FARMING MATTERS: Ideas for diversifying

Glastonbury 2015. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire PPP-150410-140949001

Glastonbury 2015. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire PPP-150410-140949001

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Farmers have been encouraged for years to diversify in order to make ends meet. For a long time the ideas were pretty standard - opening up your home to B&B guests, DIY liveries for horse owners, creating a space for a few touring caravans, opening a farm shop or converting buildings into units.

Now though the ideas are becoming more and more unique, and a new magazine that has recently started dropping onto our doormat is filled with inspiration.

The editorial and advertising of Diversity Now suggests anything from festivals and wedding venues to bespoke glamping pods and opening your farm as an attraction.

These ideas are of course not quite standard farming practice, and could only work with farmers (or family members) who were willing to turn their hands, minds and business sense to a mindset altogether different from farming. Not to mention the massive financial investment required, planning permission and getting your neighbours onside.

As an entertainment reporter I go to my fair share of festivals, and the idea of hosting one has its attractions, but it isn’t going to happen for us.

Instead we’ll make do with providing the field space for our son’s friends each summer for their annual camp-out weekend. Not business, but certainly a lot of pleasure.