not the norm in the 1960s and 1970s when farming was going hell-forleather down the intensive, big-scale route, using pesticides liberally and tearing up hedgerows to make enormous fields. The environmental impact affected the local wildlife, especially insects and birds, which play such a crucial part in agriculture.

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About delicious. Magazine

Enjoy a bank holiday bonanza with the May issue of delicious. – there's the ultimate rainproof picnic, global dishes from Ravinder Bhogal and a crayfish feast from Gill Meller. With new recipe ideas for pesto and asapargus, a Cornish crab rarebit and herby saddle of lamb, spring has truly sprung. After the strong comes the sweet – three bakes fit for a Royal wedding, an insanely good rhubarb, lime and ginger custard tart, and Nutella doughnuts. That’s why delicious. is the UK’s best food magazine.