6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Growing brassicas in Wilmington

PUBLISHED: 08:43 01 November 2015 | UPDATED: 08:43 01 November 2015

Toby Williams

Toby Williams

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

Wilmington-based farmer Toby Williams on growing everything from Brussel sprouts to blackberries together with his brother Max.

Name: Toby Williams

Job title: Farmer and grower

Where? Wilmington, near Dartford

What sort of farm is it?

It is predominantly arable, fruit and vegetables.

Tell us about the business

We have about 150 acres and are located just about 17 miles from central London, making us one of the farms closest to the capital. The farm is devoted to arable, fruit and vegetables. When I took it over in 2004 the concentration was on the production of cabbages for Waitrose plus courgettes and runner beans aimed at the wholesale trade.

My brother Max joined me in 2006 and we have developed the business and now grow a wide range of brassicas.

These include summer, winter and pointed cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, Brussel sprouts, runner beans, Tuscan kale, 
calabrese, spring greens – and indeed quite a lot more.

We also grow a wide selection of fruit including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. The arable crops mainly consist of winter wheat, spring wheat and field peas.

Who or what was 
your inspiration?

I am not from an agricultural background but from a very early age I was very 
passionate about farming. Stanhill Farm is the realisation of determination, hard work and good fortune.

How long have you 
been in farming?

For 18 years, but my interest began very early in my life – as far back in fact as 
I can remember.

Have you had any training?

I haven’t had any formal training, but I learned a lot when I began work at a farm in Ruxley in 1997. I have undertaken a huge amount of research and read numerous books. I never stop learning.

How do you market?

We opened the Farm Shop in 2009 and it goes from strength to strength. A lot of our clients are regulars and most of them live within a 20-mile radius, although people travel from as far away as Canary Wharf to buy from us.

We operate a box scheme within a radius of approximately 10 miles, and our online sales/delivery service is increasing all the time. We also supply all the London wholesale markets. Max drives to market three nights a week and I drive the other three.

How many people 
do you employ?

One full-time member of staff plus Max and I - and then it depends on the time of year and the day of the week. At weekends, when we are especially busy, we have four or five people working in the shop. We like to employ local people whenever possible and we also have a very good team from Lithuania for the summer harvest. Our teams are very hardworking and loyal.

Describe your working day

I normally start early, about 5.30-6.00am. 
I begin in the office to plan operations 
according to what is ready to harvest and in relation to the orders we must fulfil. Our produce is always harvested when it is in perfect condition – that is one of our core values.

Produce goes direct to our Farm Shop or is packed ready to take to market. The rest of the day I may be tractor driving, drilling or spraying – it really depends on the time of year. If it is one of my evenings to drive to market I will finish and be home by 12.30am.

Any children following 
in your footsteps?

I don’t have any children. Max has two very small children and it’s far too early to say if they will be interested in the farm.

Marks out of 10 
for job satisfaction?

It is challenging, but I love it, so it’s a 
10 all the way! w

Get in touch

Stanhill Farm, Birchwood Road, Wilmington, near Dartford DA2 7HD

01322 669711 or info@stanhillfarm.co.uk

More from Out & About

Monday, September 9, 2019

Kent has many castles and stately homes, but we have hand selected the ten best castles in Kent for you to visit

Read more
Monday, September 9, 2019

Seven stunning wildflower meadows have been created across Maidstone with the help of volunteers

Read more

With its important history and a reputation for fine food and drink, let's find our way around Faversham

Read more

Giving its name to the world's most popular snack, Sandwich is filled with history and natural beauty

Read more

There's a truly continental feel to this regal coastal town. With plenty of historic sites to explore and healthy outdoor activities to enjoy, let's take a tour of Ramsgate

Read more

Kent resorts are well represented in a new book on the development of seaside towns from the earliest days to the present upturn

Read more

An iconic part of our seaside resorts, we ask some of Kent's lucky beach hut users what they love about their 'sheds beside the sea'

Read more
Monday, August 19, 2019

From rambles through the Kent Downs to pretty village walks and urban strolls, this guide to some of Kent's prettiest walking routes is essential for the intrepid adventurer

Read more
Monday, August 5, 2019

A giant ice cream was created along with 99 free ice creams being given out on the day to celebrate the 99th anniversary and countdown to 100 years of the park

Read more

The response to a request for photos of your dog at the beach was phenomenal. Meet some of Kent Life readers' four-legged friends

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life